Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Light a Penny Candle Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 252 customer reviews

See all 34 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$6.55 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$39.50

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The chaos of World War II London sends preteen Elizabeth White to the safety of Ireland and into the lives of the much larger and emotional O'Connor family. The enduring friendship she finds with her counterpart, Aisling, forms the framework of this novel, offering clear contrasts between the two families and countries. The early chapters of Binchy's 1982 debut novel are engagingly humorous, filled with solid characterizations of these two very different but compatible adolescents. The girls sustain their friendship and distinct personalities through regular letters, but unfortunately they must grow up and the novel may strain under the conventionality of the genre and some inconsistency, perhaps due to Binchy's inexperience as an author at the time she wrote the original story. Her cousin Kate Binchy reads the book well, capturing the innocence, yearning, and growth of the girls. Recommended for larger fiction collections.
-Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A find...so rich and engrossing you can forget your own problems. -- Glamour

An Irish Thorn Birds...complete and rewarding. -- Newsday --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451192028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451192028
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (252 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,356,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Ingredients
Example Ingredients

Directions
Example Directions

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This novel was recommended to me by my grandmother and a few of my friends. I had no doubt that it would be good, because I have enjoyed many other books by Maeve Binchy. I never expected it to effect me as deeply as it did. It is so absolutely complete, with war, peace, love, hatred, marriage, divorce, murder, insanity, friendship, respect, birth, disease, and death. You become so utterly attached to the wonderful characters, that each moment of joy for them is a moment of joy for you, and likewise, each moment of pain felt by them is painfully felt by you.
I was so proud of the way the two main characters, Aisling and Elizabeth, took control of their lives and defeated all odds. I believe they should be models for all women! The most wonderful thing was their friendship - they stood by each other through thick and thin! I have never read a book that moved me as deeply as this one, but I do find it to be very similar to "Gone With the Wind." Both "Light a Penny Candle" and "Gone With the Wind" were led by bold women who made it through times of trouble (in both cases war and many other challenges) and nothing ever brought them down. I never wanted it to end!
Comment 55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the first Maeve Binchy book I read and I loved it! I have read every book of her's (except the latest and will do so) and while there are some fluctuations in interesting stories and characters over the course of her many books over the years I believe this book is truly one of her best.
We get drawn in by the well-rounded characters and interesting stories Ms. Binchy devises in this book and I plan to read it again. That is about the highest praise I can give a book-the desire to read it again a few years later when someone says, "Hey, have you read such-and-such" and I think to myself, "I've got to read that again, it was SO good".
Comment 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a big fan of Maeve Binchy's cozy, inviting stories that never stint on human emotion and yet always manage to keep their "homey" quality, I found LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE to be another good example of her work. It deals with choices, compromises, torn relationships, and family strife, but it's also a story about the incredible power of friendship. Right up until the end, it was a good read. The end itself, though, is disappointing. I won't give anything away, but don't expect Binchy's signature "I want more" ending. She usually leaves her characters without total closure, but THIS ending is something else. I had to knock the book down a star for it.
5 Comments 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on June 23, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I am not a seasoned reader of Binchy's books, there are a few things I just have to say. I first read this book when I was 13, it's been 10 years, and I can still completely immerse myself in it. I grew up in non-western environment and I can honestly say I could relate completely to the small Irish town mentality portrayed in this book as well as the responses of the main character to her cloistering social set up- the initial desire to run away from it all, the eventual compromise that threatens to destroy her, and the guilt that comes after she finally asserts herself as an individual. The characters were so real, and Binchy's style was so captivating that I literally had to stay up for 2 nights straight so I finish reading it. In fact my only complaint regarding this book is there doesn't seem to be any sequel. This is tragic. This should be remedied immediately. Aside from being a fascinating account of two very different girls from two very different family set ups in wartime Ireland and postwar England, this book can be said to be the definitive statement of what friendship is supposed to be all abou
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book about once a year. If you're going to read Maeve Binchy books, just expect a few things. Anyone who doesn't follow the teachings of the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church is going to come to a bad end. If you are living a life of quiet desparation in a stultifying Irish small town, take a class or start a small project and your life will get instantly better! Light a Penny Candle follows the Binchy rules, but it somehow stands out from her other works. The characters are a bit more real, the story a little more complex. Binchy does have a nice way with the rhythms of language in rural Ireland and suburban England and that is one of the great pleasures of her books. I do enjoy this novel.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The first half of the book is great. However, the second half (after Elizabeth gets back to London) is getting worse and worse, the more you read. The end is disappointing, as everybody seems to go mad and out of character : Elizabeth and Aisling act in a way completely unrelated to their previous behaviours. A huge disappointment, as the author writes so well and wittingly she could certainly put her talent to better use.
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought for certain I would go blind reading this book - every night I would read until my eyes just couldn't process any more of the print. Although it covers many, many years of the two women's lives it never once got boring. I kept turning the page wondering who would live or die, who would sleep with whom, who would marry whom, etc. Very compelling!
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?