A Reliable Wife; A Review

He placed a notice in a Chicago paper, an advertisement for a “reliable wife.” She responded, saying that she was  “a simple, honest woman.” She was, of course, anything but honest, and the only simple thing about her was her single-minded determination to marry this man and then kill him, slowly and carefully, leaving herself a wealthy widow. What Catherine Land did not realize was that the enigmatic and lonely Ralph Truitt had a plan of his own.

I have mixed feelings about this book. First off, I feel like this synopsis is slightly misleading. Yes all of that happens, but I felt like the emphasis of the book was a lot more sexual than I expected. Ralph Truitt is caught up in guilt over his philandering youth and feels like his lust is a disease (you can go ahead and imagine the colorful images the author paints for us). Catherine Land is not a simple, honest woman, but rather a prostitute (more by necessity than choice) which leads to more lusty scenes. I just didn't expect that and am kind of disappointed by it, because I found it so distracting and off-putting.

Another blogger put it like this: What bothered me about the book was the crazed, hyper libidos and obsession with sex that filled needless pages of the book. The characters seemed more driven by their physical needs than emotional all the time. It really set a strange mood to the novel. I also found Catherine’s involvement with Antonio to be annoying, particularly her dependence on his approval. Antonio himself is a character that stayed stagnant throughout the entire novel and I really could have done without being introduced to a character such as his. 
(taken from: http://thenovelworld.com/2011/04/07/a-reliable-wife-review/) 

I could not have put it better myself. 
Other than that, there was a fantastic story underneath it. It was dark, mysterious and I was desperate to know what would happen.  I enjoyed Catherine's evolution throughout the story from a woman with no boundaries to someone who knows the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. Ralph went through his own transformation as well, overcoming so many negative things from his past. I was happy with the way it ended, but probably wouldn't recommend it to any sensitive readers.
Overall 3.5/5 - fantastic story, but I had to look past too much to get it.


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