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Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs
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Liz Curtis Higgs was my introduction to Christian Historical Fiction many years ago with her first Lowland Series of a retelling in the Scottish Lowlands of the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau, Jacob's wives, and later Dinah. The time in between waiting for the next novel was torture and thus I turned to other authors to bide my time and hence my current obsession with so many authors and stories today. It seems that it has been a long time in waiting for a new novel from Liz and I was eager to grab this one up. In starting this story, a retelling in Scotland's Edinburgh of the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi I had some preconceptions for what would happen and was shocked at how slow things seemed to transpire at first, but the story did pick up and sucked me in with it.

Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage it is her story that that of her mother-in-law Lady Marjory Kerr that the pages are brought to life. Following along as they watch from the recessed side lines of battle between King George of England and Scotland's own Bonny Prince Charlie causes quite a stir of emotions. Learning with them through their own trials as some old ways are forgotten and God makes a difference in their lives is refreshing and eye opening showing his presence in the best of moments and well as the worst.

Knowing that this story was loosely of Ruth and knowing most of the Biblical story by heart, I ended at a point surprised having expected a different part. This just went to show me that I did not know all of the story, just the last part and causes me to have a newly increased thirst to go back and read the scriptures in full to delve into the first eighteen verses which it seems I hardly know at all. With all that said, I am entirely too eager to anticipate the next installment and sequel in [b:Mine is the Night|7892131|Mine is the Night (Sequel to Here Burns My Candle)|Liz Curtis Higgs|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nocover-60x80.jpg|11122792] to come in 2011. ( )
  cherryblossommj | May 28, 2013 |
In Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs, you are introduced to the Kerr family: dowager Lady Marjory and her sons and daughter-in-laws, Donald and Elisabeth and Andrew and Janet. The story mostly focuses on the three women and is a retelling of the first half of the Biblical story of Ruth. This retelling is set in Scotland in 1745 during the Jacobite uprising. The family is entrapped in a web of family secrets that destroy the family and bring about major changes in the lives of the characters.

Did I like this book? Yes and no. It honestly wasn’t my favorite. I did enjoy the Scottish setting, as I love books set in Scotland, and the time in history it was set in was interesting. The story line it’s self was interesting and the overall story was well written. But I did find it a bit dry and it certainly is a long-ish book. All of the characters were flawed and that felt more true-to-life than some other Christian fiction where the main character is often too good to be true. Lady Marjory is manipulative and spoils her sons. Donald is a serial adulterer and I absolutely did not like him. Elisabeth is a closeted pagan and long forgiving wife. Janet is self-involved and selfish. Andrew is spoiled. The most likeable is Elisabeth and she does prove to be the “glue” that holds things together as their lives spin out of control, but in regards to Donald, she is a doormat that he walks all over.

I love historical fiction, but honestly I did not enjoy reading this book. From the number of positive reviews, a lot of folks did, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I think Liz Curtis Higgs is a fine writer and I may try reading another of her books in the future, but I just had an awful time getting into this one.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, WaterBrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed 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.” ( )
  Susan.McNiel.Godfrey | Aug 14, 2012 |
I received the second book in this series as a part of early reviewers and just had to read them in order so I purchased this book. It was a million times more than well worth it. I absolutely loved this book, set in Scotland in 1746. The main character is a "bonny highland lass" married to Lord Donald. The story centers around Elizabeth and her mother-in-law Marjory and their different views and actions.

I have never read a book set in this setting and I fell in love with the characters Scottish accents if you "ken" what I mean.

Now that I am deep within the second book in this series, which picks up right where the first leaves off I cannot imagine never reading this book.

I think that a truly great story is so well-written that the plot flows along, is not constantly suspenseful, nor is it predictable. Liz Curtis Higgs does this beautifully and I will be looking for more of her books to read. ( )
  Tara22 | May 13, 2011 |
A beautiful re-telling of the Biblical story of Ruth. The story is truly engaging, overflowing with actual historical detail and imagery. The characters are fascinating yet relatable. Higgs weaves an exceptional story that encompasses all that mankind has to offer, including love, loss, loyalty and faith. ( )
  Altarasabine | May 9, 2011 |
This is a hard review for me to write. Why? Because although I thought the author did a great job of creating a very accurate picture of the times and people and situations that took place in this story, it was a time and place I just didn't have alot of interest in. Although I must say when I finished I felt I gained a better of understanding of the situations that took place in in Scotland in 1745. This for me was a very "dark" (for lack of a better word) story, where everything does not turn out "happily ever after" and showed the hardships that people face in a time of bitter war. I had a hard time getting into the story, but by the end I was reading faster to see how it would all turn out. It is not a lighthearted story, but as true a story as fiction can be. I read someone who said it is a more modern story of the book of Ruth in the Bible, and I would agree with the analogy.

Elizabeth Kerr is a Highlander by birth and has married and is now Lady Elizabeth Kerr. She lives with her husband Donald, her mother-in-law, Marjory and Donald's brother and his wife in Edinburgh. Prince Charlie and his army come into town to capture the crown and enlist the help of the Kerr men. The whole family seems to have secrets from their past (and present) and it all comes out eventually. Tragedy happens, but so does love and forgiveness and hope. There is betrayal, lies, war, love, cruelty and a spark of hope that keeps on burning. I would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for sending me this book for review. (The book has a great cover and so does its sequel.) ( )
1 vote judyg54 | May 4, 2011 |
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All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.
-Saint Francis of Assisi
For two treasured Elizabeths in my life: Elizabeth Crawford Potts, my beloved mother, who left this world too soon, and Elizabeth Sullivan McLain Higgs, my precious daughter-in-law, who brings our family such joy.

And for Bill, always and forever.
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Lady Marjory Kerr heard a frantic tapping at the bedchamber door, then her name, spoken with marked urgency.
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A mother who cannot face her future. A daughter who cannot escape her past. A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.… (more)

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