Here Burns My Candle

( 64 )


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 ...

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Here Burns My Candle: A Novel

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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.

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  • Here Burns My Candle
    Here Burns My Candle  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Here Burns My Candle

“Liz Curtis Higgs has an unmatched ability to illuminate the depth of human emotions while taking her readers on a breathtaking journey through the darkness and light of another time and another place. With the deft hand only a master storyteller can apply, Higgs reaches back to the past and weaves a multi-threaded tapestry into a brilliant tale of betrayal and challenge, love and redemption. Her gift continues to shine.”
—BJ Hoff, author of The Emerald Ballad series

“A wonderful retelling of the story of Ruth by one of my favorite authors. Here Burns My Candle is rich with historic detail and living, breathing characters that engaged me from page one right through to the perfect ending.”
—Francine Rivers, author of Redeeming Love

“Prepare to burn your own candle well into the night as Higgs treats us to a verra wonderful Scottish tale of faith, forgiveness, love, loss, and secrets. I couldna put it doon!”
—Deeanne Gist, author of A Bride in the Bargain

“Settle in with Here Burns My Candle, Liz Curtis Higgs’s imaginative reworking of the tale of Naomi and Ruth, and venture back to a dangerous and fascinating time with characters who are as endearing as they are flawed. You can almost hear the drums of war and the swish of kilts and satin.”
—Angela Hunt, author of Let Darkness Come

“Higgs’s pen flows with gold when it turns to Scotland. Enticing from gripping first page to satisfying last, Here Burns My Candle will sweep you away!”
—Tamera Alexander, author of Beyond This Moment

“Once again Liz Curtis Higgs pens an exceptional story of intrigue, romance, and spiritual faith. Her attention to historical detail gives this story a life all its own, and the characters were so real I found myself thinking about them throughout the day. I simply could not put this book down.” 
—Tracie Peterson, author of Dawn’s Prelude

“Liz Curtis Higgs writes with a cinematic eye—color, texture, emotional depth. Her words give breath to this fresh twist on a beloved Old Testament story. Here Burns My Candle radiates the author’s love of Scotland and its mesmeric history in this story of women bound by obligation yet tethered to devotion. It will keep you up all night until you’ve turned the last dramatic page!”
—Patricia Hickman, author of The Pirate Queen

“I love a story that engages the heart first, the mind second. While reading Higgs’s novel, I became her noble heroine and was convicted by similarities to her antagonist, learning through it all. Come away to an enchanting glimpse of ancient Scotland and beyond. Truly amazing.
—Lisa Tawn Bergren, author of The Begotten

Library Journal
During the 1745 Jacobite uprising in Scotland, Lady Elisabeth Kerr and her husband, Lord Donald Kerr, are on opposite sides of the political divide. And both have secrets: Elisabeth follows the pagan religion, while Donald carries on affairs with several women. They, along with Elisabeth's mother, Marjorie, try desperately to guard their secrets as political tensions build in the country. VERDICT Christy Award winner Higgs (Whence Came a Prince) has a faithful following, and though these characters are sometimes too whiny, the author's broad appeal makes this a winner for those who love period detail in their historicals.
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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400070015
  • Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/16/2010
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 386,336
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of twenty-seven books with three million copies in print, including her best-selling Scottish historical novels, Thorn in My Heart, Fair Is the Rose, Christy Award–winner Whence Came a Prince, and Grace in Thine Eyes.
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Read an Excerpt

