A NEW YORK TIMES bestseller.
The year is 1907, and Ralph Truitt, a wealthy but lonely country businessman in his fifties, advertises in a Chicago paper for a 'reliable wife'.
Catherine Land, a beautiful thirty-four-year-old, responds that she is a 'simple, honest woman', but the photo she sends with her response is of someone else.
Slowly we learn of Catherine's intentions and of Ralph's past. They both carry regret and sorrow and both have chosen very different ways to deal with what life has brought them. As the time they spend together grows, neither Catherine now Ralph has counted on the secrets they will uncover about each other, nor on the emotions and events that will be borne from their unusual arrangement.
Loneliness, sexual repression, deception and the power of desire swirl about in this raw, lyrical tale. - AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLY