Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Liz Curtis Higgs's Here Burns My Candle ~ Reviewed
Here Burns My Candle
By Liz Curtis Higgs
Published by WaterBrook Press
Lady Elizabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.
Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.
His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory's many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.
One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.
A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.
She's back! Liz Curtis Higgs returns to her fans after a four-year hiatus, with her best novel yet, and Here Burns My Candle is a jewel in her crown. Rich in the tumultuous history of that era, you'll be swept into the past and tiptoe along dark, stone passageways with the Lord and Lady Kerr. Novel Journey and I give Here Burns My Candle our highest recommendation. It's a must read.
Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan
Editor, Novel Journey
I really enjoyed Liz Curtis Higgs’ last series that started with A Thorn in My Heart, so I jumped at the opportunity to receive a review copy of this book. Here Burns My Candle is a story loosely based on the biblical characters of Naomi and Ruth. Mrs. Marjory Kerr represents Naomi. Marjory’s a woman that wants the best for her sons and a mother that can’t face her or her family’s future. Elizabeth, Marjory’s daughter-in-law represents Ruth, a woman that has left her country of the Highlands, but not the practice of worshiping the moon -- which she does in secret. Elizabeth plagued with doubt that her husband really loves her and tries to fit in this foreign land. She is unsure of this countries nameless God.
Liz creates a heartfelt, colorful story which touches on all your senses. It’s rich in history as she describes the political takeover of Charles Edward Stuart and how the people loved him. This author has done her research and uncovered some fascinating treasures; you can read about in the author notes at the back of the book.
It was a little difficult to get into the rhythm of reading the dialect in this story. I found the author notes fascinating and the Scottish Glossary in the back of the book extremely helpful. I prepared myself for the read by starting with the Glossary and the author notes; which is filled with a wealth of information. Then I dug in. Liz tells of her beloved Scotland and how most of the city is the same now as it was back in 1745. This author loves Scotland and has been there several times. Who better to write this story, than someone who loves the land and its people? This was a fascinating read and one you shouldn’t rush through. I’m looking forward to the sequel, Mine is the Night, which will be out in stores spring 2011, and you will too!
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator
This book was supplied by WaterBrook Press
Liz Curtis Higgs was my introduction to Christian Historical Fiction many years ago with her first Lowland Series of a retelling in the Scottish Lowlands of the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau, Jacob's wives, and later Dinah. The time in between waiting for the next novel was torture and thus I turned to other authors to bide my time and hence my current obsession with so many authors and stories today. It seems that it has been a long time in waiting for a new novel from Liz and I was eager to...more Liz Curtis Higgs was my introduction to Christian Historical Fiction many years ago with her first Lowland Series of a retelling in the Scottish Lowlands of the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau, Jacob's wives, and later Dinah. The time in between waiting for the next novel was torture and thus I turned to other authors to bide my time and hence my current obsession with so many authors and stories today. It seems that it has been a long time in waiting for a new novel from Liz and I was eager to grab this one up. In starting this story, a retelling in Scotland's Edinburgh of the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi I had some preconceptions for what would happen and was shocked at how slow things seemed to transpire at first, but the story did pick up and sucked me in with it.
Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage it is her story that that of her mother-in-law Lady Marjory Kerr that the pages are brought to life. Following along as they watch from the recessed side lines of battle between King George of England and Scotland's own Bonny Prince Charlie causes quite a stir of emotions. Learning with them through their own trials as some old ways are forgotten and God makes a difference in their lives is refreshing and eye opening showing his presence in the best of moments and well as the worst.
Knowing that this story was loosely of Ruth and knowing most of the Biblical story by heart, I ended at a point surprised having expected a different part. This just went to show me that I did not know all of the story, just the last part and causes me to have a newly increased thirst to go back and read the scriptures in full to delve into the first eighteen verses which it seems I hardly know at all. With all that said, I am entirely too eager to anticipate the next installment and sequel in Mine is the Night to come in 2011.
Reviewed by: Margaret Chind