This book is a remarkable characterization of what it's like to love and not be loved in return. Ralph Truitt has this problem until he meets Catherine Land, a woman of many talents who answers his advertisement for a "reliable wife." When Catherine arrives to Ralph's town (literally, he owns it), he gets more or less than he bargained for upon discovering she is not the woman he agreed to marry. However, this does not stop his infatuation. Ralph is intrigued by this woman and they soon fall in love, but there are secrets in both of their closets that come to a head and the couple must decide if love truly conquers all. Reading this book is a feast for the senses. Goolrick does an intense job of describing the many emotions of these readers against the hard, cold backdrop of this middle-western town. There are sentences in this book as beautiful as paintings. Enthralling, passionate and heartbreaking at times, this book is an easy classic.
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Best part of story, including ending:
I really liked this story because the author answered all the necessary questions, while leaving some things to the imagination. The descriptions are vivid and the writing lyrical.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was the first time we see Catherine on the train dressed in sumptuous velvet eating a lavish meal. This kind of extravagance was enticing for the reader because it was symbolic of the life she wanted.
Opinion about the main character:
I disliked Ralph's obsession with his first wife's son. Ralph despised his boy from the time he was born because he knew that his late wife had cheated on him. This son is a reminder of that transgression. However, later in the story when the author describes Ralph's feelings toward this boy, at times, it was almost perverse. I believe the author did this to show how murky things can get in life when dealing with relationships.