A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick

A Reliable Wife.As promised, here I am, writing about A Reliable Wife.

I don’t know why I’ve been procrastinating.  Maybe because the crazypantness of the plotting gets me all worried about Releasing The Spoilers.  But I’ll be careful.

Wisconsin, 1907.  Ralph Truitt stands alone on a railway platform, waiting for a woman he’s never met — the woman he plans to marry.  His advertisement for A Reliable Wife (See what I did there?  Ho ho ho, my cleverness knows no bounds!) brought in mailbags of responses, but only Catherine Land’s “I am a simple, honest woman…” that spoke to him.

When she steps off of the train, though, he knows that she is something other than what she claimed in her letters — because the photograph she sent him was a picture of someone else.

Don’t fool yourself.  This is no Sleepless in Seattle.  There is romance, yes.  But it is a very dark, often-unpleasant sort of romance.  Surrounding the romance is deception, guilt, terror, lust, despair, obsession, vengeance, violence and a planned murder.  But don’t let the darkness scare you off, either, because there’s also hope and renewal, reclamation, recreating and rebirth¹.

The Verdict, in Brief:  Do the words Sexy Literary Historical Potboiler fill you with joy?  Then read it.

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Post-Reliable Wife reading.

A Reliable Wife.

After finishing A Reliable Wife (Which was crazypants in the best possible way, and which I will write about at length SOON), I put in three book requests at the library.

Coming, hopefully soon, will be:

  1. Classified: The Secret History of the Personal Column, by H. G. Cocks  (According to Amazon, the author’s first name is ‘Harry’, which could either be the Worst Thing Ever or the Best Thing Ever, depending on the career of the person so named.  I mean, it would be a great name for a porn star.  Or, I guess, for someone who writes about the history of sexuality.  Which Cocks has.  But I’m going to stick to thinking of him as H. G., because it’s way less distracting.)
  2. Another one about the classifieds:  Strange Red Cow: and Other Curious Classified Ads from the Past, by Sara Bader.
  3. And Robert Goolrick mentioned this last one in his Acknowledgments (well, he called it his Beholden, but if I did that I’d be worried that people would think/call me pretentious):  Wisconsin Death Trip, by Michael Lesy, which sounds nightmarish but also fascinating.