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New Meetup: The Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrich

From: Kelly S
Sent on: Monday, April 12, 2010 10:37 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Escapist Book Club!

What: The Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrich

When: Thursday, June 17,[masked]:00 PM

Panera Bread
920 Wolcott Street
Waterbury, CT 06705


Nothing is what it seems in the pages of A Reliable Wife, the debut novel by adman and memoirist Robert Goolrick. What starts as a brooding tale of trickery and betrayal is, in fact, a meditation on loneliness. It has roots that reach far beyond the frigid Wisconsin landscape where the tale is set, and which suck their sustenance from the personal torment of Goolrick's own southern-gothic past.

It's a frigid mid-October night in 1907 and Ralph Truitt, a wealthy industrialist living near the Canadian border, is meeting the train. It carries Catherine Land, his mail-order bride, who answered his newspaper ad for a "reliable wife." As happens in all small towns, Truitt's private business has become public. Waiting on the railroad platform, he's surrounded by curious neighbors, most of whom his mills or mines employ.

Standing in the center of the crowd, his solitude was enormous. He felt that in all the vast and frozen space in which he lived his life -- every hand needy, every heart wanting something from him -- everybody had a reason to be and a place to land. Everybody but him. For him there was nothing. In all the cold and bitter world, there was not a single place for him to sit down.

When the train finally arrives, the exotic beauty who exits the private railroad car Truitt sent to fetch her is clearly not the same woman whose photo he holds in his hand. But with so many curious eyes upon them, Truitt hustles her off to avoid a scene, yet delivers a warning: "This begins in a lie. I want you to know I know that."

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