“Here Burns My Candle”

Book Review of: Here Burns My Candle, by Liz Curtis Higgs

I wanted to slap Lord Donald’s face for his wandering eye, and console Lady Elisabeth in the midst of sorrowful times and false accusations. That’s how close I felt to the characters as the respectable Kerr family life is portrayed in 18th century Scotland.

In Lady Elisabeth’s shoes, I’m not sure I would have been so kind under dowager Lady Marjory’s (her mother-in-law) scrutinizing, negative demeanor. Lady Marjory was known for her “sharp gaze and sharper words.” Yet Lady Elisabeth remained humble, faithful and forgiving. I felt personally involved as she gradually progresses from her worship of the moon and the Nameless One to reading the Buik (Bible) and relying on the Almighty One. “If the Almighty directs our steps, we’ve no need to look back over our shoulders,” responds Lady Elisabeth to her mother-in-law. Lady Marjory realizes her daughter-in-law became wise when she started “reading the Buik and taking it to heart.”

I especially looked forward to the epigraphs that opened each chapter…pondering each as I read along to discern what action was about to unfold and how Ms. Higgs arrived at that particular quote.

Opposite nationalities and religious faiths weave their ways within the family—often causing divisions, and sometimes unity. It’s a stirring story about brutal and bloody wars between bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army intent on capturing the crown in 1745.

Many years ago, I was first introduced to Liz Curtis Higgs and her whimsical, Bible-based children’s books. I’d never read any of her adult writings until this novel. In the past, I’ve not been a reader of historical fiction, but Here Burns My Candle kept me anticipating each new chapter. I am eager to read her next novel and follow the Kerrs to their journey’s end in, Mine is the Night.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Waterhouse Multnomah book review bloggers program, “Blogging for Books.”

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