Posted by Merry Mao on April 24th, 2009
Title: A Reliable Wife
Author: Robert Goolrick
Publisher: Algonquin, March 2009
Summary: Robert Goolrick resurrects the Gothic romance! This book is so dark, suspenseful, sensual, and scary that I’m not quite sure how to begin to explain it, accept to say that is absolutely fabulous. It’s 1907 Wisconsin, the dead of winter, and everything is dark, frozen, covered with snow. Ralph Truitt stands on the platform of the train station, awaiting the arrival of his new wife-to-be under the watchful eyes of practically everyone who lives in his small rural town (that is everyone who hasn’t gone murderously insane.) Catherine Land sits on the train, having answered Truitt’s ad in the newspaper, on her way to marry him. She says goodbye to her past, literally throwing the remnants of it out the window of the private railway car he has sent for her (yes, he’s that rich). We don’t know much, but we know that Catherine is definitely not who she’s pretending to be, and that’s only the beginning of all of the terrible secrets buried in this book.
Part DuMaurier, part Poe, part Bronte (and even a little bit part Stephen King), Goolrick has masterfully created a suspenseful tale that will leave you breathless, really. He writes for all of the senses, and brings us to a world that is simply tragic and utterly beautiful.
Recommended by: Mary, Branch Reference