Saturday, December 28, 2013

LaVyrle Spencer - The Endearment

From the streets of 19th-century Boston to the harsh frontier--she wove a web of deception to ensnare her man!
Lovely, fiery-tempered Anna Reardon was forced to lie to get out of the street urchin's life that shamed her ... to become Karl Lindstrom's mail-order bride in the beautiful, treacherous Minnesota wilderness.
Karl forgave Anna for her deceptions--but there was still one shameful, burning secret that she had to hide from him, knowing its revelation would destroy the love that had become her very life!

Comment: This is another one of the books I had to read by the author. The previous one I've read, Morning Glory, was beautiful and everything a romance should be. I had high hopes for this one as well, considering the good reviews out there about it.

In this book we have the story of Anna and her younger brother James. They are very poor and don't come from the best family. After seeing an ad in the paper, they decide to embellish their story a bit in order for Karl Lindstrom to send them money to marry Anna and thus making a change in their dead end lives.
Throughout the letter exchange, Karl made up an idea of how Anna should be like and when meeting her he finds out many truths. With time they will get to know each other completely to reach happiness. But will some truths be harder to accept than others?

Well, my expectations were met so I can't complain. I started this book with the idea it wouldn't be as thrilling as the other one and I was right. This story is enjoyable but it's not as special as the other one.
The relationship between Anna and Karl starts based on lies, but Anna did this for good reasons. It's very hard to tell people certain things about our lives, especially if it's something shameful or that makes us feel unworthy. In Anna's case, she lied not only to leave the place of bad memories but mostly to look for a future for herself and her brother. I can't imagine what it must have been like in the past centuries where people didn't have social welfare help and the sort of conditions we have nowadays to escape the ind of troubles Anna had to go through. I think she had difficult choices to make and she did hat she thought best. Of course, from Karl's POV things could be done in another way but we are always wiser when it's not about us or after we had time to think again.

Karl is a very likable character, he is a true gentleman towards Anna and his reactions after knowing the whole truth can be seen as too harsh but there's also a bit of reality we can use to justify that, after all he was led to believe certain things and he was deceived. I guess the biggest lesson in this book is that not always the things we are told are what really happened but we should learn to forgive and accept and help the others to feel worthy human beings. Obviously easier said than done.

After Karl and Anna face their ideals about what their new life should be, the usual obstacles show up to spice up the story, jealousy, feelings of inadequacy, attempts to be better in the other's eyes... I think the stronger part of the story happens until the confrontation where Anna tells everything about her past to Karl. After that we know a HEA is coming so I had the feeling the story lost some steam from then on.

The secondary characters offer the expected support when needed but no one stands out enough to be very strong. There's Anna's brother that, with some POV scenes here and there, gained the best supporting role status and his scenes offered some development to the plot, but in a way I wished we could have more of him, for a young 13 year old he's quite brave.
The plot is a very normal romance and nothing outside the mark happens. Still, I had a good time seeing how the romance would develop and how two people with not much in common in the beginning could make a good live together.

In the end I had some good times with the book but it didn't have any wow factor nor did it have anything to make me amazed or surprised or even glued to it. It was simply good and that was all.
Grade: 7/10


  1. I read a Spencer book a few years back and your review made me remind how much I enjoyed it. I must pick another one of hers soon.

    1. I still have Separate Beds to read. If that one proves to be good as well, I'll eventually buy more of her books!