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.


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