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Here Burns My Candle: A Novel Paperback – March 16, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Prolific and popular Christy winner Higgs (Whence Came a Prince) returns to Scotland with this historical tale set in the 1745 Jacobite rebellion led by Charles Edward Stuart, grandson of the deposed King James. In Edinburgh, Lady Elisabeth Kerr brings beauty, modest origins, and Highland-born sympathy for Bonnie Prince Charlie to her marriage to the handsome royalist Lord Donald Kerr, who loves his wife and has an eye for beautiful women. She secretly follows the auld ways, pagan worship of the moon. Donald, too, has his secret affairs; his widowed mother, Dowager Lady Marjory Kerr, has bags of gold hidden away. The story begins slowly, picking up speed after characters and tensions are introduced and rebellious forces take Edinburgh. The characters are remarkably flawed—the better to be redeemed in an evangelical Christian novel—though Donald's flaws and Elisabeth's notable patience may try some readers' patience. Higgs is a stickler for period authenticity and has done her homework on history and dialect. Fans have been waiting five years for this novel and will not be disappointed. (Mar.)
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From Booklist

As a Highlander, Elisabeth Kerr is delighted when she hears that bonny Prince Charlie is marching on Edinburgh, intent on claiming his father’s throne. The rest of Elisabeth’s family, including her mother-in-law Dowager Lady Marjory Kerr, is less than thrilled with the idea given that they owe their position in society to the British crown. When it seems as if the Prince actually has a chance of taking back Scotland, allegiances in the Kerr household quickly shift, but even as the Kerrs try to weather the turbulent political climate during 1745–1746, other family secrets threaten to tear them apart. In the end, though, only their faith can save both Elisabeth and Marjory. Based on the first part of the Book of Ruth, Christy-award winner Higgs’s latest richly detailed, leisurely paced novel about two women whose faith brings them closer together is a compelling tale of love, loss, faith, and forgiveness that is certain to please both inspirational readers and fans of well-crafted historical fiction. --John Charles

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1st edition (March 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400070015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400070015
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Liz Curtis Higgs admits, "My goal is simple: to help women embrace the grace of God with joy and abandon!"

Her latest release, It's Good to Be Queen, encourages readers to become as bold, gracious, and wise as the queen of Sheba, who journeyed across the desert to test the mind and heart of King Solomon.

In her best-selling series of Bad Girls of the Bible books and videos, Liz breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous--and intriguing--women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene. Biblically sound and cutting-edge fresh, these popular titles have helped more than one million women around the world experience God's grace anew.

Liz also offers a twenty-first century take on the book of Ruth in The Girl's Still Got It, dishing out meat and milk, substance and style, in a highly readable, always entertaining, and deeply personal journey.

And you'll find a heartwarming Bible study wrapped inside a beautiful gift book with The Women of Christmas. Verse by verse, Liz unwraps the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, who each welcome the Christ child into the world in a marvelous and miraculous way.

Liz's award-winning historical novels, which transport the stories of Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Dinah, Ruth, and Naomi to eighteenth-century Scotland, also invite readers to view these familiar biblical characters in a new light.

According to Publishers Weekly, "Higgs is a stickler for period authenticity." To that end, Liz has traveled sixteen times to Scotland, the setting for her novels, and has filled her shelves with nearly one thousand resource books about Scottish history and culture.

Also a gifted professional speaker, Liz has presented more than 1,700 inspirational programs for audiences in all fifty United States and fourteen foreign countries. When the National Speakers Association honored her with the Council of Peers Award for Excellence, Liz became one of only 35 women in the world named to their CPAE-Speaker Hall of Fame.

On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, Ph.D., who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill enjoy their old Kentucky home, a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, and are the proud (and relieved) parents of two college grads.

"I have three abiding passions: encouraging my sisters in Christ, exploring the stories of women in the Bible, and writing novels set in Scotland of old. When I'm not traveling, speaking, or spinning a story, I connect with readers online, take copious photos, read historical novels, watch period films, and immerse myself in research--the more books, the merrier. I'm a lame housekeeper, a marginal cook, and a mediocre gardener, but home is still my favorite place to land."

Visit Liz's Web site:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Deutsch on March 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Here Burns My Candle" was a wonderful combination of the book of Ruth and a fictional story set in Scotland. Liz told the story of Ruth and Naomi in a way which brought their story to life. It was obvious Liz did a great deal of research, Biblical as well as historical. For me, this helped the book become more alive.

At times Liz used Scottish dialect in order to enhance the story. I will warn you, you will have to use the glossary which was thankfully put in at the end of the book. The book is long, over 450 pages, and at times, it could get a little slow.

