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Monday, March 14, 2011

Here Burns My Candle...Review

About the book:
A mother who cannot face her future.
A daughter who cannot escape her past.

Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.

Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.

His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory’s many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.

One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.

A timeless story of love and betrayal,loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.

Being of Scotch descent, I love stories about Scotland.  The history is so fascinating to me and I am amazed that 250 years later, the 1745 uprising is still intriguing to so many.  Liz Curtis Higgs paints a terrific picture of the history of the Scottish rebellion and the agonizing choice many felt as they chose sides.  Her portrayal of the ruthless persecution of those who supported Prince Charles is terrific.

The Kerr family has their place in society and their secrets which are buried deep. Lady Elisabeth is a Highlander and staunch Jacobite. She appears to be Christian but can't completely give up her mother's tradition of worshiping the moon.  Her husband is a lowlander and, at first, a supporter of King George.  His mother, Lady Marjory is more concerned with her money, her sons and her place in society than she is in the welfare of other people. 

As the rebellion grows, the family finds itself stretched and torn.  But, as faith is renewed and forgiveness offered, hope reigns, even in the midst of tragedy and loss.

I liked Elisabeth.  I tolerated Marjory.  I hated Janet, but I think I was supposed to.  I didn't like Donald and his lying, philandering ways.  I loved Gibson.  I can't wait to see what happens to him in the next book.

Some might call the story predictable. The pace is a bit slow, but the history is rich and the story is enthralling.  I look forward to the sequel, Mine is the Night.

Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Liz Curtis Higgs here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 3/11

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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