Hilcia's Reviews > The Endearment

The Endearment by LaVyrle Spencer
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2532772
's review
May 22, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: my-bookshelf, favorite, impressions-blog-review, historical, romance
Read in May, 2010

The Endearment by LaVyrle Spencer is a historical romance set in Minnesota in 1854. This is a tale of pioneers living in the Minnesota wilds, a mail-order bride, her thirteen year-old brother and a Swedish immigrant -- an absolutely gorgeous tale. The details pertaining to pioneer life are just wonderful -- the description of the area, the loneliness, the heart and grit that it took to settle the land, all of it is there.

The characters are portrayed as people of their time. Karl Lindstrom is a twenty-five year-old Swedish settler who achieved his dream and his heart's desire in the land, but who needs Anna to make it complete. In Karl, Spencer creates a wonderful male protagonist who is knowledgeable when it comes to his beloved woods and survival, but clueless when it comes to women.


Karl's loneliness, strength, patience, need for love and sweetness pulled my heartstrings, as did his pride in all he had accomplished. His strong beliefs and intransigence were both frustrating and believable. My heart was broken for him, by him and he also restored it a few times during the course of the story.

Anna Reardon is no less of a character. She is a seventeen year-old girl/woman who takes an amazing risk to save herself and her brother from an unthinkable life. She becomes Karl's mail-order bride by answering his ad and telling him a slew of lies. Most of her lies come to light before Karl and Anna marry and even though he forgives her and she swears to never lie again, there's one secret she keeps to herself, one that will have deep repercussions and will threaten their budding relationship.


Spencer portrays Anna as both a young woman, who is experienced in some ways but immature in others, a flawed character that grows with the story. An Irish girl with a temper and grit, Anna is also irresponsible, fun and playful, hates housework and bathing. She also loves fiercely and is willing to work the woods with Karl from dusk till dawn. Anna is full of insecurities and needs everything Karl has to give, not only his love, but also his forgiveness and understanding.

Spencer completes this story by including James, Anna's brother, a young boy who flourishes in the Minnesota wilds under Karl's tutelage. Lavyrle Spencer uses James and Karl's growing relationship to relate the small details of pioneer life in the Minnesota wilds that set the tone and atmosphere for the story. The richness of those details made this book an absolute treat for me.


The Endearment is not full of sexual scenes, yet there's passion, sexual tension, loving, laughter, friendship, and warmth aplenty. I can tell you that I didn't want this book to end. The story of Anna and Karl touched me and for a while Lavyrle Spencer transported me to that little clearing in the Minnesota wilds and I didn't want to come back. I loved this book.
3 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Endearment.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

04/14/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Kristen Fantastic review!


Hilcia Thank you Kristen. This is a fantastic book!


back to top