Night’s black mantle covers all alike.
Milne Square, Edinburgh
14 September 1745
Lady Marjory Kerr heard a frantic tapping at the bedchamber door, then her name, spoken with marked urgency.
“News from the Royal Bank, mem.
At this hour? Marjory lifted her head from the pillow, her gaze drawn to the wooden shutters, closed for the night. The coals in the fireplace had faded to a dull glow. She squinted but could not read the clock on the mantelpiece. Had she slept at all?
“What is it, Peg?” Marjory called out.
Her maidservant answered in a breathless rush of words, “They’re moving the bank’s effects to the castle.”
The hair on the back of Marjory’s neck rose. Transporting money and documents from the foot of New Bank Close to Edinburgh Castle involved a long climb up a winding street where brigands and thieves lurked in the shadows. The Royal Bank would never embark on so risky a venture. Not unless the day’s alarming reports had proven true.
“ ’Tis the Hielanders,” Peg whispered through the crack in the door as if the word itself might bring a hoard of savages thundering up the stair, brandishing their swords. “Folk say the rebel army will reach Linlithgow by morn.”
At that, Marjory flung off her bedcovers, any notion of sleep forgotten. Linlithgow Palace was less than twenty miles west. The army was too near her door. And far too near her sons, one of whom stood ready to bear arms at the slightest provocation. Was there nothing she could say to dissuade him?
She hurried across the carpet barefooted, too distraught to hunt for her brocade slippers. All of Edinburgh had followed the ominous approach of the Highland rebels led by their bonny Prince Charlie. Determined to reclaim the British throne for his exiled father, James—Jacobus in Latin—the young prince and his loyal Jacobites were marching toward Scotland’s capital, intent on capturing the city.
“May it not be so,” Marjory said under her breath, then swept open the bedchamber door to find her maidservant perched on the threshold, her linen cap askew, her brown eyes filled with fear.
“What are we to do, Leddy Kerr?”
“Bolt the door at once.” Marjory tightened the ribbons on her sleeping jacket, warding off the night air that seeped in, however fast the shutters. Her trembling had nothing to do with the fearsome Highlanders, she told herself. Nae, not for a moment. “Make haste, lass.”
She watched Peg scurry through the darkened drawing room into the entrance hall, holding aloft her candle stub, which cast a pale circle of light on her tattered nightgown. Small for her seventeen years, with hair the color of a dull copper ha’penny, Peg Cargill was hardly a beauty. Her eyes were set unbecomingly close together, and her small nose disappeared amid a sea of freckles.
By the fire’s glow Marjory caught a glimpse of herself in the silvery looking glass by her side. She quickly turned away but not before her thoughts came round to taunt her. Hardly a beauty. She touched her thinning crown of hair and her sagging chin, then sighed, wishing the glass offered better news. Had it not always been thus?
In her youth few gentlemen had taken note of her until they learned she was the daughter of Sir Eldon Nesbitt. Even then their gazes had fallen on her father’s impressive property rather than on her unremarkable face or figure. Time had not improved matters.
Peg reappeared, bobbing a curtsy. “ ’Tis done, milady.”
Marjory gestured toward the adjoining chambers, where her sons and their wives had retired for the night. “Have you told the others the news?”
“Nae.” A faint blush tinted Peg’s cheek. “I heard them…that is…Mr. Kerr…”
“See they’re not disturbed,” Marjory said firmly, wanting no details.
 “And keep the stair door bolted.” She dismissed the girl with a nod, then locked the chamber door behind her. Let the Highlanders storm the crumbling walls of Edinburgh. They would not gain entrance to the Kerrs’ apartments. Mr. Baillie, the merchant who owned her residence, would see to that.
Alone once more Marjory lit a candle at the fireplace, then drew a steadying breath and knelt beside the canopied bed, as if preparing to offer her nightly prayers. Instead, she reached down and loosened one of the boards along the edge of the thick, woven carpet. Her servants, even her family members, believed the Kerr fortune rested safely among the Royal Bank’s effects, now bound for the castle. She alone knew the truth. Lord John Kerr had never trusted banks.
The board gave way, revealing a musty repository between the joists. Marjory bent closer, her nose wrinkling at the dank smell, her eyes seeking a cluster of leather purses in the flickering candlelight. There. The mere sight of them put her mind at ease. Nearly two dozen purses lay hidden beneath her chamber floor—a tribute to God’s provision and her late husband’s prudence.
She chose the nearest one, taking pleasure in its weight before slowly emptying the purse onto her bedding. One hundred gold guineas poured out, each coin stamped with the profile of her sovereign, King George. Marjory counted the lot, then set aside a few guineas for the coming week’s expenses and returned the bulging purse to its nesting place.
Greengrocers and fishmongers expected payment upon purchase. But mantua makers gladly extended credit if the Kerr women might display their gowns at the next public ball. Although a nervous town council might demand its citizens remain withindoors, ending their festive Thursday evenings at Assembly Close…
Nae, surely not!
