Pertinent Info

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (Algonquin, 2009)
I read it February 23, 2010.

Why’d I Read It?

100% the cover art.  It caught my eye on display somewhere, and I went straight home and reserved it at the library.  I am easily taken in by good cover art…but I don’t tend to buy books unless I think I’m going to want to read them more than once.  (Our house can only hold so many bookshelves!)

What I Thought

Several times while reading, I thought to myself, “If anyone had told me what this was about, I would never have picked it up.”  It was strangely captivating.  I kept thinking that I shouldn’t like it, but I really did.

The question here is why didn’t I think I should like it?  I can’t really put my finger on it.  It’s written in a distinctly different voice than I’m used to, but I liked it (the voice).  It’s rife with dishonesty – characters pretending to be something they’re not.  In theory, that’s something that bothers me, so maybe that’s it?  I’m not sure.  I did enjoy the story and the writing; I found the whole thing compelling.

Even two weeks after reading it, I can’t quite place why I liked the book, or why I had such an odd reaction to it.  I’d have to call it an incredibly successful novel, however, if you care to measure a novel’s success by its ability to keep the reader thinking about it long after the final page is read.

Would I Recommend It?

I think so…yes.

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