Tuesday, November 29, 2011

HERE BURNS MY CANDLE, by Liz Curtis Higgs

 From the beginning of Here Burns My Candle, right on through to the end of its sequel, Mine is the Night, Liz Curtis Higgs leads the reader through an inspired retelling of the story of Naomi and Ruth in the Old Testament.
 I'll be reviewing Mine is the Night next week. In my opinion, the two books should be read in sequence. After finishing Here Burns My Candle, I couldn’t wait to pick up Mine is the Night to see how the story turned out.
 Higgs sets the tales in Scotland in the eighteenth century. Her devotion to detail, both with settings and dialect, is impeccable. Here Burns my Candle opens with Lady Marjory Kerr living in comfort in Edinburgh society. Her two sons, Donald and Andrew, with their wives, share the family apartment.
 Lady Elizabeth Kerr, Donald’s wife, is the main focus of the story. A Highlander by birth, she doesn’t fit Lady Marjory's idea of a proper wife for her beloved elder son.
 When bonny Prince Charlie's supporters mount an uprising against King George, Lady Elizabeth's loyalties come into question. The choices made by each member of the family propel the Kerrs into ever deeper political waters. The story reads like dominoes falling--each incident leads inevitably to the next shattering event.
 Here Burns My Candle is a dramatic story, well worth the hours I stole from other activities to read this excellent novel.
 Check back here next week for my review of Mine is the Night. And if you've read Here Burns My Candle, I'd love to hear your opinion of the story.

Monday, November 21, 2011

THE HEIRESS, by Susan May Warren

            The Heiress provides a fascinating glimpse into what has been called the Gilded Age in America. Warren has created two sisters, Esme and Jinx Price, and used them to illustrate the opulent lifestyle of the era's most privileged citizens.

            Esme, the older sister, is forced by her family into an engagement to a man she does not love--or even like. Her sister, Jinx, is consumed with an envy that ultimately drives her into a life of deception.

            The Heiress is a well-researched novel that captures readers and transports them back to the early 1900’s. Filled with secrets and intrigue, as well as romance, The Heiress is the compelling first novel in the epic Daughters of Fortune series.

            Warren used the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau as her inspiration for this story. She’s done a superb job. The Heiress is a book to be read and savored.

Monday, November 7, 2011


The teaser on the back cover of The Fence My Father Built reads, "This is the story of finding your way home--even when home is a trailer in the middle of nowhere."
And what a story this is. Muri Pond's parents divorced when she was a small child, and she has spent her life dreaming about reuniting with her father. When she decides to take the journey to eastern Oregon to find him, she takes her less-than-eager children with her. Her fifteen-year-old daughter would be a handful for two parents, but Muri is newly single and barely able to cope with the girl's rebellion.
When they reach her father's property, her aunt and uncle welcome her with open arms--to a rattle-trap single wide trailer set in the middle of the arid eastern Oregon landscape. Muri quickly learns that a wealthy neighbor will do almost anything to buy Muri's father's land. The question is, why would he want it?
Solving this mystery, learning about the father she barely remembers, and coping with her children is made somewhat bearable for Muri when she meets the veterinarian who lives nearby. But he, too, is being pressured by the same wealthy man who is making the Pond family's life difficult.
In The Fence My Father Built, Clare has crafted a story that moves along without a hitch. If you enjoy family drama sparked with suspense, you’ll love this book.