Maia B.'s Reviews > A Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
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's review
Nov 04, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: abominations, could-not-finish, historical, horrible-ending, too-long, vile-characters
Read in March, 2011

Someone ordered me to read this, and going into it I should have known I wouldn't like it. The premise didn't sound interesting, the writing didn't look very good, and I'm sick and tired of anguished men and beautiful anguished women. Especially when they're as unrealistic, unpleasant, and simply vile as Ralph Truitt and Catherine Land.

By the way - seriously? Ralph? That's the singularly worst name for a romantic lead I have ever, ever heard. And say what you will, ARW is, in essence, a trashy love story, so don't try to convince me that Ralph Truitt is not a romantic lead.

Anyway, the premise is basically Depressed, Miserable Man meets Bloodthirsty Woman and She tries to kill Him, but then, well, I don't really remember what happened. It was spectacularly unmemorable, and the writing was spectacularly awful. It's melodramatic, it's overstated, it's longwinded, and it's obnoxious. The people raving about this book are probably the same people who thought that "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict" was a fantastic novel entirely true to the Austen spirit. (Which it's not. It's really not.)

So our Depressed, Miserable Man and the Bloodthirsty Woman get up to all sorts of hijinks; She sleeps with someone else, He drinks the arsenic water She's giving him on purpose, and then at the end he turns into a Depressed, Miserable, Bloodthirsty Man and she's just Depressed and Miserable.

Terrible name + trashy story + obnoxious writing + stupid ending + better things to do = one repulsive novel. This one.

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