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The Endearment From the streets of 19th century Boston to the harsh frontier she wove a web of deception to ensnare her manLovely 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 wildernessKarl 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

10 thoughts on “The Endearment

  1. Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) says:

    If I was to list the Grande Old Dames of Historical Romance I'd definitely have LaVyrle Spencer on my list It's a shame that she has retired from writing but at least she leaves a legacy behind in her excellent books she has writtenThe Endearment is one of her books I managed to overlook for some reason Initially I thought it was one of the many that I read growing up and forgot the details about But I'm pretty sure I haven't read this before I will admit that I made a note to reread or perhaps read for the first time it when I saw that it was listed on the All About Romance Virgin Hero List which is a theme I can't resist Of course I tend to obtain copies of books and they languish in my tbr pile until I get the urge to read or have the time to read I pulled this one out of the pile and added it to my PRIMAVERA challenge and that is why I have read this book and I am reviewing it now After that lengthy segueway I will actually write my thoughts on this bookAs far as frontier romance you cannot go wrong here In this book Karl Lindstrom is an earnest decent hardworking Swede who has come to Minnesota to set up his own homestead In the two years since he arrived he has ached with loneliness since he left his big family behind in Sweden and is unmarried with only his goat Nanna and his team of Percheron horses Bill and Belle to keep him company in the most innocent of ways mind you He decided to seek a mail order bride and ends up corresponding with Anna Reardon who tells him a never ending stream of big fat ones that make her seem like the ideal bride candidate He sends her money to come out to Minnesota from Boston to marry him and be his wife When Anna arrives Karl is struck by her beauty even if she is thin and much younger than she said he wanted an older bride twenty five and she's seventeen It turns out she didn't come alone She brought her thirteen year old brother James with her Karl isn't very happy about that He's worried about having another mouth to feed and not having time alone with his new bride He agrees to marry her but tells her ‘no lies’ Anna means it when she says she won’t lie to him but there’s still a big whopper between them that she can’t put into words He’ll find out the hard way And until then she can only hope for the best between themAt first Karl seems like the perfect hero However he’s rather rigid about his moral view of the world and has trouble forgiving My sympathies shifted as I read this story At first I was annoyed that Anna and her brother were pulling a whole bunch of fast ones on Karl Then I realized that the lies that Anna and James told were a matter of survival Lying is wrong but it’s a lot easier not to lie when you always have food on the table have a loving family and security in the world Anna and James have never had any of those And Anna’s chance at being Karl’s bride is the closest both of them will comeThat’s Ms Spenser’s talent To tell a story where there are many sides and much growing for the characters to do As I read this story I hoped that Karl could get past the huge lie that Anna told and understand why she did it I wanted the burgeoning love between them to be enough to make their marriage bond unbreakableI loved the descriptions of the natural world and the everyday life in the Minnesota wilderness Karl was a tried and true woodsman and a very skilled carpenter There wasn’t a type of wood he didn’t know intimately I learned about which wood makes the best type of furniture what is suitable for building houses or even making an axe handle I loved his patience with greenhorns Anna and James How he opened his house and his heart to them and not without reservations or sacrifice Even though Karl was a good man he had his shares of flaws That made him even the better as a hero because he was accessible And the joy was in seeing him come to realize that although Anna wasn’t uite the perfect wife he envisioned she was the wife he treasured and loved and she made his home truly a home As for Anna my heart went out to her and James for their troubled childhood and for the sacrifice she made for her brother that could have destroyed her future with Karl She wanted to do the right thing but always seemed to fall short And it must have been tough being married to a ‘saint’ and failing to measure up to his perfect image of womanhood Karl and Anna have some first married growing pains to get through but love does conuer all at least in the romantic world which I am always happy about With a little help along the way from sage friends like the priest who married them and Kristen the daughter of a Swedish family that establishes their homestead nearby James is a great secondary character an earnest young man who becomes like a son to Karl and a loyal loving brother to his sisterFor me The Endearment was a treasured reading experience It warmed my heart gave me a good story and taught me a few lessons about forgiveness understanding and committing to what is important to you even when it seems as though it isn’t exactly what you dreamed of It can be even better in the end because it’s real life the best kind of dream come true

  2. Kristen Kristen says:

    3 to 3 12 stars At first this book didn't work for me but as I continued to ponder the story I found it actually did I spent much of this book with feelings of frustration and even anger at both the hero and heroine due to their choices and behaviors I also felt there were times the connection between the two was lacking and I never did become a full believer in their love story In many ways I feel the only reason they found their happily ever after is because romance books have to end happilyI wasn't a fan of the hero but he was authentic for his era and was an honorable and good man He did however have a tendency toward self righteousness I felt the heroine was delightful frustrating endearing and very spot on for her young age That said I would like to have seen character growth and feelings of self worth from this young heroine I adored James the heroine's younger brother He made the book fun heartwarming and enjoyable One thing is for sure–Ms Spenser had the ability to make me feel many different emotions while reading this book and that makes her a fabulous storyteller

