A Reliable Wife A Reliable Wife discussion


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What did you think of this book? (_A Reliable Wife_) The plot? The writing style? (No spoilers, please.)

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Joy H. DISCUSSION TOPIC ON A Reliable Wife
No spoilers, please.

I'm in the middle of reading this book. 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.

Any thoughts on any of the above?


Laura Trnka I agree with most of your comments. I liked the book, but it was different than I expected. In many ways, a lot darker, though I think that made it more interesting to me. I kept wavering on whether or not I had any sympathies for the characters... I times I couldn't stand many of them, at other times I felt a bit sorry for them. Who I felt sorry for changed almost every chapter. I can't say I was rooting for any of them though.

Overall though, I thought it was worth reading.


Joy H. Laura wrote: "I agree with most of your comments. I liked the book, but it was different than I expected. In many ways, a lot darker, though I think that made it more interesting to me. I kept wavering on whe..."

Laura, thanks for your comments. Yes, I too would call the story "dark" and "different". Good words for it. Below is a link to my full review of the book:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


Marguerite Oh boy, it's been over a year since I read this. The blurb immediately drew me in and I bought it right off the counter at the store. It wasn't what I expected either. It was slow to start and there were times when it was slower than others, but it seemed to fit in with the mood and the snow. I liked the darkness of it, but if I recall, toward the end I found myself leafing ahead to find out what happened. It was compelling enough that I think I'd pick up another book by this author if the blurb had the same drawing power.


Joy H. Marguerite wrote: "Oh boy, it's been over a year since I read this. The blurb immediately drew me in and I bought it right off the counter at the store. It wasn't what I expected either. It was slow to start and t..."

Hi Marguerite. I had the same feelings about the book. I just wish the author would get an editor to help her eliminate the repetition and slow parts.


Diane It was a bit repetitive at times especially when one character describing how they'd like to have sex with another character, but it kept me interested the entire time so I wouldn't say it was harmful. The book wasn't very long which is what saved it. It was 500+ pages of the same manner then it would have gotten way too tedious.


Barbara Simply it is a romance novel. I thought it might be a historic novel but it morfed into a romance novel following a flat predictable story line. If you are a romance novel fan this is the book for you. I like a book to enlighten and stretch my understanding of someone outside my immediate world of people. This book did neither.


Jeanine It looked interesting so I bought it off the shelf in Target one day. It wasn't what I expected and frankly I just felt rather unsettled after reading it. The book didn't come to any kind of conclusion as far as I'm concerned.


Joy H. Barbara wrote: "Simply it is a romance novel. I thought it might be a historic novel but it morfed into a romance novel following a flat predictable story line. If you are a romance novel fan this is the book for ..."

I think it was too dark to be called a romance novel but I see that some people categorized it as such. Perhaps "dark romance" would be more exact.

Below is a link to an interesting review of the book by a GR member:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


Joy H. Thanks to everyone for your comments.


message 11: by Lauren (new) - added it

Lauren Too slow and repetitive many of the twists could guess were coming.don't get how he forgave catherine so easilybfor what she did to him.it never didcreach a conclusion wherevitcshowed any growth or change
Bye in any of the characters.


message 12: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue I loved this book. I liked the pacing, the author took his time and really built up the climax. I think a lot of people, especially these days, to get thrown right away into the thick of a story. I dug his writing style, it very much felt like his own voicep not generic at all. And, let's all admit it, this book was fraking hot. Really hot.


Diane Sue, I agree with you. I'm surprised at how harsh some of the reviews have been. I found it dark, sexy, and disturbingly appealing.


Deborah I loved this book probably because it was unexpected. To me it was a reminder of how many back stories EVERYONE has.


Yetunde I loved this book! I enjoyed the dark sexiness as well the complex characters and plot development. I will definitely read more books by this author.


message 16: by Dick (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dick Peterson There was something about the writing style and development that kept me hanging on. It was, in fact, as Diane said, dark, sexy, and disturbingly appealing ... for a while. The most disturbing thing to me was that in the end it did not deliver on the darkness and sexiness. The only other book I've ever read that left me that unsatisfied at the end, except for the ones that I quit because I couldn't drag myself to the end, was James Patterson's The Thomas Berryman Number. If forgave James because he'd delivered on a lot of other books for me. This was my first Goolrick book. I'd never say never, but there will have to be a convincing groundswell for another of his books for me to go there.


