Title: A Reliable Wife
Author: Robert Goolrick
Publisher: Algonquin Paperbacks
Length: 291 pages
Like so many others, A Reliable Wife was a freebie I acquired somehow. A number one New York Times Bestseller that seemed to be everywhere at once, yet I didn’t know anyone who had actually read it.
When I was cleaning out my personal library to take donations to the public one, my hand was on it. It almost ended up in the bag. Something stopped me, I’m not sure what. Most likely a hoarder’s impulse. The copy was too pristine. The train on the cover too gloriously mysterious. Historical fiction written by a man, not a woman, which for some reason tends to make all the difference.
Maybe it was because of my post about my selection practices and my thoughts as to what titles concerning prostitution would be at my daughter’s fingertips. The book is highly inappropriate, but it gives a thorough view of what turns people to bad decisions. What makes someone become a person with poisonous intentions and morals.
How easily anyone could slip into this awfulness.
“Yet it was a dream he had held in his heart for so long that nothing could replace it, nothing made up for his loss and his desire for restitution.”
Who hasn’t suffered from the same sort of persistence chasing an idea that maybe should have been abandoned?
“This was wickedness, and it was fatal,” is the theme that runs through Goolrick’s riveting novel. Maybe it’s the Baptist fire and brimstone in my veins that makes a story like this appeal to me, because I don’t mind wickedness when it is properly portrayed as something evil. It’s when wickedness is disguised as something desirable that I have a problem with it in novels.
Goolrick’s novel is amazing. I couldn’t put it down and I was so glad I chose to read it instead of placing it my library donation bag this week. My husband, not much of a reader, now wants to know the story and read the book as well – suckered by the blurb on the back jacket as I was nose deep in the pages. I’ve already encouraged a friend to purchase it as well. She quickly found a copy in clearance at Half Price Books, well worth a spare dollar.