A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick was one of my top ten reads of 2010. It was chosen by one of my fellow FLICKS book club members for our August book. I decided to listen to an audiobook version for a different take on the novel. For a review of the novel as well as a more in depth look at the plot of A Reliable Wife, check out my original review of the novel.
A Reliable Wife adapted well for an audiobook. It was narrated by Mark Feuerstein, who has one of those voices that I can’t stop listening to. He did a superb job. I loved listening to his reading of the description and narrative and he did unique voices for the difference characters as well.
One negative of this audiobook that I luckily had read it before and knew that it was a very sensual novel, or aka something I couldn’t listen to while doing dishes or driving the kids around. As I listened to it this time I thought, wow Ralph Truitt sure thinks about sex A LOT. A buttoned up Victorian age tale, A Reliable Wife is not.
I loved the stark description in the novel; it was almost hypnotic to listen to. The book did not give a good picture of Wisconites; there are a lot of people that go crazy from the long winters as well as a lot of hidden lust. But even today if you scratch the surface of any little Midwestern town, you may find more truth to this than one would think.
I loved this novel again and was riveted by the tale. I couldn’t remember the exact details of how it ended so I listened to it in breathless anticipation to know how it all ended. My only annoyance was how Ralph Truitt sends to Chicago ALL OF THE TIME for items such as silk for the wedding dress roses, candy, to visit “ladies of the night,” etc. If the novel takes place in roughly the Ashland area as it seems from the description, it would have been closer to take a train to Duluth, Minneapolis, or heck Milwaukee (which you have to go through on the train to get to Chicago). Some items such as this seemed off, but would probably only annoy someone like me that lives in Wisconsin.
My book club had a mixed reaction to A Reliable Wife. While some loved the anti-heroine Catherine Land and the unique plot, others did not like that it wasn’t a happy novel.
I loved the novel and I think that this was a brilliant audiobook version of A Reliable Wife. I think it would make an excellent movie (although it will have shades of the movie Original Sin that starred Antonio Bandaras and Angelina Jolie). I’ve heard rumors that a movie is in production, does anyone know anything further?
This is my eighth item for the Audiobook Challenge and eighteenth item for the Historical Fiction Challenge.
Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library