A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick is a disgusting piece of work. I’m pretty sure this is the first book that I’ve ever felt the need to describe in that way. This book was an impulse purchase when I saw it at my local thrift store. From the synopsis on the back it sounded like an intriguing historical fiction story but oh boy, was I wrong. I’ll give you the synopsis and then my thoughts. This review will have spoilers.
He placed a notice in a Chicago paper, an advertisement for “a reliable wife.” She responded, saying that she was “a simple, honest woman.” She was, of course, anything but honest, and the only simple thing about her was her single-minded determination to marry this man and then kill him, slowly and carefully, leaving her a wealthy widow, able to take care of the one she truly loved. What Catherine Land did not realize was that the enigmatic and lonely Ralph Truitt had a plan of his own.
I really don’t know where to begin when it comes to breaking down my issues with this book. I will give the story this, it had me interested from the first page. That’s the only positive point I have and so I’m going to break down my issues with a bullet list.
- First and main issue, all of the sex. I don’t care if sex is in books. That doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Intimacy can often be used to drive the story along and develop character relationships but this book was just ridiculous. EVERY page is talking about sex. Normal sex, violent sex, group sex, SO MUCH SEX. I was tired of reading about it. It was pointless and seemed like it was only in there so much for shock value. At one point one of the male characters talks about how he wants to “cut open the female main character (Catherine) and lie in her blood”. The way it’s written is in a romantic/sexy tone, not violent. Utterly disgusting.
- Second issue, these characters are lifeless. I did not care about any of them. As the story progresses there’s points where you should feel sorry for certain ones or atleast feel something but I just couldn’t. They’re not relatable, they’re not multidimensional and I hated them.
- Third, the ending is so stupid. Basically everybody lives happily ever after even though they’ve put each other through pure hell for the entirety of the story.
Somehow this book was a New York Times bestseller….what? If you’re a writer this should give you so much hope because apparently anything can be a bestseller. That’s all I have to say. I hated this book, I don’t recommend it and honestly, it was so bad I’m not even interested in checking out anything else by this author. Have you read this book or anything else by Robert Goolrick? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!