Friday, January 22, 2010

A Reliable Wife -- Robert Goolrick

I've been forcing my students to write summaries in 50 words -- no more, no less. Let's see if I can take my own medicine:

Don't be fooled by the promise of mystery: this tawdry bodice-ripper is predictability defined. The characters are static and you won't feel any stirrings of sympathy for them, no matter how many dead loved ones they may pretend to mourn for. Far too much sex with far too little meaning.

In Ron Charles' review for The Washington Post, he says "I'm reluctant to quote much more for fear of making the book sound silly." That, my friends, is a bad sign if ever I saw one. I had been looking forward to reading this book for quite some time and was pretty disappointed to find out it was essentially soft-core porn with a plot "twist" so tired I was actually dreading the resolution of the story. Only one other time in our relationship has my husband expressed such disdain for a storyline, and it was for an equally ridiculous tragic romance -- only Charlotte Bronte* in all her Victorian sensibility would never have dreamed to write about Mr. Rochester placing his hand on Jane's "sex."

Author Robert Goolrick claims to have gotten the idea for his novel from a book published in 1973 titled Wisconsin Death Trip. 36 years later, and the "tantalizing secrets hidden beneath the surface of quaint small-town life" has already been done -- and done much better.

Final Verdict: *

* I can't seem to figure out how to add the accent mark over the "e." Apologies!

1 comment:

  1. I see you're reading Girl with a Dragon Tattoo - I'll be interested to see what you think of it. We read it for book club earlier last year and I had different feelings than others in the club. Can't wait to see what you think!