A Candle in the Dark Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Ana was raised in abject poverty. She has made her way in the world of mid 19th century New York by exploiting her intelligence and her body, but she still resides in a world of violence. One night the violence touches her and she find herself needing to escape.
Cain Alessandro is an alcoholic doctor. He ekes out a meager living between drinking bouts. When he is given a chance to go to California where gold has been discovered he agrees even though he will be posing as Ana's husband. Cain has no interest in the physical if it does not involve acohol.
The trip, part way by ship to Panama and then by land cross the isthmus, tests both of them physically and emotionally as they face their demons. These are two people one really wants to win.
Some other notable points: Alcoholism and addiction are extremely well-portrayed. The helplessness, terror, and insanity of being enslaved to the bottle was spot-on. And this book, featuring a doctor protagonist, takes a different approach to medicine--the doctor isn't the usual avant-garde thinker-scientist on a mission, bucking the medical norms by eschewing bleeding, leeches, etc. He simply uses what he knows as best he can. There's a quiet heroism in that.
A CANDLE IN THE DARK takes some of my least likable character-types and has their actions evolve from their personalities. They are faulty and prone to err but this is the driving force for their story.
Dr. Cain D'Alessandro has seen better days. He is a drunkard and lush; we would now call him an alcoholic. When given a choice of anything and the bottle, he always chooses alcohol. Ana 'The Duchess' is a prostitute and, possibly, a murderess. She hates what she is and wants to change but hasn't found a way to go about it. She is closed-mouth about her childhood but you know something bad happened. Like-wise with Cain. Both of these flawed people come from damaged pasts.
Ana needs his help but ignores him once their escape from New York begins. When he looks at her all he sees is contempt, but their situation calls for them to stay together. He is suppose to be her protection in the guise of a husband. He manages to pick away at the wall she has put around herself with a simple comment, a look or a question. But something that chisels a crack in that same said wall.
Ms. Chance has given the reader a more realistic view of what it means to have an addiction. It is not glossed over and you feel the struggling Cain goes through.Read more ›
Ana, 'The Duchess,' is a prostitute and looking for a quick way out of town. She may have killed one of her customers and she knows that the madam of the bordello will not sit on her hands while Ana escapes.
D'Alessandro is recommended as a protector (in the guise of being Ana's husband), to accompany her on the long ship voyage from New York to Panama and then via a horrible overland journey through 20 miles of jungle. Finally, the travelers will board a ship to travel up the California coast to San Francisco.
D'Alessandro and Ana are deeply flawed people in great pain. As soon as Ana boards the ship, she ignores Cain as much as possible. When she looks at Cain at all, he sees contempt. The reader quickly understands that neither person feels able to talk about the grief they carry.
This is a very different kind of book; I hesitate to say much more about the complex plot. My only disappointment was the uneven pacing; things dragged a bit at times. This book isn't always easy to read because of the subject matter and the conditions of life and travel at the time. At the end, the reader will feel greater insight into the human condition. An amazing book; 4.5 stars
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I very much enjoyed this book. It would have been a good series start.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
good book, but a bit much of leaving/no staying/leaving/staying!!!!
While I did enjoy this book I was not happy with all the spelling mistakes. Because of that I rated the book a 3 along with the fact it was not one of Megan Chance's better books.Published 19 months ago by The O Family~
iwas very pleased how my order was handled se quickly
and iloved the story was awonderful
I was happy to discover that this novel was written in 1993 because it can't hold a candle (pun intended) to Ms. Chance's recent works. Read morePublished 23 months ago by L. M. Ring
One of the major surprises is that our hero is a spectacular drunkard. He is so bad, so far gone, and I have ZERO tolerance for alcoholics. Read more
I haven't read historical fiction for some time and was delighted to read this book. It covers an era and location – pre-canal Panama – in vivid and muddy detail. Read morePublished on September 19, 2013 by P. H. Lund