Marjory sank onto the edge of her bed with a soft groan. What a dreary social season lay ahead with the rebel army afoot! No weekly visits to Lady Woodhall’s drawing room to share cups of tea and savory tidbits of gossip. No rainy afternoons spent with Lady Falconer, listening to country airs sung by a daughter of the gentry. No rounds of whist in the affable company of Lord Dun. Nothing but royalist dragoons patrolling the High Street, bayonets at the ready.
A sharp knock at the adjoining bedchamber door made her jump, nearly spilling the handful of guineas from the bed onto the carpet. “Who is it?” she asked, unhappy with herself for sounding frightened.
“Donald,” came the low reply.
Lightheaded with relief and grateful for his company, Marjory deposited the money on her dressing table and ushered her older son within, then closed the door as quickly as she’d opened it. With no central hallway in their apartments, each room had adjoining doors, one chamber leading to the next. Even among Edinburgh’s wealthiest residents, privacy was rare.
“Forgive the intrusion, Mother.” He looked down at her, candle in hand, his smooth brow gleaming. The cambric loosely tied at his neck could not hide the sharp lines of his collarbones. Ten years of dining on Edinburgh’s finest mutton and beef, and still his frame remained as slender as a youth’s. “ ’Tis late, I know,” he apologized.
“The hour matters not.” Marjory touched his cheek affectionately, struck afresh by the family resemblance. Donald had the same long nose Lord John once had, the same thin-lipped smile. “Look how the father’s face lives in his issue,” she quoted, testing him. It was a favorite pastime between mother and son.
“Ben Jonson,” he answered, naming the playwright without hesitation.
Few gentlemen in Edinburgh were better read than Lord Donald. She’d made certain of it. Heir to the Kerr title and lands, he’d proven himself an attentive son and a faithful husband. If he was not yet a doting father, that was no fault of his.
“Still in your boots,” Marjory observed. “I thought you’d be off to bed by now.”
The corners of his mouth twitched. “I will be shortly.” He scanned the chamber, his gaze finally landing on the pile of coins glimmering in the candlelight. “Do you think it wise to leave your gold where anyone might find it?”
Donald not only looked like his father; he sounded like him. Marjory swept the coins into her silk-fringed reticule and pulled the drawstrings taut. “We have far greater worries this night. The rebel army is nearing Linlithgow.”
Aye, Gibson told me.” The stoic Neil Gibson, manservant to the household, took pride in keeping Donald and his younger brother well groomed and well informed. “I’ve come to put your mind at ease, Mother.”
“I see.” She chose her next words with care, keeping her tone light. “Does that mean you’ll not be joining the Gentlemen Volunteers?” She watched his blue eyes for a flicker of interest. Hundreds of young men had enlisted in support of the royalist troops, many from Edinburgh’s finest families. Lord willing, her sons would not be numbered among the recruits.
“I’ve no such plans,” Donald confessed, “though I cannot speak for Andrew. You know his penchant for flintlock muskets.”
She did know, much as it grieved her. Lord John had urged their second son to pursue a career in the military, despite her motherly protests. Pistols, swords, and a dozen French muskets decorated Andrew’s bedchamber walls. Even walking past his many weapons unnerved her. Monsieur Picard, their fencing master, had trained the lads well. But he’d done so for sport, not for battle.
That very afternoon Andrew had observed the Volunteers drilling in the College Yards. Marjory had counted the hours until he returned home for supper, then listened with a heavy heart as he regaled the family with stories of grizzled sergeants marching the lads through their paces. “Have no fear,” Andrew had said soothingly at table. “The Lord Provost took no notice of me, Mother.”
She was unconvinced then and even less so now, with his older brother paying a late-night visit. “I have your word?” she prompted Donald. “You’ll not encourage Andrew to take up arms against the Highland rebels?”
He brushed aside her concerns. “Whatever you say.”
Donald began circling her chamber, with its oil paintings and Chinese porcelain, its silk bed hangings and red lacquer commode. Piece by piece she’d had her favorite plenishings delivered from Tweedsford, their estate in the Borderland, until their rented Edinburgh rooms were filled to bursting.
When Donald paused at one of her windows and unfastened the painted shutter, Marjory’s breath caught. Might a Jacobite spy be abroad at this hour? Pale and fair-haired, Donald would be easily spotted from the High Street below.
“No moon in sight,” he observed, resting his forehead lightly on the glass. “No Highlanders either.”
“They’ll arrive soon enough.” Marjory extinguished the candle by her bed, shrouding the room in darkness. “Sleep while you can, Donald. And keep that bonny wife of yours close at hand.”
“Aye.” The smile in his voice was unmistakable. “So I shall.”
He left by way of the drawing room door rather than the one leading to his bedchamber. Bound for the kitchen, no doubt. He’d eaten very little at supper. Mrs. Edgar, their housekeeper, would not let him retire on an empty stomach.
Marjory closed the shutters, then returned to bed, determined to sleep however dire the news. Her beloved sons were safe beneath her roof. Nothing else mattered.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 64 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 3, 2011