In the end, it's a powerful story about a widowed mother in law, her two sons and their wives. There is war, there is worship of a pagan God, there is questioning of God's plan and purpose. There is conflict, yet in the end, God's love rules supreme. If you like Liz Curtis Higg's books, you will certainly like this one.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. B on April 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the first novel I have read by Liz Curtis Higgs. Here Burns My Candle is the story of a Lowlander family in 1745. Lady Marjory Kerr has taken up residence in Edinburgh, along with her two sons and their wives.

She and her hand-picked daughter-in-law, Janet, love to participate in all that the upper society has to offer. The death of her husband has left her fairly well off with income from lands around a country estate. That was his love; hers was the city life and all it had to offer. While keeping her gold hidden under her chamber floor, in her heart she hides the guilt she feels from urging her husband to keep them in a fashionable residence in the city. Her sons can do no wrong: she spoils them and their wives, providing them the money to live on and a place of residence.

Lady Elizabeth Kerr, on the other hand, married Lord Donald Kerr out of love. She is a Highlander by birth and therefore from a different social level. She is an expert seamstress and busies herself much of the time with beautiful stitchery. She is not as enamored of social standing as are her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. She is kind hearted and humble. She secretly worships the moon as taught by her family, though she dutifully attends church services with the Kerrs. Unbeknownst to herself and the rest of the family, her husband has secrets of his own.

Here Burns My Candle is rich with description. At one point I felt like I should make scones and have tea! I liked the way the characters developed through adversity, and how they came to know or come back to the one, true God. Well-researched Scottish history made me think I should dig into a history book on my own.

Love, betrayal, loss, redemption; all rolled into one satisfying novel.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Phee Paradise on July 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
The second half of Here Burns My Candle is full of suspense and unexpected heartbreak. Through it, two women, Elisabeth and her mother-in-law, Marjorie, learn to trust God and love each other. God speaks to them through His word, then patiently waits for them to respond in the midst of trials.
Unfortunately the reader has to be patient too, because the first half of the book moves very slowly. Higgs creates a real picture of 16th century Edinburgh in the midst of the Jacobite rebellion. We meet Marjorie, who loves only her sons and her gold, and Elisabeth, who is having a crisis of faith. We also meet Marjorie's sons and her other daughter-in-law, all of whom have their own issues. But they are very interesting people leading very boring lives. Even when the sons join the Jacobite campaign, we are left behind, watching Marjorie still hoarding her gold and Elisabeth still questioning her faith. The only suspense I felt was wondering what would happen when Bonnie Prince Charlie lost his attempt to win the British throne for his exiled father.
In fact, the real story starts when the Prince's campaign heats up. From that point, the two protagonists face one trial after another. Many of them are personal, but the climax of the story hinges on Charlie's defeat. The growth of the two women through the unexpected plot twists produces a heart wrenching story.
My favorite part of the book was when I realized that it is the retelling of a well loved Bible story. I'm a little dense and didn't get it until almost the end. I'm sure you will recognize it much sooner than I did. Here Burns My Candle, is in fact, just the beginning of the story, so look for the next book which will tell the more familiar part of it.
Pros: Very well written story of God's patience and provision.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Here Burns My Candle is loosely based on the Book of Ruth in the Bible. I really had a hard time getting into this book for because 1)I am not a history buff person, 2) the Scottish dialect was difficult to figure out, but once I did ... no stopping me, 3) Knowing it was suppose to be based on the Ruth & Naomi story I was surprised at some of the content. What I do not understand is the plot line with Lord Kerr being unfaithful to his wife. I've study the book of Ruth, and its not there. This is a huge liberty the author takes with this story. Actually not much was said about either of the young men in the Biblical account of Ruth. For this reason I've marked this as only a 3 star review.(I don't like spoilers in a review so I won't go into any detail).

Like I mentioned, the Scottish dialect was difficult for me. There is a Glossary in the back of the book yet some of the words were not there. Also, at the end of the book is the Author's notes. I suggest reading those first, especially if you are not a history buff, because Ms Higgs does explain about places, people, and a bit of history that might make the book a wee bit easier to read, enjoy, and understand.

1745 Edinburgh Scotland ... it is a well researched, well thought out, and a well developed story. I found myself lost in the lives of Kerr family and even their staff. How life brought the different classes together. Real life struggles, family secrets (past and present) and how the loss of everything brings them together on the same level. Lives are changed by the One who created all. Lives are changed by actions and not words.

I do think how interesting it would have been to live in those times ... the dress (which by the way was described so you could see the vivid colors and hear the rustling of the skirts); the society, the similar and yet dangerous times. I was drawn into 1745 Edinburgh, High Street and all the rest.

Now onto the sequel, Mine In the Night.
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