The End of the World as We Know It ) gets off to a slow, stylized start, but eventually gene"/>

A Reliable Wife

Robert Goolrick, Author . Algonquin $24.95 (291p) ISBN 978-1-56512-596-4

Set in 1907 Wisconsin, Goolrick's fiction debut (after a memoir, The End of the World as We Know It ) gets off to a slow, stylized start, but eventually generates some real suspense. When Catherine Land, who's survived a traumatic early life by using her wits and sexuality as weapons, happens on a newspaper ad from a well-to-do businessman in need of a “reliable wife,” she invents a plan to benefit from his riches and his need. Her new husband, Ralph Truitt, discovers she's deceived him the moment she arrives in his remote hometown. Driven by a complex mix of emotions and simple animal attraction, he marries her anyway. After the wedding, Catherine helps Ralph search for his estranged son and, despite growing misgivings, begins to poison him with small doses of arsenic. Ralph sickens but doesn't die, and their story unfolds in ways neither they nor the reader expect. This darkly nuanced psychological tale builds to a strong and satisfying close. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/12/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
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FORMATS
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-61620-000-8
Hardcover - 978-1-4104-1738-1
Paperback - 305 pages
Paperback - 409 pages - 978-1-59413-383-1
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-986-6535-44-4
Ebook - 291 pages - 978-1-56512-938-2
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4434-0053-4
Paperback - 291 pages - 978-0-349-12236-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-0984-4
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