    So Good!

    Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs was written prior to Mine is the Night. I read Mine is the Night first and FINALLY had the opportunity to read Here Burns My candle. These are two books that I will definitely be reading again. They are written so well and the characters are developed very nicely. It is easy to get right into the story. Liz Curtis Higgs does a wonderful job incorporating historical fiction into her writing. She engages her readers from the very beginning.
    As I mentioned in my previous review for Mine is the Night these books do not have to be read in order, however, Here Burns My Candle does set up the next story. It was nice this time to be able to have some of my questions answered and to have more background information for some of the Scottish History. I have read many historical fiction books and it is always nice to view different locations and the history that is present there.
    I highly recommend both books!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    In Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs, you are introduced

    In Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs, you are introduced to the Kerr family: dowager Lady Marjory and her sons and daughter-in-laws, Donald and Elisabeth and Andrew and Janet. The story mostly focuses on the three women and is a retelling of the first half of the Biblical story of Ruth. This retelling is set in Scotland in 1745 during the Jacobite uprising. The family is entrapped in a web of family secrets that destroy the family and bring about major changes in the lives of the characters.

    Did I like this book? Yes and no. It honestly wasn’t my favorite. I did enjoy the Scottish setting, as I love books set in Scotland, and the time in history it was set in was interesting. The story line it’s self was interesting and the overall story was well written. But I did find it a bit dry and it certainly is a long-ish book. All of the characters were flawed and that felt more true-to-life than some other Christian fiction where the main character is often too good to be true. Lady Marjory is manipulative and spoils her sons. Donald is a serial adulterer and I absolutely did not like him. Elisabeth is a closeted pagan and long forgiving wife. Janet is self-involved and selfish. Andrew is spoiled. The most likeable is Elisabeth and she does prove to be the “glue” that holds things together as their lives spin out of control, but in regards to Donald, she is a doormat that he walks all over.

    I love historical fiction, but honestly I did not enjoy reading this book. From the number of positive reviews, a lot of folks did, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I think Liz Curtis Higgs is a fine writer and I may try reading another of her books in the future, but I just had an awful time getting into this one.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, WaterBrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2012

    Another Great Higgs Novel!

    Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs is the first of two books which retell the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi. Both books are set in Scotland during the 1700s and both are amazing works of literature which will steal your heart.

    Here Burns My Candle uses the framework of the Ruth and Naomi story--along with some creative license--to help you understand the back story of these two women who have nothing find everything through God. In addition, you get a glimpse into the struggles that Elizabeth (the Ruth character) has in coming to faith in God and leaving behind the old beliefs she grew up with as a child. Higgs also helps you to see things from Marjory's (Naomi's) perspective too. She was a women who had it all and left her home for the "greener grass" only to end up penniless and alone.

    Higgs does a great job of helping you relate to her strong female characters. However, there are a few slow parts in the book that might have been shortened to keep up the overall pace. That being said Here Burns My Candle is still an excellent book with so many life lessons to be learned within its pages.

    It is also successful in leaving you wanting more, which is the perfect lead in for its sequel--Here Burns My Candle.

    I heartily recommend this book to Higgs fans and to those who love Biblical parallels/allegories. Here Burns My Candle will not disappoint!

    I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Chantelle to shawn

    U here

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    a must read

    Here Burns my Candle by: Liz Curtis Higgs

    Back in March I did a review of Mine is the Night this was the second book in a two book series. I have now had the honor of reviewing the first book in this series- Here Burns my Candle.