message 17: by Ana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ana This book was one of those books that seem so promising at the start. I mean the premise- the chapter of her journey- arriving at the house...it was all very gripping and I kept thinking 'boy am I going to love this book" and then the second half just felt so flat. The narrative was very dream-like and stream of consciousness and personally I hate dream sequences in novels. It evolved into this impressionistic writing where the writer is not telling you directly what is going on but the events and plot points were of such significance I just felt like the writer needed to forget style for a moment and just say what the heck was going on. I didn't buy the latter half of the narrative and found the characters acting in very 'unbelievable' ways It did make me want me to read the source material the author references. I think that would almost be more interesting than this novel!


message 18: by Joy H. (last edited Jan 31, 2012 09:00PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy H. Ana wrote: "This book was one of those books that seem so promising at the start. ... it was all very gripping ... and then the second half just felt so flat. The narrative was very dream-like and stream of consciousness and personally I hate dream sequences in novels. It evolved into this impressionistic writing ... I just felt like the writer needed to forget style for a moment and just say what the heck was going on..."

Ana, I tend to agree with you on many of your points! And I hate dream sequences too!


Jennifer I couldn't stand this book, and quit reading it. The sex was just too much. He talks about his weird desires way to much. Like I said in my review if my man ever has the desire to slice me open and lay inside the warm blood of my body, I'm outta there! AND FAST!!

That is when I quit reading it. And it was a very predictable book. Figured out the 'twist' really quick without even trying to figure it out.


message 20: by Joy H. (last edited Feb 01, 2012 07:26AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy H. Jennifer wrote: "I couldn't stand this book, and quit reading it. The sex was just too much. He talks about his weird desires way to much. ..."

The sex scenes were sophomoric, IMO. There was nothing clever about them. No style. Boring. Some writers can do those scenes so well; but not this one. It's like knowing the difference between fine wine and grape juice.

PS-I agree that there were too many of those boring scenes as well.


Sally I agree w/ some of the comments. Good descriptive writing. Some scene just appeared in my mind as I read them, the son eating oysters at the restaurant.... However parts of it were really unbelievable. I did enjoy this book.


message 22: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa I thought it was dark and appealing in an East of Eden way. Loved it!


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

I liked it. Read it twice as my book club recently discussed it and I needed to refresh the memory. Talk about evil in people, this book had it. Dark, sneaky, possible murder and sex. Too much sex, maybe authors way of keeping people reading on?


Mayine I was extremely disappointed in this book. The plot sounds very interesting, the beginning sets the atmospheric mood, but the author doesn't delve into the characters, I found no real depth to them. The writing is very repetitive and even boring. I just wanted to get through the book and toward the end started skimming passages. (I wanted to stop reading it but kept telling myself it will probably pick up and get better, which it didn't.) I agree with Joy's comments above, the plot is clever (would make a good movie!), but falls flat. The ending is interesting, but it comes on suddenly, instead of being interwoven into the whole.


Joy H. Mayine wrote: "I was extremely disappointed in this book. The plot sounds very interesting, the beginning sets the atmospheric mood, but the author doesn't delve into the characters, I found no real depth to them..."

That's how I felt about it too, Mayine.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Mayine, heard that a movie is in the works. My book club was trying to figure out who would play the characters. For some reason outside of Aiden Brody for the son, no other names came up.


message 27: by Joy H. (last edited Mar 14, 2012 05:53PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy H. Judy wrote: "Mayine, heard that a movie is in the works. My book club was trying to figure out who would play the characters. For some reason outside of Aiden Brody for the son, no other names came up."

That's interesting, Judy.
I'd be interested in seeing an adaptation of A Reliable Wife on film.
IMDb already has a web page about it:
It says: "The Reliable Wife (????)"
Here's the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1394367/


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Joy, thanks I'll check it out.


message 29: by Joy H. (last edited Mar 14, 2012 07:36PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy H. Judy, here's another link:
http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/45855...
It says:
====================================
The Reliable Wife
Acting Credits - Cast information is not available.

Production Credits
Director - David Yates
Screenplay - Andrew Kevin Walker
Source Material - Robert Goolrick
Producer - Michael de Luca
Producer - Jami Gertz
Producer - Stacey Lubliner
Studio Executive - Elizabeth Cantillon
Studio Executive - Lauren Abrahams
Production Executive - Josh Bratman

Company Information
Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group - Studio
Michael De Luca Productions - Production Company
Lime Orchard Productions - Production Company
===============================================

I wonder why they changed the beginning of the title from from "A" to "The".
Strange.


Mayine This is interesting, a movie in the works! I hope it comes through (why am I thinking Omar Shariff or Sean Connery as Ralph Truitt! But I guess a younger version of these actors would be better?)

I find the title change strange too, Joy... Actually I like "A" better...

I just re-read some of the entries above, and Ana, I like the way you describe the writing as "impressionist style"... I couldn't agree with you more.


Joy H. I wonder who will play the woman in the upcoming film adaptation.


Wendy Joy H. wrote: "Mayine wrote: "I was extremely disappointed in this book. The plot sounds very interesting, the beginning sets the atmospheric mood, but the author doesn't delve into the characters, I found no rea..."

I was disappointed in it as well & would not recommend it.


Joy H. Wendy, I feel the same.


Lesley I found the book interesting and remember reading it in one day by the pool last summer as a fastbook to pass the time. Would I recommend to friends hell no, too much reference to sex and the storyline at times was disappointing.


Joy H. Lesley wrote: "I found the book interesting and remember reading it in one day by the pool last summer as a fastbook to pass the time. Would I recommend to friends hell no, too much reference to sex and the story..."

And the sex wasn't good either. :) Too sophomoric. No sophistication.


message 36: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa This book drew me in at first, but I ended up disappointed. I don't think it was well thought out or well written. Definitely won't recommend to anyone.


message 37: by Joy H. (last edited Mar 20, 2012 07:38AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy H. Lisa wrote: "This book drew me in at first, but I ended up disappointed. I don't think it was well thought out or well written. Definitely won't recommend to anyone."

I wouldn't either, Lisa.


message 38: by Joe (new) - rated it 1 star

Joe Stopped reading it after the plot got idiotic.


Joy H. Joe wrote: "Stopped reading it after the plot got idiotic."

LOL !


Michelle I read this book last year and Overall, I liked it. It was very descriptive to make it easy on the imagination. However, alittle too wordy in some chapters. The first chapter was like that, which made me think I wasn't going to like it. Yet, once the story came to play, I found it hard to stop reading. There were a couple of unexpected twists as the story picked up. Although, I was happy with the ending, I would have liked to see it end with a little more passion.


message 41: by Joy H. (last edited Apr 25, 2012 10:40AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy H. Michelle wrote: "I read this book last year and Overall, I liked it. It was very descriptive to make it easy on the imagination. However, alittle too wordy in some chapters. The first chapter was like that, which m..."

Yes, Michelle, once you get into the book, it keeps you reading. But it's not terrific reading. As I said in my review: "... 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."


message 42: by Joy H. (last edited Apr 25, 2012 10:45AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy H. Here's a GR link to a very negative review of this book:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


Michelle Yes, Although I agree on some of those points..being wordy and boring in some parts, I think it was the unexpected twists and the fact that we each have our own secret skeletons and dark sides that kept my interest :)


Michael Richards I didn't care for it. I was expecting a different storyline than the one written.


message 45: by Sara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sara I had absolute regret at recommending it for my book club. Egad!

Critics hailed A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick as "thrilling, suspenseful and mesmerizing." Good marketing and a fantastic publishing house have made this novel the success that it is today as not one of those adjectives adequately describes this lugubrious and depressing novel. How many of us have been suckered into a novel by disingenuous and overly flattering reviews?


Joy H. "Lugubrious" is a good word for it, Sara.


Salimah I really thought Goolrick wrote "womanly". I wish I could coin a better term but everything about his writing was feminine, not that that is wrong or had a major impact on the story/characters etc. themselves but it effected how the story was told and yet it compared with the audience (the majority women).


Cindy I read this as a book club selection and did not care for it at all. I found the extensive amount of sexual fantasy insertions to be unnecessary and unrealistic to the character. I would definitely NOT recommend it to anyone and would probably not have finished the book had it not been a book club read.


Joy H. Cindy wrote: "... I found the extensive amount of sexual fantasy insertions to be unnecessary ..."

I agree!


Joy H. Salimah wrote: "I really thought Goolrick wrote "womanly". I wish I could coin a better term but everything about his writing was feminine, not that that is wrong or had a major impact on the story/characters etc...."

An interesting point.


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