A Reliable Wife / Robert Goolrick

The warning flags regarding this novel came early in its opening chapter.  Describing the arrival of a Wisconsin winter, it was obvious  the author had never spent a month above the Dixon-Mason line during the cold weather months.  In the book’s afterword, Goolrick reveals that the genesis of this story was sparked by Michael Ley’s Wisconsin Death Trip.  Obviously, having read Ley’s book,  he concluded that a good portion of the Wisconsin population goes mad during our long winter season.  The story opens in 1907 with Ralph Truitt, a wealthy businessman, advertising for “a reliable wife.”  The woman who answers his ad is Catherine Land, beautiful and a good twenty years younger than Truitt.  She, like Truitt himself, has a troubled past, and creating a lasting relationship is not what Catherine has in mind when she steps off the train from St. Louis .  While Goolrick is a capable author, he keeps tripping himself up by crafting preposterous situations that strain credibility.  I did try to suspend judgment and simply enjoy this novel as a psychological tale with dark undertones.  But time and again, Goolrick introduces another element that rang false to me.  It does not help that the major characters are not at all likeable.  By the time I turned the novel’s last page, I found myself actively disliking this remake of the Wisconsin Death Trip.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: