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The Endearment
The Endearment
Author: LaVyrle Spencer
Through a series of lies, a woman leaves poverty in Boston to be a mail-order bride for a man living in Minnesota. As the two grow to love one another, she is torn between wanting to tell him the truth and a fear that revealing her deception will kill their fragile relationship. — SECRETS OF THE HEART — ANNA - Hoping to escape the shame of her str...  more »
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PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780515103960
ISBN-10: 0515103969
Publication Date: 1983
Pages: 352
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 144 ratings
Publisher: Bantam
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Endearment on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I love her books, and this one is typical of them. There are always well developed characters and an interesting storyline. This one is an older one, and it's set in the Minnesota frontier. Anna is a "mail order bride" who has misled her fiance about herself and her capabilities.
Grnemae avatar reviewed The Endearment on + 450 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Another great book from Ms Spencer.
Anna - hiding secrets and trying to escape her past as a street urchin becomes a mail order bride to Karl, a gentle man from Minnesota.
A story that keeps you spellbound as the twists and turns of a developing love play out.
reviewed The Endearment on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A beautiful story Karl and Anna Are so real and I enjoyed it so much that I was sorry when it ended.
robinmy avatar reviewed The Endearment on + 2002 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Desperate to start a new life for herself and her brother, Anna Reardon responds to an ad for a mail-order bride. After months of exchanging letters where Anna twists the truth, she agrees to travel to Minnesota and marry Karl Lindstrom. Karl is a 25-year-old Swede who has been farming his own land for two years. He wants nothing more than a wife to share his farm with. What he gets is a 17-year-old girl who can't cook, can't read, and has a little brother in tow. Karl is not happy that he was lied to, but forgives Anna in hopes of building a life with her. But when another revelation comes to light, Karl doesn't know if he can continue their relationship.

This is a sweet historical romance with well-developed characters. Karl has spent two years alone in the wilderness and is desperate for a family. Anna wants to escape her past and refuses to leave her brother behind. Their relationship pulls the reader in and gives us something to root for. Some may think the story is slow with too many details about logging, cooking, and any of the many tasks they perform day in and day out. I felt the descriptions of their home life added to the atmosphere of the book and made an enjoyable read. My rating: 4 Stars.
reviewed The Endearment on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. I read on wikipedia that Spencer's publisher would not publish this book because it did not mold to the usual romance genre standards....the hero was the protagonist and a virgin, while the heroine was not. It was published by a different publisher later, and I'm glad it was! It's always refreshing to read a book that shakes the standards
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jjares avatar reviewed The Endearment on + 3143 more book reviews
What an incredible story! Before the first chapter ended, I was hooked. I finished this story in a matter of hours because I could not put it aside. At times, I rushed ahead because I couldnt stand the tension!

Of the face of it, this seems to be a simple story about Anna Reardon and her brother James. They live in Boston and are destitute. When James sees Karl Lindstroms ad for a wife, he helps Anna write the letters to Karl that will eventually convince him to send passage for Anna to come to Minnesota.

Karl has lived in Minnesota for 2 years and is desperate for someone to share his life. He has no neighbors; he talks to his goat and 2 horses because he is so lonely. Karl is a wonderful man who has a sense of humor and a stronger sense of honor. His word is his bond.

Anna and her brother test that bond mightily; Karl marries Anna in spite of his misgivings. He even accepts the extra mouth to feed (James) with good grace. However, there is trouble on the horizon. The previous life of Anna and James in Boston is going to impact Karl in many ways.

The author did a masterful job of creating tension. The reader comes to understand why Anna did some of the things she did to get to Minnesota, but will Karl? This man is not complicated (however, he is in no way stupid); thus he has a hard time understanding his very complicated wife.

This story is beautifully told; things move at a pace that is believable. The story of Karl and James is just as beautiful as the one between Anna and Karl. Ill remember this book for a very long time.
reviewed The Endearment on + 8 more book reviews
Wonderful book!
PrairieBlue avatar reviewed The Endearment on + 76 more book reviews
"Hoping to escape the shame of her street urchin's life in Boston, Anna Reardon plotted a desperate scheme--to become Karl Lindstrom's mail order bride in the beautiful, dangerous frontier of Minnesota.
A kind and gentle man, karl forgave Anna for her deceptions. But there was still one burning secret she had to hid from him, knowing its revelation would destroy the love they had come to cherish."

I thought this was beautifully written, but got a bit tedious in some parts. Karl explains, explains and explains things even more in great detail. But all in all a good read, with a couple of nice "tear jerker" moments.
fibrogal avatar reviewed The Endearment on + 180 more book reviews
This is a wonderful story of love that grows despite the barriers of a cross-cultural marriage, of a marriage of strangers, of dealing with the rigors of frontier life, different backgrounds, and differences of value systems.

The characters became people to me...people with foibles, guilts, passions, and joys. Anna is defined at the beginning of the book by her all-consuming love for her brother, and her brother would do anything for her, as well. Karl is a man in love with the land, but lost without the comforts of people for company and homesick for his native Sweden.

The mail-order bride story has become almost a cliché--but this story is no cliché, it is a tale that could have happened.
reviewed The Endearment on + 60 more book reviews
Another great Spencer book!


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