This was a book recommended to me at Powell’s and it didn’t let me down. Seldom do you find a male author who captures Gothic so well. It’s not just about a period but a landscape created by shadows, despair, and a backdrop of hopelessly flawed people who find redemption, of a sort. This is the first novel written by Robert Goolrick, called “The Reliable Wife”. It is a story teaming with rage, vengeance, lust and ultimately love and forgiveness.
A wealthy middle aged man (by today’s standards) stands at a train station in 1907,waiting for the woman who has answered his ad for a reliable wife. She had responded by writing that she was “a simple, honest woman”, and so the lies begin. If you are turned off by prostitution, seduction, or the side effects of arsenic poisoning you won’t get to the point of this story, nor enjoy it. But there is so much more here.
Three people start out with their own plans only to have them go awry. Intense, passionate, brutal, tender. This book has it all. I was worried at the beginning of this story. It started with short, choppy sentences and I wasn’t sure I’d like it. It smoothed out and hooked me. Great story, lots of twists and turns, and characters who evolve. This is a wild ride to the very end. Very entertaining. This author wrote a biographical version that is calling to me already.
Speaking of angry people acting out…Cathy Lamb’s book is going to be a how to guide. Not sure if I like the heroine of this, she’s kind of annoying to me so far. More tomorrow…