A Reliable Wife – Robert Goolrick

A Reliable Wife

Published: 2009

Pages: 304

Challenges:
2009 Pub challenge; Support your local library

Country Businessman
Seeks Reliable Wife

Compelled by Practical Reasons

Reply by Letter.

On a freezing winter’s day in 1907 Wisconsin, in the middle of a blizzard, Ralph Truitt waits on a platform for a train to arrive. A train that is late. His wife to be is on that train, a woman he has selected after placing a personal advertisement, a woman he has yet to meet.

Inside that train is Catherine Land, stripping off her luxurious clothes, scraping back her hair, dressing down into the clothes of the simple honest woman she has claimed to be. She is not simple and is anything but honest. She has made a promise to herself, she cannot do without love and money. She has a plan – to walk away from this marriage a wealthy woman. But Ralph Truitt is no fool and is not to be taken lightly..

He took the picture from his pocket, her picture, as though bringing it out from his pocket would somehow make her become the shy, homely woman caught there.
“Whoever you are, you’re not this woman.”

“I will explain Mr Truitt, I’m not here to make a fool of you.”

“No. You won’t. Whatever, else, you’re a liar”

This is a classic case of young, beautiful woman marrying rich older man, intending to walk away with the money – with an interesting setting and it’s own twists.

This cracker of a read had me hooked form the first page. I was suprised to learn that the author was a man. I don’t know why and obviously wasn’t very observant initally not to have noticed. The writing is fast paced combing economical passages with more descriptive passages, which keeps the story flowing and at the same time infuses a fineness and elegance to the story. There is lot of talk of sex. Ralph Truitt seems to be preoccupied with it – thinking about the past and future, all tinged with the guilt and shame his obsessively religious mother had instilled in him.

It didn’t quite live up to the promise of the first few chapters – I was expecting more of a thriller but still a great read. Hard to put down.

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