A Reliable Wife

July 2, 2009 at 9:47 am | Posted in Fiction | 6 Comments

I started this book and wasn’t sure what to think after the first few pages.  I closed it, breathless hours later, with all the little hairs on my arms standing on end and tears prickling my eyes.  No book in my memory has ever left me with that sort of reaction.

Product Details

A Reliable Wife has been getting a lot of attention, because it’s really something.  Robert Goolrick’s style is so distinct that I think it’ll be a love-it-or-hate-it book for most people.  It’s magnificent and tawdry, luscious and bleak, a smutty literary potboiler.  A Reliable Wife walks a fine line.  Until the very last sentence I wasn’t sure whether to call it a beach read or an instant classic.  (It’s the latter).

“Twist endings” done poorly can be the most enfuriating, cheap gimmick out there.  So I want to say carefully that there is no way, absolutely no way, you will be able to predict where this book is going until it gets there.  It’s shocking, but not for the reasons you would think.  And it’s great.  There are no books like A Reliable Wife.  Just trust Goolrick and don’t make any other plans for the night you read this one.


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  1. I felt much the same way about this one, but you’ve said it better than I did. So glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I loved this one, too. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  3. OH ! This sounds good! (Off to add it to my wish list.)

  4. Wow. Now this is getting moved up higher on my TBR mountain!

  5. See, I think I fall on the other end of the spectrum from you. I didn’t like this book much at all. I thought the writing style was annoying — to much telling me what the characters were thinking, not enough showing action. And while there was a plot twist, it just didn’t seem like that big of a deal for me. I wanted to finish the book because everyone else liked it so much and I thought I’d like it more later, but if I was just reading it on my own I think I would have put it down after the first few chapters.

    Not to rain on the parade or anything, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  6. I just bought this! and I wasn’t sure if it was because it was good or not – just that I recognized it (and it was only $3) but now Kim has me worried. I’ll just wait to read it when I can once again, forget all reviews I’ve read.

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