Saturday, April 02, 2011

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

I recently read "Here Burns My Candle" by Liz Curtis Higgs.  This is my honest review......

This story is set in Edinburgh in 1745. It revolves around Lady Elizabeth Kerr, a Scottish highlander and a secret Jacobite, who is married to a lowlander nobleman, Lord Donald Kerr. Lady Elizabeth loves her husband and he professes to love her but he has one major character flaw – he can’t remain faithful. Lady Elizabeth trusts him and while she is aware of the rumors, she prefers to ignore them until she comes face to face with the truth. Lord Donald’s mother, Lady Marjory, the widowed matriarch of the family, has her own secrets. She has a fortune in coins hidden in the floor of her room. Her youngest son, Andrew and his wife Janet come across as high society, ungrateful, freeloaders. Lady Marjory and her family have been staunch supporters of King George, while Lady Elizabeth supports bonnie Prince Charlie. This causes strains and difficulties for the family who eventually decide that it is to their benefit to support the prince in the revolt against King George. As history tells us, that is a fatal mistake. Eventually the family loses everything and has to flee.

I didn’t realize until I had finished the book that is it supposed to be based on the Biblical story of Naomi and Ruth. The similarities are that the ladies are widows, they move to a different locale, and Elizabeth insists on staying with her mother-in-law rather than go home to her non-believing mother. Lady Elizabeth practices the “auld” ways until she realizes that her prayers to the moon are not working. She eventually comes to believe in the Christian faith of Lady Marjory.

The story and plot lines were very interesting and enjoyable, however, the frequent use of the Scottish dialect was somewhat distracting and tends to slow the reader down. Fortunately, the author includes a glossary in the back of the book.

The author pays close attention to historical detail and her descriptions are so vivid you can almost see yourself walking down the street experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of old Scotland.

Apparently there is a sequel which I look forward to reading because the ending of this book is rather abrupt.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you have read this book I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

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