    I must say that when starting to read this one I was afraid I would not enjoy it after all I knew how the story ends having read the second book in the series. After putting the reading off for a few weeks I began reading and once again was very intrigued by Higgs's writing once I got started into the book I could not put it down and read the entire book very quickly. The interesting thing between these two books is that they tell to completely different stories in the same character's lives.

    I was fascinated when I began reading this book with the fact that the characters had come so far between book one and two. There was some serious heart changes and growth of characters between the two stories.

    Just as in book two the story parallels the story of Ruth in the bible. As you read this story you can not help but feel joy, and grief along side the Kerr family as they struggle through a war time.

    I highly recommend these books. I am sure you will enjoy the journey back to eighteenth-century Scotland. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!!

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for Waterbrook Multnomah for review purposes only. The opinions in this story are mine and are not influenced by the company.

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended to Historical Fiction Lovers!

    "When the flame began to lick the edges, Elisabeth let his unsigned letter slip from her hands into the grate and watched Donald's sins turn to ash."

    Lady Elisabeth Kerr wasn't born with the typical resolve of a young society-dweller to climb the proverbial ladder of titles. A Highlander by birth and a silent follower of the auld ways, she is misplaced in the city of Edinburgh among her husband's family. Despite conflict, she remains deeply and, seemingly, mutually entranced with her husband - someone with his own secrets to keep. Her mother-in-law, the dowager Lady Marjory, and her sister-in-law by way of her husband's brother, Mrs. Janet Kerr, dwell within the same household offering bracing personalities and passive disapproval. However, the pulsing vibration of coins beneath the dowager lady's floorboards beat into a grasping story of their own.

    "Here Burns My Candle" holds a very special place in my heart for a number of reasons. However, the main point relevant to this review would be that it marked a newly ignited flame for audiobooks. I listened to Liz Curtis Higgs' voice on a long car trip to visit my parents and then on my (short) commute to and from work for several weeks after.

    As a historical novel, "Here Burns My Candle" soars above others. I, purposely, do not have an extensive collection of Christian fiction, as it is not something I typically gravitate towards due to themes or their sometimes repetitive nature. "Here Burns My Candle" does not push an over-ambitious sermon into the reader's experience - pulling from the story. Instead, the religious elements of the book are woven into the fabric of what's presented, more as a plot point than an agenda, despite the out-rightly Biblical roots drawn from the story of Ruth and Naomi.

    Through reading several reviews, I've gathered there has been some displeasure with Higgs' use of Scots terms. As I listened to the audiobook, I cannot comment on this as an issue with readability, but, for it's part in my experience, I felt these terms helped me to further immerse myself into the impeccably researched culture and atmosphere of Edinburgh in 1745.

    Every detail was studied down to its marrow for purest accuracy, and it's something I proudly display on my shelf. If you enjoy the concept of 18th Century Scotland, this is a book for you.

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  • Posted May 1, 2011

    Disappointing Drama set in Historic Time Period.

    Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs. Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Redemption. Plot: Bonny Prince Charlie has gathered the wild Highlanders of Scotland in an attempt to retake his father's throne, which is, by rights, his. Swept up in all the commotion is the capital city of Edinburgh, into which Charlie and his men ride one September day in 1745. The Dowager Lady Marjory Kerr dislikes and distrusts the Highlanders as she goes about her day, hiding her gold under her floorboards and her guilt in her heart. Marjory's greatest fear is that her sons, Lord Donald Kerr and Andrew, will take it into their heads to join the Gentlemen Volunteers and set out to do battle with the bonny prince. Elisabeth Kerr, Donald's wife, is a Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, and "Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets." She spends her days trying to win her mother-in-law's affection and barricading her heart against the rumors concerning her husband and the widows of Edinburgh. As the plot unfolds, one by one, everyone's secrets are revealed. Elisabeth's hidden loyalties to the bonny prince become known, giving her some relief and allowing her to sport the flower favored by her prince. When her beloved brother Simon arrives in the city with the prince's army, Elisabeth learns of her mother's current situation and why her brother left home in the first place, causing her to add guilt to her already heavy burden resting on her young shoulders. Her world spins seemingly out of control when Simon is tragically killed; donning black, Elisabeth realizes that she has lost her faith in her peoples' long worshipped nameless and very distance god. Stranded, she begins to search for someone to guide her but that someone won't be her husband who is harboring a dark secret of his own. When Marjory's worst fear is confirmed by the enlistment of both her sons, without her permission, the three Kerr women {Janet, Andrew's wife, doesn't really play a major role in the story} are forced to band together and strengthen each other against the perils that they encounter during the hard, cold winter that follows. But when tragedy strikes the Kerr household beyond what they had expected and hoped wouldn't happen, Marjory and Elisabeth both must reach for strength beyond their own in order to cope with the trials ahead. Likes/Dislikes: While this book was well written, with amusing and enlightening quotes heading each chapter and wonderful Scottish phrases thrown in here and there, and the characters were all well drawn, I couldn't fall in love with it, much as I wanted to. Donald's character was the primary cause for this; I already knew from having read the sequel before this one that his was a disreputable reputation, I was still disgusted with further details of it. There is also one scene in which it is quite plain what Elisabeth and her husband are about to do; I really, really could care less about what a husband and wife very much in love with each other do when they have only an hour left together before he leaves with the army. Nothing graphic is "shown" however, for which I am thankful. Another thing I was rather disappointed with was that while this book takes place in a historical setting, it doesn't really give any details on the history other than three battles mentioned in which Charlie fights and his ultimate defeat. It was more of a fictional drama set in a historical time period. PG-16 and up. I do not rec

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Like The Book of Ruth!

    Elisabeth lifted her gaze to the High Street window where she often stood on the sixth day of the moon, hand pressed to the glass, beseeching the Nameless One. Thou moon of moons. Aye, she still recalled the simple rituals and sacred words her mother had taught her. What Elisabeth no longer remembered was why they mattered. - Pg. 16

    The Book of Ruth is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Here Burns My Candle cloaks the story of The Book of Ruth in the Kerr Family.

    It is 1745 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Lady Elisabeth Kerr, a secret Jacobite and a Highlander, lives in a house with her mother-in-law, Lady Marjorie Kerr and her sister-in-law, Lady Janet Kerr. Lord Donald Kerr, favorite son of Marjorie and adored husband of Elisabeth, has an addiction to sex. Elisabeth worships the moon in secret as her Scottish ancestors had done in years past. Lady Marjorie hoards her gold beneath the floor boards following her late husband's habits of not trusting banks. Janet married the second son-a man fraught with health problems-and she competes with Elisabeth to get a son or a daughter, a first-born and is after Marjorie's fortune. Elisabeth is barren. She loves her husband and struggles with his infidelity. The family is loyal to King George for a little while until Elisabeth's thoughts and ideas influence them.

    The characters are complex. Elisabeth becomes the light shining during their difficulty as loyalties clash and wars reign and riches dwindle. Through death and hardship character is born and two people become believers. The sign of a good book are the lack of cookie cutout characters. These characters begin proud and later become broken. Following along the lines of The Book of Ruth a fragmented family of varied personalities grow closer. The book does not end, but the ending is unexpected, a bright outlook into a new unknown world. There is a second book that follows the life of the Kerrs and I can't wait to read it. The middle and end surprised me. I did not expect that the plot would unfold the way it did and actually thumbed a few pages ahead to confirm to my horror. Overall, I loved the book. Liz Curtis Higgs wrote twenty-seven books, but this is my first sampling of her work.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

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    The pace was more like paint drying.

    My latest read and review for Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group is "Here Burns My Candle" by Liz Curtis Higgs. It's a historical romance novel. The scene is set in 1700 Scotland.

    The story revolves around the Kerrs. Marjory, the dowager, is head of the household. She has two sons. Lord Donald is married to Elizabeth. And Andrew is married to Janet.

    Donald and Elizabeth have many secrets. Donald is a philanderer. Elizabeth supports the Jacobites and also has questionable religious beliefs.

    I know that doesn't sound like much. But, in truth, there isn't really much excitement. Elizabeth has a few family issues, and that's about all there is.

    It is a slow read. I enjoy historical romance novels nonetheless. I wish there was some passion, comedy, or something.

    Don't get me wrong. I liked the story. I just wanted a faster drama filled pace. And the pace was more like paint drying.

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Sadly Disappointed

    I was very excited when this book was in my list of review options since it's historical fiction. If you've read some of my previous book reviews you know this is one of my favorite genres.

