Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

Leah Courtney
I must insert a small disclaimer here at the beginning of this review.   I love, love, love (is that enough "loves"?) Scottish historical fiction.  I dream of wandering the bonny hills one day myself and seeing all of those wonderful places.  But, until then, I live vicariously through wonderful books.  I also greatly enjoyed Liz Curtis Higgs retellings of the life of Jacob and his wives and his family (also set in historical Scotland).  And, I've enjoyed her nonfiction Bad Girls of the Bible books also.  So, unless something had gone horribly awry, I was destined to love Here Burns My Candle.

I was not disappointed.  In this retelling of the story of Ruth set in historical Scotland at the time of Bonny Prince Charlie (1745), Elisabeth Kerr lives with her husband and his family in Edinburgh.  When Elisabeth's husband and his brother decide to join the Jacobite cause, Elizabeth is left, along with her sister-in-law to be a companion to her mother-in-law, Marjory.  Both of the women have secrets that come to light throughout the story as they face personal loss and the loss of the Jacobite cause.  The book has a definite unfinished ending, leaving the reader wanting more.  But, there's not so much of a cliffhanger that one feels angry at the non-ending.

True to what I've come to expect from Higgs' books, the characters were compelling, and the plot was extremely interesting.  The historical Scottish setting was the icing on the cake for me, as I plunged deeply into this page-turner that kept me up at night wanting to read more, more, more.  I'll certainly be looking for the conclusion of Elisabeth's story!

I give this one a strong 5 star rating.  It's a PG book due to some delicate subject matter that is handled very discreetly but is present.

I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Press for review purposes.  All opinions are always entirely my own.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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