A Reliable Wife
Vendor: Harper Perennial
Number of Pages: 320
Dimensions: 8.00 × 5.31 (inches)
Set in a small Wisconsin farming town crumbling under the impact of the troubled economic times of the 1890s, A Reliable Wife tells the story of Ralph Truitt, a wealthy businessman who advertises for “a reliable wife” in a Chicago newspaper. The woman who answers, Catherine Land, describes herself as “a simple, honest woman,” but in truth she is both complex and devious -- not the missionary’s daughter she describes in her letter but a courtesan of great beauty, kept by men and haunted by a terrible past. Her plan in accepting the marriage offer is simple: she will win this man’s devotion and then, over time, poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is the passion she finds in this seemingly solid, forthright man -- a man who also harbours secrets and whose past is far from pure.
Filled with remarkable characters and drenched with colour and atmosphere, A Reliable Wife is a story of love and madness, longing and murder, played out in a world that seems to have gone temporarily off its axis.