** A Reliable Wife Review

<-Canadian <-American PUB DATE: March 2009 This is Robert Goolrick's debut fiction book. He previously wrote a memoir before this. I discovered that Sony Pictures has acquired the rights of this novel and are planning on making a movie. I would love to see this when its done. Reading the book I could actually visualize it done as a movie. The details that Robert wrote about made the novel seem so real and life like. The story begins in a rural Wisconsin town in 1907 in the winter time. Ralph Truitt placed an ad in the newspaper for A Reliable Wife. He received several replies but one caught his attention and he was corresponding with her. She was coming in on the train from Chicago. Ralph is an older man in his 50's and he is a successful business man who appears to own the town as everyone seems to work for him. Ralph is lonely and has been for the past twenty years. His first wife had an affair with an Italian that Ralph paid to work for him and from that affair she had a son that she tried to pass off as Ralph's. They also had a daughter but she died when she got sick. Having had enough of her he threw her out and she fled with her lover. Ralph was furious and he ended up driving the son away. Which made the son furious with him and he held the grudge for many years. Is this grudge enough to kill? On the train coming from Chicago is Catherine Land. She answered his ad and has agreed to come to be Ralph's wife. We soon discover that Catherine is not who she says she is from changing clothes and getting rid of them, to hiding her jewelry and when she arrives in Wisconsin and gets off the train Ralph sees that she isn't the same woman that is in the picture she sent. She admits that its her cousin. Why is she lying and what is she up too? Realizing that he can't leave her at the train station he takes her home and on the way home they have an accident. Catherine saves Ralph's live and with the help of a housekeeper they nurse him back to health. When Ralph is getting better he seems to see Catherine in a new light and talks about his troubled past with her and she listens to it all. When Ralph tells her about the private investigators he has hired to search for his son and that its possible that he is in Chicago he sends Catherine to confirm it and to bring him home cause he can't. After they are married Catherine heads to Chicago. Its there that we see the troubled life Catherine has lived from working the streets to support her and her sister to having her sister being homeless. We also find out that Catherine knows Tony, Ralph's son and that they are lovers for awhile. She knows Tony's side of what happened to him and his mother and she promised him earlier on that she would do anything for him. Does that mean murder? I really enjoyed the book. I found it to be a quick read. I have to say that I had a love/hate for Catherine. One minute she was doing something that I loved and then the next I hated her. I think that is what made the book so good. I also could relate to the winter weather that was going on in the book. Reading it I had to keep reminding myself it was happening in Wisconsin and not Canada. I am curious to see what the movie will be like. What do you think? When I was looking for a cover for the book I came across two of them one is a Canadian cover and the other is American. I love the Canadian cover.What about you?

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