July 19, 2012

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

I really liked the premise of this book.  It was an intriguing love triangle, between a beautiful lady, Catherine, a lonely man named Ralph, and Ralph's estranged son, Antonio.  Catherine came on the train one day because she decided to marry a man whom she had never met.  Ralph sent for her because he had been lonely for twenty years since his wife died and they marry.  But not everything is so cut and dry.  While Ralph is desperately looking for his son, Catherine has a secret.  She already knows Antonio.  Very well.

I loved the plot, I loved the fleshed-out characters.  However, I personally could have done with a lot, and I do mean a LOT less descriptions.  An entire page to describe flowers in the garden?  One paragraph would have sufficed and made the point.  The descriptions just went on and on and on and I am just not into that.  I feel settings and character's thoughts can be summed up in a shorter amount of time while still getting the point across.

However, I still thought it was a very complex psychological character study that is worth reading.


"The idea of goodness had never crossed her mind, and now it seemed very real.  There was a reason people did things; there was a reason some lives turned out well, others badly.  It had never occurred to her.  As though goodness itself were some perfect heaven, and she might have constantly judged her distance from it, had she ever stopped to think.  Now it haunted her."


  1. I read this one a couple years ago and really liked it. Goolrick's writing was pleasing, but I personally got a little sick of the sex! Or Ralph's lusty thoughts anyway. It was a little overkill. Looking forward to reading his new one. 

  2. bermudaonion (Kathy)July 19, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    I know a lot of people have loved this book but a good reading friend of mine said essentially the same thing you did - the descriptions were just over the top.

  3. This book just really does not sound like my thing. Especially with the long descriptions.

  4. If you don't like long descriptions, don't read Jules Verne :-)

  5. I've heard good things about this book -- and his new one-- but a lot of people mentioned how they had a hard time actually liking the characters. This is an author I plan on checking out at some point. Too many books ... not enough time!

  6. I agree! I really liked some parts of the book but going on and on for pages. Not to mention going on and on (I can't think of any other way to describe it!) about his lust. I mean I get it, he lusts and thinks its shameful.... but to talk about it for over 50 pages? Yes, I loosely starting counting. Has anyone read the rest of Goolrick's books? Are they all like this? I love a good story and was hoping to read more of him. Also this is NOT Jules Verne descriptive, totally different.

  7. I never finished this book which rarely happens to me but I was bored out of my mind with the descriptions!


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