Joy H.'s Reviews > A Reliable Wife

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
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's review
Feb 21, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: recommended-by-a-reader-friend, fiction
Read from October 26 to November 11, 2011

_A Reliable Wife_ by Robert Goolrick (2009 )
Added 2/21/10.

Group member, Katherine, wrote about this book: "Robert Goolrick takes the story of a mid-western businessman advertising for a wife, puts in numerous twist and turns, and gets such a suspenseful novel that I read it in a few hours. 4 Stars"

Below are some comments I posted in a thread about the book at:
The plot unravels slowly. There are twists and turns which are interesting. They're not hard to follow either, although certain developments are very subtle.

Sometimes I get the feeling that the characters are not plausible. It's hard to understand they are how they are. The character development is not convincing.

As for style, I find that the writing is uneven. Some parts are compelling while other parts are repetitive and tend to bore me. While the plot is clever, I find that the writing lacks style. It seems simplistic and flat.

Despite all of the above, the book is holding my attention, but it takes me a while to go back to it each time I leave it. In that sense, it's not as compelling as I like a story to be. But I'm staying with it to see how things end. I'm not particularly fond of any of the characters although that's not necessary for a good story.

[After finishing reading the story, I wrote]:

So much of the writing seemed flat and prosaic. The philosophizing was overdone; too much repetition of the same old, same old. It seemed uninspired and simple, despite the attempt to give it depth.

I wish I could say I enjoyed the book but I didn't. But, as I look back on the story as a whole, I do feel sympathy for the characters. Life shouldn't be so awful.

I think the writer was expressing his own feelings about life as he wrote the story. In one part of the book (near the end) it says: "It was just a story about despair."

EDIT - 7/30/12: Below is link to an excellent member-review (by Lora) of this book. I agree with her assessment:
The review linked above includes a good summary of the plot.
The final sentence of the review says:
"The very fact that this is a #1 New York Times bestseller just reaffirms my belief that that list is crap and there's a lot of people who will forever love trash."

Lora also commented on the "sexual excursions" in the book. She hit the nail on the head when she wrote: "...none of it is sex y". I agree. I've read much better in that regard. GR member, Kerry, said it well: "Even the sex scenes left me saying "I've read better." See her review at:
Kerri also wrote:
"I feel like I just finished an historical fiction porno. Aside from the beginning which started off promising, every chapter was about the characters getting it on with each other. Didn't like the writing, repetitive, unclear, and just bland."

Lora and Kerri both gave the book only 2 stars. I also gave it only 2 stars.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Carol I really enjoyed this book. I hope you are also.

Joy H. Yes, I'm hooked already!

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