Abandoning her worldly life, traveling to a remote Wisconsin town in the dead of winter, trusting her future to a man she had never met - such was Catherine Land's new beginning. But there was an ending in sight as well, an ending that would redeem the treachery ahead, justify the sacrifice, and allow her to start over yet again. That was her plan." "For Ralph Truitt, the wealthy businessman who had advertised for "a reliable wife," this was also to be a new beginning. Years of solitude, denial, and remorse would be erased, and Catherine Land, whoever she might be, would be the vessel of his desires, the keeper of his secrets, the means to recover what was lost. That was his plan." Set just after the turn of the twentieth century, A Reliable Wife is the story of these two people, each plagued by a heart filled with anger and guilt, each with a destiny in mind. But neither anticipates what develops between them - the pent-up longings that Catherine discovers in this enigmatic man and the depth of her own emotional response; the joy Ralph experiences in giving Catherine the luxuries she has never known, his growing need for her, and a desire that he thought was long buried.
Pages: 291 (Hardcover)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Source: Borrowed from library
I actually finished this book on April 30th for the Worcester book club meeting, but I have not been able to formulate a good review. The week of the meeting I found out that I did not pass the bar exam which was incredibly upsetting and humiliating. I retreated to a cave of self-pity and finally emerged with determination to try my best again and hope for a better result. Even though I have more energy and joy again, I am at a loss for words to create a very elaborate review.
I will simply say that the book is dark and satisfying like a good piece of chocolate.
Each chapter brought a new twist and insight into the morbid and horrifying history of a character. Even as I was reading about terrible events, the writing was very lyrical. I really appreciated that the book was easy to read. A lot of unexpected things happened, but I found that it worked. The ending left me satisfied-- much like having good aftertaste from enjoying a heavenly piece of chocolate.
I am counting this book for the following challenge: 2010 Global Challenge: I am counting it for the continent of North America and the country of United States of America.