Author: Liz Curtis Higgs
Title: Here Burns My Candle
Publication Date: March 16, 2010
Number of Pages: 454
Part of a Series: Yes, part one of two; the sequel Mine Is the Night will be published 3-15-2011.
- Nobility -- Scotland – Fiction
- Family secrets – Fiction
- Scandals – Fiction
- Scotland -- Social life and customs -- 18th century – Fiction
- Love stories
- Family secrets
- Eighteenth century
- Nobility – Scotland
- Personal conduct
- Men/women relations
Geographical Setting/ Time Period: 18th century Scotland
- -Dowager Lady Marjory Kerr: a headstrong and well-bred aristocratic mother.
- -Lady Elisabeth Kerr: wife of Lord Donald; beautiful but humble daughter of a Highland weaver.
Plot Summary: Based on part of the Book of Ruth, this novel is set in late 18th century Scotland and describes the changing relationship of a mother, Dowager Lady Marjory Kerr, and her daughter-in-law, Elisabeth. Their family suffers extreme loss as a result of the Jacobite rebellion. Marjory and Elisabeth realize they must work together to reclaim their lives, their faith in God and their hope for the future. Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, this story sets the stage for the next book in which Marjory and Elisabeth find redemption and romance.
Appeal: An even mix of action and dialogue, the third-person narrative begins slowly but picks up quickly as conflicts arise and secrets are revealed. While the dedication to period authenticity tends to slow it down, dialogue, interspersed with glimpses of different characters’ introspections, along with short chapters help to pick up the pace. The characters are identifiable by their human flaws, which makes them easy to relate to and gives the plot many layers. Their actions push the narrative forward and support the frame, fleshing out the realistic portrayal of life in 18th century Scotland. Belief in God and redemption through faith are central themes. This story is open-ended, with significant elements left to be resolved in the next book.
Brief quote: “Elisabeth could not ignore the mounting clamor from the street below. Fear lodged itself in her throat like a pinch of stale cake. No matter how firmly she swallowed, ‘twould not move. Instinctively she clasped her wedding ring, slowly spinning it round her finger. Come home, Donald. ‘Tis not safe in the street.” (page 39, first paragraph of chapter 8)
Prizes or Awards: none
Similar Works: Grace In Thine Eyes by Liz Curtis Higgs Christian romance set in Scotland; Outlander by Diane Gabaldon, historical fiction, set in Scotland
Reviewers Name: Lori Chatman
Form is adapted from Saricks, Joyce G. and Nancy Brown. Readers' Advisory Service in the Public Library 2nd. Chicago: ALA, 1997.