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Publisher's Summary

In 1948, a mysterious and charismatic man arrives in a small Virginia town carrying two suitcases - one contains his worldly possessions, the other is full of money. He soon inserts himself into the town's daily life, taking a job in the local butcher shop and befriending the owner and his wife and their son. But the passion that develops between the man and the wife of the town's wealthiest citizen sets in motion a series of events that not only upset the quiet town but threaten to destroy both him and the woman.
©2012 Robert Goolrick. Published by arrangement with Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing Company, Inc. (P)2012 HighBridge Company.
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Critic Reviews

"Goolrick effortlessly creates a timeless, erotically charged tale of illicit passion and peoples it with a unique cast of characters, ranging from a gifted black seamstress to a country girl besotted with Hollywood movie stars and fashion. Finely crafted fiction from a captivating writer." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By MissSusie66 on 09-13-12

Not an easy read but beautifully written

Robert Goolrick is a great writer he knows how to turn a phrase and his descriptions are always lush. I read the Reliable Wife when it first came out it was an odd story but well written and a book that stuck with me much longer than I expected it to and I actually liked The Reliable Wife the longer I was away from it and I think this one may end up the same way. So, I had high hopes for this book expecting and getting Goolricks fantastic writing but the story was a much slower simmer than I expected it to be, it made me sit on the edge of my seat not from the story really, but in the waiting for the other shoe to drop, you just know something bad is coming.

I am not sure how I felt about Charlie dragging this little boy along with him on his trysts, I don’t understand why he took him along it’s not like it was his child. I think what he put the little boy through was worse than anything else Charlie did. Another story from this author that I think will stick with me awhile and probably will end up liking more the farther away I am from it. But I think that is the genius of Goolrick he is an amazing writer but his books are never easy but they will touch you and stay with you even if you didn’t totally love the book.

Norman Dietz is the narrator of this one and I’m just not sure what I thought of him; all of his voices sounded like old men, including the little boy and the women. But he fit the book well, so I am not saying he was awful it was just his variations on voices weren’t that different. I hope that makes sense.

If you haven’t read Goolrick’s biography – “The End of the World as we Know It” you won’t see how biographical Goolrick’s work is. I think to really “get” his fiction you should read his biography.

3 ½ Stars


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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By S. McDonald on 08-23-16

Conflicted!

The narrator was outstanding, and I knew something horrible would happen...as it does in Goolrick's books. The three star review is because I wanted to know MORE...more about what happened, more of everything about everyone, and most assuredly, I wanted more reasons for everything. Sigh.

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