  3. Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves says:

    One of those books where you start out disliking one mc while the other seems like a gullible fool And then before long your opinions and loyalties get reversedI disliked the dishonesty and lies employed by the h a mail order bride to get the H to send for her even as I understood her desperation The H on the other hand comes across as a gentle giant full of honor and decency who after being disappointed by her lies decides to forgive and accept her as his brideAnd then came the Minnesota encyclopedia bit Pages and pages reams and reams of them full of details about the local timbertrees fauna all manner of herbs used in teas countless types of berries cabin building goats and what have you Minnesota is indeed blessed TrulyMidway her final lie the biggest and the worst gets exposed and the H turns all cold polite and moralistically unforgiving – and I hated him The poor girl tries everything to make him forgive her but he is as immovable as a Swedish mountain The scene where she gets lost in the woods in the dark and on being found terrified and mosuito bitten blubbers all over him to forgive her while he just stands there unmoved was uite a tearjerkerThe introduction of the ow – daughter of a newly settled Swiss family as numerous healthy hardy wholesome as the original Robinsons was annoying however nice and mediatory she proved to be The H’s final calming and cooling down only occurs after the ow lectures him and that took the sweetness out of the reconciliationhea I wish the h had gone away and the H had to suffer for his asshattery She didn’t deserve the suffering – she deserved better than him

  4. Dawn Dawn says:

    SpoilersI was hesitant to read this one based on some of the reviews I read but I am glad I did This is my first read by this author and I must say it was goodThe book starts out with me hating the heroine Anna She is a mail order bride who has lied about almost everything about herself in order to have the hero Karl pay her way to Minnesota to become his bride He wanted an older woman she's 17 a woman who can cook she can't a virgin she isn't and a woman who can read and writeshe can't And he doesn't know that she comes bringing her younger brother in towI felt bad for poor disallusioned Karl when he finds most of these lies out in the first day of their meeting BUTAnna grew on me as she did her best to prove her worth with brother James as they both worked very hard at the tasks ahead of them to build their new lifeAnna and Karl's relationship and friendship began to grow and they truly became sweet together until the last lie was figured out by Karl via a slip of the tongue by JamesKarl was a virgin so he didn't really take stock too much in that when Anna and he first made love that she didn't bleed or feel pain plus it was out of doors and dark Needless to say all changes when he realizes Anna was not a virgin and she confesses it to him when he approaches the subject with herA bunch of stuff happens during their estangement A new family moves in nearby a Swedish family Karl is from Sweden and their happy and perfect selves intimidate Anna a bit making her feel inadeuate They all can cook they all dress nice they speak Karl's language and the women are voluptious than skinny AnnaAnna came from Boston an unwanted child of a prostitue and sister to James who most likely didn't share the same father as Anna Their mother has died and the two were forced to stuggle to survive by lying and stealing Even when their mother was alive they had to Karl was their only chance to change their circumstances Especially when they came to realize being honest wasn't getting them anywhere Anna and James didn't set out to hurt anyone and fate had it where Anna becomes just as hurt if not so then Karl during this story FYI in the end he NEVER strayed he remained faithful to Anna who he loved even through the finding out the worst of the lies about her not being a virgin BTW She only lost her virginity to pay James's way to Minnesota for Karl didn't know about him and only sent enough money for Anna I did find this to be an emotional read at times I found myself hating Anna then loving her and pitying her I also found myself loving Karl then hating him and at times pitying himIn the end he grovels a little for not forgiving her She had already asked for his forgiveness although he said he didn't know if he could And she forgave him for being so high and mightyThere is a really sweet happily ever after including sweeting loving and ILY'sI took a star away because I got a little bored with all the descriptive details of building a cabin cooking making bread candles gardeningetc it was tedious at timesThe writing is very good otherwise No loose ends and no editing issues I could see

  5. Jane Stewart Jane Stewart says:

    Weak 3 stars Downer Too sad I cried too much I prefer uplifting storiesThe best part was seeing what life was like in rural Minnesota in 1854 living alone in the wilderness with Indians for neighbors Karl immigrated from Sweden He talked of foods growing in the wild He talked about different types of trees and how each type of wood was good for different things We see him building a cabin and caring for his workhorses He is a good man strong competent patient giving But when he learned of something in Anna’s past he would not forgive or forget It felt like most of the book was this fight with Karl being self righteous cold remote withdrawn and angry at AnnaPoor Anna her mother was a prostitute who died She and her brother James raised themselves as best they could She traveled from Boston to Minnesota as a mail order bride the trip paid for by Karl She can’t read Her brother wrote the letters for her She has no skills Everything she attempts she messes up Worst of all she lied to Karl in her correspondence She uickly falls in love with Karl but he won’t have anything to do with her During his rejection she continues to try to please him but messes up most of the time She is in pain for most of the bookA secondary story was Anna’s thirteen year old brother James His experience and relationship with Karl was the opposite of Anna’s James listened well learned uickly and was competent at every new thing he did He had a wonderful attitude I enjoyed everything about James But he also was sad and hurt for much of the book because of Anna’s situationTechnically there was a happy ending but it did not feel good I didn’t see any understanding or change causing Karl to forgive It felt like the author had him forgive in order to end the book I was still hurting afterwardsDATANarrative mode 3rd person Swearing language mild Sexual language none Number of sex scenes two Setting 1854 rural Minnesota Copyright 1982 Genre american historical romance historical western romance

