Here Burns My Candle
by Liz Curtis Higgs, 2010, 454 pages.
Recently I had a chance to join “Blogging for Books”, a book review program sponsored by WaterBrook Multnomah, and I just finished reading “Here Burns My Candle” by Liz Curtis Higgs, her first new release in 4 years. You may remember her as the author of the “Bad Girls of the Bible” books.
“Here Burns My Candle” tells the story of Lady Elisabeth Kerr and her widowed mother-in-law, Lady Marjory Kerr during the 18th century Scottish uprising of Bonny Prince Charlie. Living in Edinburgh, Lady Marjory’s two sons quickly join the Prince’s army when it comes through town and leave their wives behind with her. Both Elisabeth and her sister-in-law, Janet, are Highlanders by birth which further complicates their relationships. Elisabeth struggles with the auld ways and eventually turns to the Bible for comfort and strength.
The author’s descriptions of the city are accompanied by a sketched map that helps readers to track the comings and goings of the characters, something that I personally found very helpful. I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of clothing and Lady Elisabeth’s skills as a seamstress. As the family’s fortunes slip away and they are ostracized in the city, she takes on running the household and cooking too. I think the author has done a excellent job of researching and filling in historically accurate details. The Scottish dialogue definitely adds to the flavour of the book.
The story is a retelling of the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi, very well done in its development of characters and plot. Each of the short chapters begins with an apt quote, many of them from Scottish writers and poets, a detail that I liked. The book moves along in a very readable and interesting manner. If you like history and the retelling of old, familiar stories I think you will find this book a very good read.
I am happy to share my copy of the book so leave me a comment by Thursday and I’ll send it off to one lucky reader.
Disclaimer: This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.
You can read the first chapter here.
Please click over here if you are interested in the Blogging for Books program.