Heather's Reviews > A Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
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Mar 18, 10

bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from March 16 to 17, 2010

Wow. This story was really…..different. I felt conflicted the whole time I was reading it. One minute enjoying it, the next not so much. I knew going into this that it was going to be a dark story. I had read a few reviews beforehand and knew that some people thought it was gratuitous and raunchy. Yeah. There is a HUGE sex theme running throughout the story. And I’m not talking about sweet romance kinda lovin’. It’s raw, in your face, raunchy, and even creepy at times. I thought it was too much, over-the-top. And yet, I liked the brutal honesty of it. See...conflicted.

And then there are the characters. To put it simply, these people are seriously messed up. I found the lives they led just crazy and hard to believe and didn’t have a good opinion of any of them. And yet, there were moments when I felt myself rooting for them and felt tinges of sympathy. Again…conflicted.

The writing is raw and honest and for the most part I really enjoyed it. It does get repetitive at times when the author is trying to drive home a point and that did get irritating sometimes. But overall, I was completely pulled into the story and thought Goolrick did a great job creating the atmosphere of the story and the characters. (Albeit dark and devoid of any happiness.)

I had a hard time deciding what to rate this because of how conflicted I felt. I think 3 stars seems to fit best. It was an interesting story and kept me turning those pages. I really did have a hard time putting it down. But it’s not anything I’d read again and not something I’d recommend to the masses.
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Reading Progress

03/16/2010 page 67
21.97% "I'm not sure what I think of this one yet. I was expecting dark, and it is. I'm intrigued enough to keep going."
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Vicki I just started this book and I see so much of your review in the first 15 pages...


Heather I've been dying to get some GR friend feedback on this one, Vicki. I'm so glad you're reading this and can't wait to hear your thoughts on it! Kinda surprising, isn't it?!


Vicki It is what I expected. Part of me is thinks its really creepy but then this other part drags me back. So I don't know what to think. I finished part 1 a few nights ago.


Julia This is dark and strange. I have to finish it to see what happens.


Heather That was me too. I needed to keep reading to see how it all ended. But man, this is a strange book. Dark, disturbing, and yet captivating at the same time. I don't think I've ever had such mixed feelings for a book before. I look forward to hearing what you think when you finish it, Julia.


Kellie Heather...THis book made me wonder if the author has some serious sexual issues....Like your review!


message 7: by Heather (last edited Jan 31, 2011 07:27PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Heather Thanks, Kellie! :)

I know! I was wondering the same thing about the author when I was reading this. LOL So, how are you liking it?


Julia I wanted to like this book. I saw so much potential in the plot and in the characters and then it turned into something awful and raw.

Then I had someone point out that the plot was exact to the movie Dangerous Liaisons and sure enough it made sense. I could not understand why it was so much about such violent sex and dark desire, it was not necessary.

I live in Minnesota not far from where this novel is set, and yet I had a hard time understanding the why the darkness. It acts like a Gothic inspired novel- but it borders on a murder mystery. I am a great granddaughter of a town founder, so I comprehend the use of a last name, but no one in my family has ever gone to such lengths to keep up appearances. I threw the book in the donations pile and good riddance.


Kellie I liked the writing more than anything. The author really places the reader in the middle of the turmoil. The conflict is expressed in such detail, it sucks you in. Of course, you can't avoid the darkness of the plot. This is NOT a happy story. But the writing is so good, I couldn't help but admire it.


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