You’re about to enter spoiler city, so consider yourself warned. But y…’all…I need to discuss!
First, check out the official description:
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.
Before I started the book, I read somewhere (please don’t ask me to remember, I barely remember what I ate two hours ago) that it was the re-telling of the first half of the book of Ruth. I know that story well and the first half is rather sad. Everyone dies.
As I read a few chapters, it became clear who the family would support, the Bonnie Prince (aka the Young Pretender), and I knew from history this rebellion wasn’t going to end well, as a Scot has never taken over the crown (let’s not talk about Mary Queen of Scots, homegirl was beheaded). Meaning that, again, people are going die.
So about halfway through, I’m thinking “this is going to end terribly. I don’t know how, but the sons are going to die and the sister-in-law -who I totally don’t like anyway- is going to bounce like a gummy bear as soon as things get real. Why am I still reading? I should just stop, so I won’t be sad. Why isn’t there a second half?? Oh well, I’ll finish and see what happens.”
Then while perusing amazon.com, I clicked on some of Liz Curtis Higgs’ other books and realized THE.STORY.CONTINUES (Mine is the Night). I knew I could breathe easy and make it through the rest. And I hit up my library immediately to get part two.
If the Kerr story ended with this one book, I would have hated it. Knowing it continues though, made this book what it is. A foundational, sad and character-transforming prequel that preps you for Mine Is The Night. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but while I haven’t yet read Mine is the Night, I know it will be extra awesome because I read this one first. Higgs’ has created memorable characters that leave you thinking about them long after the book is done.
Example A) I tried to like Donald, I really did, but he needed to man up and actually back up his promises with actions. Mmmhmm..words mean nothing buddy. Nothing. I’m sad he had to die, but I just kept thinking he didn’t deserve the wife he had.
Example B) I wanted to drop kick the previously mentioned sister-in-law. She lied, she was bratty and annoyed me. Shoo shoo chick, leave this place.
Example C) I didn’t think I was going to like the mother-in-law, so as I mentioned, the first half of the book had me skeptical. But then the changes Higgs brought about really changed my feelings.
D) AND WHAT HAPPENED TO ROB??????????????
Seriously people, you know it’s good when this is the reaction :).