Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Oh boy.  Where do I start?  I set out to read A Reliable Wife because I saw at least five people reading it on my flights to and from Illinois this summer.  Couple that with the fact that my kids would have some new and exciting entertainment for a few weeks (aka grandparents), I decided to give it a try.  I then forgot about it and it got buried in my e library not to be heard from in months.  Foreshadowing, anyone?  Those of you who regularly read this blog (we LOVE you, by the way and are planning some contests in the near future) know that it's Sarah that usually reads the depressing, sad books.  She would LOVE this book.  Here's why:

The book is set in rural Wisconsin (yay, Midwest!) in the early 1900's.  A man, Ralph Truitt, places a want ad in a Chicago newspaper looking for "a reliable wife."  Ralph has had the most unfortunate of lives, including an abusive childhood, tumultuous marriage, and the subsequent death of his first wife and daughter.  Plus, his only living relative, his stepson, refuses to have any contact with him.  Just about the only thing he has going for him is that he is extremely wealthy and can afford to place an ad in a paper looking for a reliable wife.

A seemingly simple, reliable woman answers his ad and arrives by train to her new life in Wisconsin.  Ralph showers Catherine with material wealth, trying to find peace and yearning to live out his remaining years being loved by a woman.   As the tale unfolds, we learn that Catherine has had a most depressing life of her own and comes from the streets of Chicago where she eked out a living as a "companion" for men.  The two make an interesting pair but their relationship turns tragic when Ralph becomes sick.  There are so many disgusting moral plot twists in this book, you should read it for yourself if you are interested.  I don't want to give too much away, but I literally read the last 75 pages with my mouth open.  How can one man to be so unlucky?  How can so many people in one family be so dysfunctional?  Where do they all find such copious amounts of forgiveness?  How can Sarah read so many books with such sad, heartbreaking undertones? 

I will say that it was nice to take a break from my normal genre and read something that evoked such different emotions.  My mystery/tough chick/crime spree dramas and my young adult fantasies don't usually make me shake my head in wonder.  Nor do they make me say a little prayer of thanksgiving that my life turned out the way it did.  Geesh.  But, my normal genres DO usually make me want to read more. Quite often I  find myself wanting more.  More books.  More mystery.  More fantasy.  Not so with this book.  No more Ralph and Catherine and their miserable lives.  Please.  It's JUST.TOO.SAD.

I also understand that this type of literature has a place.  It is no less of a work of art than any other novel.  Not everything needs to be a crime drama or full of vampires and wizards.  But the next time I am on plane, I'll be the one with my head down engrossed in my mystery about vampire crimes against wizards (Hey...that might actually make a good book!).  I'm boring that way.

Pin It

1 comment:

  1. If you want vampire crimes against wizards read A History of Witches. It's good.