    As I started reading, I was slightly disappointed. I could NOT get into this book! The chapters are each only a few pages long and after just one chapter I'd put the book down and walk away. I never do that! Honestly, I can't quite figure out what my problem was with the book. It was a decent story, just not captivating. When I finally got interested in the book (at the very end) and kept reading and reading to find out what happened to a specific character, he went away and the author never says what happened to him! There is a sequel to this book called "Mine is the Night", however, I don't think I want to read through it with the sheer hope that she brings the character back.

    As a reminder, I was given this book for free from the WaterBrook Multnomah "Blogging for Books" program. All opinions are my own.

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  • Posted April 18, 2011

    Amazing Novel

    The story is set in Edinburgh, Scotland in the year 1745. It is a story love, betrayal, forgiveness, loss and hope. Very well written with enough detail to provide a vivid image of the scenery and yet well balanced so as to not be too much detail (which in my opinion makes a book boring) and throughout the story, right from the very first page, it is so very easy to really connect to the characters. The story is easy to relate to in many aspects and it's very touching. It follows the Kerr family as they struggle through many issues in the midst of war. Truly an amazing novel. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    Great Book!

    Here Burns My Candle is a great read, as it will keep you wanting to read even further. It is about a Lowlander family during the 18th century and particularly about Elisabeth who was a Highlander by birth and married into this family. Every charachter is interesting, although the main charachters are especially interesting as they all have secrets or such uniqueness. This book really made you feel as if you were part of the 18th centrury, as the writer did wonderfully at describing all and writing with the kind of pronunciations they spoke than. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    Must Read!!

    I have just received my first book for review: Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs. I must admit although I have heard of Ms. Higgs I have never read any of her work and did not realize she wrote historical fiction. I did not know what I was missing. Here Burns My Candle is set in Scotland during the 18th century. It follows the lives of a mother and daughter-in-law and their family much like the first part of the book of Ruth in the Bible.
    I have never read a historical book set in Scotland, but I must say that Ms. Higgs had me transported across the years and the sea as I got lost in the pages of the book. I was tickled to find a glossary of scottish words used in the book in the back. Although context made the glossary rarely necessary it was nice to double check occasionally that I was understanding correctly.

    I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down to go to sleep or get up and get busy. I even fell asleep and dropped the book a couple of nights reading. I believe I have found a new author to add to my list. I cannot wait to read the sequel and discover what is to come for the characters to which I have become so drawn.

    Dislcaimer: I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook multnomah for review purposes only. The opinions in the post are completely mine and are not influenced by the company.

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    A novel rich in historical detail, love and loss

    A novel rich in historical detail, love and loss you will definitely want to read on in Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs. Recently I received Here Burns My Candle to read and review. When I first began the book I was afraid this would not be the book for me. I had trouble adjusting to the style at first. However, after just a few pages the book took me to a different era, a different place all together. Why I love reading it can transport you into a whole new world in only a few pages. Here Burns My Candle takes place in Scotland in 1745. Elizabeth Kerr a Highlander, marries above her standing and marries Lord Donald Kerr. The Kerr family has good standing in society and are ladies and gentlemen who follow the auld ways. Lady Marjory is the head of the Kerr family since the passing of her husband mother of two grown sons Andrew and Donald. Andrew is married to Janet a young lady his mother picked for him. Donald married Elizabeth a woman his mother felt was not good enough for him. In truth Lord Donald may just not be good enough for Miss Elizabeth. The couple struggle with town gossip some true and some not and the secrets Lord Donald keeps from his wife. Prince Charlie and his army of Rebels ride into Edinburgh in 1745. The Kerr family gives loyalty to the King except for Lady Elizabeth. Lady Elizabeth is a Highlander and a Jacobite. She supports the Jacobite Rising, at first hiding this from the Kerr family except for her husband . Her dear brother Simon faithfully fights for the Prince, and it is not long before a shift loyalties take place in the Kerr household. As you read on you are swept up with the battle and the pain families share when their loved ones go to war. You watch them struggle for standing in society , with adultery, and love, grief , forgiveness, and financial set backs. Two women struggling to hold on to what they believe. Your feelings will change about these characters as the evolve in this novel. In truth every character in this story has something to hide. The changes in these women are great in every way. They grow and change spiritually along the way as the story unfolds. Higgs takes her time unfolding the characters and letting you get a good feel for who this family is. You step back into time and follow along with these women. If you like to step back in history into a different time you will enjoy this book. I did enjoy this book I gave it a 4.5 stars rating and would give it a thumbs up recomendation.

