A Reliable Wife

By Robert Goolrick
(Fu Lin Wen Hua/Tsai Fong Books, Paperback, 9789866535444, 296pp.)

Publication Date: May 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Hardcover, Paperback, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer '10 Reading Group List
“This debut novel, set in the early 1900s, is a beautifully written psychological mystery, almost gothic at times. Advertising for 'a reliable wife,' Ralph Truitt, wealthy businessman, gets more than he realizes when Catherine Land steps off the train. Secrets on top of secrets, all revealed in Goolrick's lyrical prose in this a beautiful examination of love and regret.”
-- Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the April 2009 Indie Next List
“Set in a land where long winters drive residents to unthinkable acts, this is the story of a wealthy Wisconsin foundry owner gets more than he bargains for when he orders a mail-order bride. Determined to quickly change from new bride to wealthy widow, his wife is as surprised as the reader to discover the sexual intensity of this quiet man. Many secrets. Many lies. Very sensual.”
-- Beth Golay, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS

Traditional Chinese edition of A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. The story opens in a windy and cold October in 1907 Wisconsin, at the platform of a train station Ralph Truitt, a wealthy widower, awaits his mail order bride to arrive. He wanted a reliable wife, but she, as it turns out, wants his estate and to be his widow. In Traditional Chinese. Distributed by Tsai Fong Books, Inc.

Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com


  1. The novel’s setting and strong sense of place seem to echo its mood and themes. What role does the wintry Wisconsin landscape play? And the very different, opulent setting of St. Louis?

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