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Group Book Discussion > (Aug/Sept) A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

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message 1: by Lisa (last edited Aug 06, 2009 04:12PM) (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Post your discussion here.


message 2: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments I picked up my interlibrary loan copy today. :P


message 3: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments Lisa wrote: "I picked up my interlibrary loan copy today. :P"

Nobody likes a show off! (jk)

I'm waiting for my copy. I should have it next week.


message 4: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments I got my copy of A Reliable Wife on Friday (call it a divorce present). I'm anxious to start reading it. I need to clear some things off the shelf first.


message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments I'll probably start in the next day or two, after I finish The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. I'm also trying to read Dune for the Modern Library Challenge book group. I'm happy if I read about 25 pages a day in that.


message 6: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments How are you enjoying Deliverance Dane? OOOOH - I can't wait to talk about it with someone who's read it. It's making the rounds of some members of my face to face book group. But it will take time before everyone reads it.


message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments So far, I like it. It's got a dark almost ghost story quality.


message 8: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments It does. In some ways it reminded of The Thirteenth Tale.


message 9: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments I reread The Crucible this year, and also read Cotton Mathers account of the Salem Witch trials; which my son was studying in English Lit this year. I'm glad I did, because it was a great refresher for Physick.


message 10: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I picked up my audio copy from the library today. I started it on my way home which was only about 10 min, but I think it is going to be really good. Still on the waiting list for the other one, but I have moved up to #2!


message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments Started reading tonight! :=)


message 12: by Quiltgranny (new)

Quiltgranny I was fortunate to have gotten an ARC of Deliverance and devoured it right up. I'm interested in a conversation with you all when you've finished it, too!


message 13: by Lisa (last edited Aug 12, 2009 06:07PM) (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments I finished The Reliable Wife today, but am waiting to post my response until a few of you have completed it. Plus, I think I need a little time to gather my thoughts on this one.


message 14: by Cherylann (new)

Cherylann | 55 comments You have intrigued me. I have to read for comps, or else. This will be my reward for being a studious person (and not playing with my new mac). Looking forward to reading and discussing it with everyone.


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments I won't post any spoilers at this point, just make a few general comments about the book until more people have finished reading it. So......

Ralph wanted a reliable wife and Catherine wanted money and love. This is a dark tale of hidden secrets and the lengths people will go to get what they want. Set in snowbound rural Wisconsin and the seedy streets of St. Louis, the reader is introduced to a world of depravity and licentiousness. This book was like a train wreck that I couldn't help watching out of pure morbidity.

The plot was suspenseful, but I found the characters to be morally corrupt and not really redeemable. Ralph was a tiny bit sympathetic, but enough already with the never-ending sex on the brain. Catherine's tug-of-war with good and evil left me exhausted and still not liking her even in the times that the good won out. I thought Ralph's son was a caricature of a spoiled, rich unloved son. Despite my dislike of the characters, I still found myself reading and drawn to the outcome.

I'm anxious to see how everyone else felt about this book.


message 16: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Motto | 450 comments I'm not liking these characters much so it's slow going. I picked up The Book of Night Women which is sitting in to tbr pile and it sucked me right in.


message 17: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (littlemel64) | 45 comments I finished this book over the weekend and was so disappointed. I'm not sure what the Bookmarks reviews saw that I didn't, but I was not impressed.

I agree with Lisa's assessment completely. I would add that the "twists" seemed completely implausible and the choices of the characters didn't ring true for me. Additionally, the writing style of the author was not my cup of tea.

Sample quote: "It was, she realized now, the beginning of desire. It was glory, the light,and the crimson clouds. It was the face of Jesus. It was love. Love without end. Desire without object. She had never known or felt it since."

I felt there was a bit too much of these cliche-filled ramblings. I've had a tendency lately to give up early on if something isn't grabbing me, but I read this one to the end and still had trouble finding redeeming qualities.

I will say his descriptions of the landscape and settings were successful, but I didn't get a real sense of the time period as much as the location. Good read for the beach as you felt those Wisconsin winters.



message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments I got the sense that the majority of the world was either morally bankrupt, insane, sexually depraved, alcoholic or drug addicted. I thought the characters made some weird choices and had some pretty bizarre reactions to the plot unfolding around them, which as Melissa said seemed completely implausible.


message 19: by Quiltgranny (new)

Quiltgranny Ditto, ditto, ditto! I said in my review that I thought if there was ever a male sexually represssed author who wanted to write a gothic bodice ripper this was the one. I intensely DISLIKED this book!


message 20: by Aylin (new)

Aylin | 16 comments I am still number 8o on the waiting list for this book in our county-wide library system as of yesterday. Based on the comments, I am quite reluctant to actually buy this book.


message 21: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Motto | 450 comments I have a feeling that waiting list will shorten considerably pretty quickly - I don't think most people will finish this book. I wouldn't recommend buying either!


message 22: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I was listening to this on audio and couldn't get into the story, so I thought maybe I would pick up a print copy. After reading all of the postings on here, I think I am going to focus on our other selection because many people seem to be enjoying it...and my copy is FINALLY ready for pickup tomorrow!


message 23: by LynnB (new)

LynnB I was going to buy this book, but with all the comments I'm reading here I think I'll go on to other books unless someone can come up with a good reason why I should read it!


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

I just finished A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick , and I haven't gone through the thread yet to see other people's comments. I will as soon as I post my thoughts....(Spoiler Warning)

I gave this a 2.5 on my blog (That's out of 5), but couldn't explain my thoughts without spoilers. I found this story to be very predictable. I knew as soon as Catherine saw Tony in the restuarant the first time who he was. I knew as soon as Truitt said (to himself, before he told her) that she was poisoning him that he also knew her past...and the ending was predictable very early on. I didn't like the fact that it was so predictable, but at least the characters stayed true to what they were throughout the book. If Truitt didn't know Catherine's past, that wouldn't have made sense to me at all. He was suspicious of her from the beginning, and he had already shown that he used private investigators...why wouldn't he know? Of course he knew. If he had been shocked then I may have thrown the book out the window. (Well, no...because it was on my Kindle. I would never throw my Kindle out the window.) So at least the story wasn't tied up in some ridiculous ending that didn't fit the book. For that, I give it points.

Otherwise, I found it to be overdone. Too much detail on people standing around taking in the scene, too much detail on the lust, etc.

Now my guess is that I'll go back and find that everyone else really loved this book. I believe that I'll be the odd man out on this one. It may be that my expectations were just different or too high, or maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea.



message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Quiltgranny wrote: "Ditto, ditto, ditto! I said in my review that I thought if there was ever a male sexually represssed author who wanted to write a gothic bodice ripper this was the one. I intensely DISLIKED this ..."

Hmmm.....Maybe I'm not the odd man out.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Lisa wrote: "I won't post any spoilers at this point, just make a few general comments about the book until more people have finished reading it. So......

...(snip) Ralph was a tiny bit sympathetic, but enough already with the never-ending sex on the brain. "


He was a tiny bit sympathetic until I remembered that he was a child abuser, which killed that sympathy pretty darn quick.


message 27: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 986 comments No Christine, you were definitely not the odd man out. Odd describes all the characters in the book. In fact, I can't think of one normal person in the entire novel. I kept hoping for something more or better, but kept getting the bizarre.


message 28: by Teresa (new)

Teresa I gave it one star. Wasn't at all what I expected and not my usual type of book. I wouldn't recommend it.


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