Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Title: Here Burns My Candle
Author: Liz Curtis Higgs
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah publishing group
Date released: March 16, 2010
Stars: **** 3/4
Age rating: 15 & up
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.
Now, when I started Here Burns My Candle, I wasn't a fan of Liz Curtis Higgs at all. I had read one of her other Scottish historicals, Thorn In My Side, and couldn't even finish it. I already knew how that story ended and really didn't wish to read it again (way too sad for me). But, when I finished Here Burns My Candle, I was definitely converted. The first book in the saga of the Kerr family started out slow, but half way through, the story really picked up and I was hooked from then on.
The story centers around Elizabeth Kerr and her mother-in-law, Marjory.
Elizabeth is a devoted wife, highlander and a fierce Jacobite. But, she married into a lowlander family, who have as many secrets as she does. At first, I really didn't connect with Marjoy. She seemed distant and cold and only concerned about her two sons.
I felt bad for Elizabeth, because she wanted to please her mother-in-law and only to have Marjory think her simple and true to her highland heritage.
Ms. Higg's main characters were well rounded, having flaws, struggles and desires. But, I liked her secondary characters much better. They seemed less mundane than the others. Two characters that I would rather not see again (but were crucial to the plot)were: Lord Donald (Elizabeth's philandering husband) and Lucy Spence (Donald's mistress). Throughout the story, I really wanted to liked Donald. He seemed like he wanted to change for Elizabeth. But, towards the end I was tired of him making promises to Elizabeth then turning around and breaking them, with the help of Lucy Spence. Lucy was just a mean hearted widow, taunting Elizabeth with the fact that she wasn't the only one. While there is churning turmoil in the Kerr family, there is another family causing a turmoil of it's own. The last Jacobite uprising is in full swing, with Bonny Prince Charlie romancing the heats of the lowlanders with his highland cause. The Kerrs are devoted to the king but, they too, get caught up in the cause. They soon lose more than just their titles, by siding with the Prince. Here, Burns My Candle is strongly based on the biblical story of Ruth and Naomi and Ms. Higgs never deviates from it (beside location and time). She adds more detail and emotion than the biblical story. This is definitely hardcore historical fiction that at times it becomes a little tedious for the reader. However, I'm eager to see what happens to Marjory and Elizabeth in Liz Curtis Higg's next book, Mine Is The Light, which is said to be coming out next spring.
If you would like to learn more about Liz Curtis Higgs and her books go to:
*Thanks so much to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for giving me a review copy and giveaway copy of Here Burns my Candle*
Okay, now for the best part.......the GIVEAWAY!!! One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Here Burns my Candle for themselves!=D
Now for the not so fun part........ the giveaway rules:
* You must have a valid e-mail address (you must leave your e-mail address in the comment to be entered in the contest. To prevent spammers write e-mail addy like this.... i.e: i95fahrenheit[at]ymail[dot]com)
* Must have a valid U.S mailing address.
* U.S residents only
*The giveaway will start on Mar. 22th, 2010 and end on Mar. 30th, 11:59 pm, 2010. Any entries after the set date will not be entered in the giveaway
* The winner will be announced on Mar. 31st, 2010 on this blog. The winner will be contacted via e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the e-mail. If they do not reply within the 48 hours, a new winner will chosen.
For extra entries:
1+ For commenting (including the link and your e-mail address)
1+ For becoming a new follower
2+ For being an old follower
4+ For post (on the sidebar of your blog) about this giveaway on your blog.
Be sure to include all extra entries in the one comment.
Have a great Y'all!