  6. Mariana Mariana says:

    45 starsSecond book to read by the author Enjoyed this one To me this is a book not only about forgiveness but also about commitment to marriage Two people who had not met and in many ways were wrong for each other arranged a marriage sight unseen Regardless of another mate suited they choose each other

  7. Euge_ Euge_ says:

    45 starsI’m convinced that LaVyrle Spencer can’t write a book that I don’t like I Karl take thee Anna My little whiskey haired Anna for my lawful wedded wife How I have waited for you to have and to hold Not yet have I even held you Anna from this day forward Forward to this night and tomorrow and tomorrow For better for worse In spite of everything I know I could do far worse for richer for poorer Ah how rich we can be Anna rich with life in sickness and in health And I will see this thin hand grow strong till death do us part These things I promise with my life these things and the promise of patience as Father my friend saidI Anna take thee Karl Forgive me Karl for tricking youfor my lawful wedded husband But James and I didn't know what else to do from this day forward Never again will we be homeless for better for worse I promise I will never never tell another lie for richer for poorer Riches we do not need A home will be enough in sickness and in health I'll learn all I said I knew till death do us part I'll make up for everything Karl somehow I promise I'll make up for everythingTruly a great book about forgiveness and acceptance One of my favorites I do not know what you are I only know what you are not You are not Swedish and so you must not put these awful braids in that Irish hair of yours ever again I tried to get them out but I have only made them worseThen seeing her concern soothed it No not now Anna You are a tempting little mess so just leave it And you are not fat and you are not the best cook and you are not the best gardener but I do not care Anna I want you just as you areWhen I want to read a good love story or just a good book? LaVyrle Spencer’s books are the way to go The Endearment is no exception

  8. Katrina Passick Lumsden Katrina Passick Lumsden says:

    This book would have garnered a higher rating from me had I been able to like the heroine Anna even a little bit I couldn't And that upset me because honestly I got where she was coming from with her desperation but I just couldn't bring myself to like anything about her And Karl deserved so much than she was able to giveeven at the end This isn't to say it's a bad book It isn't It's uite good The characters are unbelievably well written the pacing is good the plot is engaging and the atmosphere is spectacular LaVyrle Spencer is obviously an adept hand at research because there are so many little historically accurate tidbits I learned a lot but Spencer was able to teach me things I'd never known before without putting me to sleep Her dialogue is excellent and the prose has excellent flow If you like sweet historical romances I'm not sure you can really go wrong with any of Lavyrle Spencer's books; she seems uite masterful at creating compelling stories with real characters The only reason this book gets less than four stars from me is just my own biased dislike of Anna I recommend reading it simply because it's excellent in an historical context but I don't recommend it if you've never read anything from Spencer before If you're just starting with her work try Morning Glory instead It's one of my favorites

  9. Gigi Gigi says:

    LaVyrleLaVyrleLaVyrle LaVyrle always IMO manages to write a romance that pulls you in and pulls at your heart strings This is my second LaVyrle Spencer book and it will definitely NOT be my last I needed a good book and she delivered She is uickly becoming a fav of mine along with Judith McNaught for HR booksAnyway gushing aside Karl is a lonely Swedish man in a new country trying to build a life for himself No woman in sight for yearsyes years Well what is a lonely man to dowellget a mail order bride Enter Anna Anna's had a hard life She hears about Karl's ad and a few lies later shes off to meet Karl to start their new life together So the moral of the story centers around love and forgiveness Oddly enough I found myself at times both feeling empathetic andor annoyed with both Karl and Anna I'll admit I found myself screaming at the book will you do the do my own euphemism for sex lol alreadygeeshhh However despite my heathen ways Karl and Anna's love story was a touching one and worth the read

  10. Leona Leona says:

    I actually tried but couldn't finish this bookwhich is unbelievable since I love LaVyrle Spencer and have devoured almost every book she has every written But for me I struggled with two things1 There was way too much time spent on details that weren't really necessary to the story Conseuently I felt there were places that just stalled and I lost interest 2 I couldn't get past Ann's complacency with lying and that Karl just seemed to be a bit too condescendingI will probably try again with this bookat a later date

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