Cover Snapshot of Read Books

Sara's bookshelf: read

Crazy Little Thing
A Kiss at Midnight
The Disenchanted Widow
Hollywood Wives - The New Generation
There Goes the Bride
Table for Five
Do Not Disturb
The Husband's Secret
The Ugly Duchess
Help for the Haunted
The Power Trip
The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Summer At Willow Lake
Every Crooked Nanny
The Mystery Woman
The Woodcutter
How to Be an American Housewife

Sara's favorite books »

Friday, May 7, 2010

Brave your Book club through A Reliable Wife

Critics hailed A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick as "thrilling, suspenseful and mesmerizing." Good marketing and a fantastic publishing house have made this novel the success that it is today as not one of those adjectives adequately  describes this lugubrious and depressing novel. How many of us have been suckered into a novel by disingenuous and overly flattering reviews?

Having a diverse book club which covers numerous religions, I worried that my group would not be able to finish this novel. This novel is shockingly dark and violent and descriptively disturbing. Buyer beware, this is not a romance novel and should come with a warning label!

As an avid mystery reader, I found nothing that could be described as suspenseful, there were no events that shocked or for that matter, thrilled the reader. As I read yet another vivid violent and unromantic scene, I worried how my book club was going to react--would they even finish this book? I also wondered about the author, did the he suffer and fester through 20 years of dark loneliness?

Just when you think I am going to dismiss this book, there is a pleasant surprise. Our book club discussion was wonderfully shocking as it was our lengthiest and most intense discussion to-date. While everyone was disconcerted at many of the scenes (and all admitted that this wasn't the book that we had expected), there was much to discuss. Not one character had our empathy and yet all of us waded through the gloom for a hopeful ending. We did quite a bit of speculating on the author, the characters and what wasn't realized in the plot. The best part of our discussion was our speculations, so the author was successful in letting the reader create their own conclusions. And, our ultimate conclusion, if the early 1900s were as bleak as this, we would not have wanted to have been there.

Recommendation: Book clubs should try this book to initiate discussion and drama--even the shy will speak up. While everyone will have an opinion and contribution, be prepared to choose a "lighter" book for your next meeting.

Trade Paperback, 291 pages, available everywhere from Target to Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment