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VOWS by LaVyrle Spencer Review

VOWS by LaVyrle Spencer Review Book Review

Vows written by LaVyrle Spencer keeps up to its title, that is, ‘Wow’  and is very PROMISING for the plot, storyline, characters and vocabulary. The story is set back in the Victorian Era and moves slowly yet steady enough to keep its readers hooked to the plot.

Having come across various stories with excess drama and extreme plot twist, I feel this one was like a preview of reality which is very much relatable to today’s time irrespective of its origin back in the 1900s of West USA.


LaVyrle Spencer’s work is very detail oriented as she provides the description of the minutest detail of every scene which makes you feel as though you area real time witness of the scene taking place.

This quality of books truly justifies the poem ‘‘TELEVISION’’ written by Roald Dahl. The description of the character’s emotions puts the reader in the shoes of the character thereby helping them understand it better.

The story of the protagonists Tom Jeffcoat and Emily Walcott begins with enmity and banter. Tom Jeffcoat, a handsome bachelor who had newly moved in the town of Sheridian Wyoming. During their first meet, Tom had somehow kept his cool and did not reflect back the anger sourced out by Emily.

Her anger, was however justified because Tom had at first mistaken her for a puny boy wearing britches, suspenders, aprons and working in a livery barn. This was entirely opposite of how women of that period had groomed themselves.

Tom had always seen women around him in gowns and skirts, pluming cheeks and had kept their boundaries to household chores and bearing children. As result, that was a completely new sight he had witnessed.

Despite Tom being extremely dashing with his appearance, Emily was not quite impressed and noticed only his shirt with half sleeves. Perhaps, that was Tom’s way to style his shirt.

Further, her anger increased when he had stated that the inconvenience on one of her horse’s foot was just a sand crack which could be solved easily and did not require so much of her rumination. This was a disgrace to Emily’s learning about horses over the years. Well, he was all the more correct with his words.


She was finally his sworn enemy when she learnt that Tom was here from the east to set up his own new business of blacksmith and livery barn. She was thus sure he was going to be her father’s toughest competitor, as before this Edwin Walcott, Emily’s father, alone owned the only livery barn in the town thus, it was his monopoly.

This did not seem to cool down although her father had assured her that there was enough business in the town for of them. Tom was courageous enough to start something of his own from scratch in a market he knew was ruled by monarch. He was fearless.

But why was she so irritated for this very reason. It was so because she knew that this would be another set of worries which her father had to solely deal with and he was already facing enough and more with his wife almost dying every day.

Josephine Walcott was the reason behind which the Walcott family had to migrate from Philadelphia to Wyoming. Josephine was once upon a time an active woman, quick with her work, dedicated towards her family and home, modest with her behavior, plum body, very lady like, which was the signature of her personality.

Sadly, she was a victim of severe lung damage and as a result had weakened terribly. They had failed to respond to any treatments, leaving the family with only one option which was to move to the west with a hope that the clean air and suitable climate would be a boon to Josephine.

This move had worked good for people they had known but set back to do the same for her. Consequently, she was devoid of the spirit and energy to do any work or even simply walk. In fact, she had to be carried down from her room to dine with her family.

This had completely disrupted the smooth functioning of the house causing Emily, Edwin and Frankie to divide the work among themselves. A huge secret about Josephine and Edwin unfurls, disclosing that the married duo had never loved each other even after spending twenty years together.

Their   relation was no doubt strong because it was laid on the foundation of trust, loyalty, understanding and most importantly respect for each other. This secret was also associated with Fanny who was supposed to be Josephine’s cousin and Edwin’s love before his wedding with Josephine.


Fanny was a free-spirited woman with an admirable face and potentially stood out of the crowd of women of Victorian era. A woman who believed in living life to the fullest. She always fulfilled her wishes and desires and embraced her choice of likes and comforts and also traveled alone without needing any man.

She had the courage to voice her opinions even during that age and stand up for herself in the most elegant way possible. She kept herself from denting by the rules and restrictions of the society.


It was this quality of her with which she instantly caught Edwin’s attention and it was this was quality of hers because of which his parents had rejected her. Edwin had always been his parent’s obedient son who would not turn away his parent’s decision as he believed that would be best for him and hence, he had to tie a knot with Josephine.

Even after decades, his love for fanny was intact just the way it was when it first bloomed. He had not allowed anybody to take her place. A shift to Emily Walcott, who was facing a confusion.

Confusion which would be familiar to most teenagers in today’s time. Do I really like this person? Do I feel good around him? Do I have that type of feeling for him? Do I reciprocate it? Did I behave wrongly? Should I accept or reject? What if I sound rude?

All these questions were running in loop with regard to Charles… he was her childhood friend. They were friend from the time they almost three or a little more. He was a companion who was readily accepted by her entire family.

He was a genuine person and never had wrong intentions for Emily. He felt for Emily more than friend and could not keep himself from confessing it. As a result, Emily found herself in a conundrum. She had never felt for him that way but she was somewhere sure that her family always expected him to be their son in law.

She did not want to hurt his feelings for she knew he was not bluffing around and was well aware of his substantial sacrifice when he left his own family in Philadelphia to relocate with them only for Emily, however in a different house.


With so much hate in her heart for Tom , what how was a spark lit in the heart of the tomboy? Well it was Tarsy Fields, Emily’s best friend in the town, quite the bubbly teenager, overexcited, curious and impulsive.

She was the one who had noticed Tom for his outwardly appealing appearance and physical appearance and in today’s dialect, had a die hard crush on him. She was the one who made Emily change her point of view towards him after she had prudently praised him in front of Emily so much that the next time they met she could not help but notice.

Even before she could inspect what was happening to her and around, Another surprised had knocked the door of the Walcott house with the arrival of Fanny Cooper. Fanny however did not intend to spoil the condition of the house but she was called in there by Josephine herself so as to help her family to settle back in their lives.

Fannie had done so willingly without holding up any grudge for anyone in the family of four. In no time fanny was liked by everyone for positivity and the warmth she led out. Not only did she contributed for housework but also loved Emily and Frankie like her own despite knowing they were her love’s children with another.

She also introduced Emily and Tarsy to the concept of partying which they fascinated like any new adult. By this time Emily had learnt that Charles and Tom had become Best friends and Charles had also helped tom to a great extent to build his new home and livery barn. As a result, tom had recourse Charles to settle his new life in the new place.

Ironically, Charles wished to bring Emily and tom to understandable terms which make it easier for him to balance. With a lot happening, Emily had accidently accepted Charle’s marriage proposal.

Emily stayed in a state of denial refusing to withdraw from the unintentional relationship she was accidently bound into as she was delusional about the fact that nobody would ever accept her and love her the way Charles did. The news of the bethrotal had called for a celebration in her house.

They wished to it like any of the parties described by Fanny. All the youngsters and seniors were called to grace the party with their arrival. Surprisingly or not so surprisingly Emily had dressed up to best of her femininity; in a pink gown, all elegant. All of this for whom ? Charles? Tom?

Yes it was for Tom. To show him how graceful and elegant she could look, and was not always a tomboy, like how he used to call her.

But here arises a question of great importance?


What was in Tom’s heart? Did he feel the same way and not just showing it? Did he too have a past which he was hiding? Will Emily be able to confess her feelings for tom? Was fanny and Edwin’s love still intact? What consequences will they have to bear? Will Josephine survive?

Why did she ever call Fanny to them? Was she already aware of the past? What change will the parties bring into their life? What role will destiny play ? Are Tom and Emily meant together? To conclude, without any doubt or confusion this book felt like a warm coffee on a rainy evening.

Rating: 4.6 Out of 5

Language: English

Pages: 198

Date of Publication: 08.10.2018

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