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  • Posted March 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Seventeen century history

    "Here Burns My Candle" is just as good as Mine is the Night. As Lady Marjory Kerr and her daughter-in-law Lady Elizabeth Kerr were leaving the city and their home where Lady Marjory had already had to bury her husband and her two sons were living in the castle with her alone with their wives. There was a loud sound in the night as they were notified that the Bank was bring all the money to hide in the Castle, but Lady Marjory didn't have their gold in the bank unknown to anyone, her husband Lord John Kerr had never trusted banks. She pulled up some boards and got a bag of gold out for their needs and put the rest back in.

    This was set in Edinburgh during the Jacobite Rebellion in the year of 1745. The two sons went to help defend their city, and this left the women alone. But the son Donald was not as he seemed to be, he ran around on Elizabeth, and wanted her to forgive him every time. How many more times could she do this.

    As the uprising begin to come closer to the castle and both sons "Donald and Andrew" were killed the women had to flee and had lost everything Lord John Kerr had earned except what they could sew in the hems of their clothing.

    This book is a great read and I think Liz did a lot of research to go back to the seventeen hundreds to be able to write this book. She seemed to know what she was writing about filled our heard with this history, romance and adultery.

    This book was sent to me by Waterbrook publishing for my review, These opinions are mine alone.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

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    A novel rich in history and story

    The Jacobite Uprising of 1745 in Scotland is the setting for this retelling of the Biblical story of Naomi and Ruth. Lady Marjory Kerr and her daughter-in-law, Lady Elisabeth Kerr, are beset by scandal, hidden truths, guilt, and regret; benefiting along the way from the blessings of faith and forgiveness. But, will Elisabeth ever truly be accepted by Marjory? How many times will Donald expect his wife to forgive him for his repeated behavior? Will Prince Charlie recapture the crown and what will that do to the Kerr family if he does? These are just a few of the questions you will find answered within the pages of "Here Burns My Candle."

    Historical fiction lovers, this one's for you! Liz Curtis Higgs does her best to bring history to life. Her characters are realistic and compelling; the story rich and teeming with life. I had never read anything by this author before, but am now looking for more! This book is great for both the individual reader and group discussion because it puts things (i.e. regret, forgiveness, etc.) front and center for us to examine in our own lives. The discussions could be lively. Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group's Blogging for Books program for the opportunity to read this book. These opinions are mine alone.

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    Almost as good as the Outlander series

    This was a clean story set in Edinburgh during the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745. It was interesting to see the uprising from this point of view, and the struggles with faith during the turmoil were very easy to relate to.

    This novel is well-written and enjoyable to read, but does jump from character-to-character a bit.

    Overall, I'd recommend this to any fan of historical, spiritual fiction, as well as fans of Gabaldon's Outlander series.

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

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    I Also Recommend:

    Scottish History and Biblical History are woven together expertly

    Liz Curtis Higgs in her new book, "Here Burns My Candle" published by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group brings us to Scotland in 1745.

    I like history so I am sorry to say that I either did not know much about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the 1745 Jacobite rebellion led by Charles Edward Stuart or I forgot all of it. Ms. Higgs expertly brings this history into the story without it becoming a history lesson.

    Dowager Lady Marjory Kerr has two sons that she dotes upon, one of which is Lord Donald Kerr, a royalist and a Christian. He is married to Lady Elisabeth Kerr who married him for love. Elizabeth is also a pagan with Jacobite loyalties though she attends church with her husband and his family.

    "Here Burns My Candle" is more than an epic love story told against the backdrop of history. This book is the retelling of the first half of the Bible book of Ruth with Lady Elizabeth in the Ruth role and Lady Marjory in the Naomi role. Ms. Higgs brings Scottish history and Biblical history together as neatly as an expert seamstress. You get caught up in the story and actually hate to see it end. I recommend this book and look forward to the sequel "Mine Is The Night".

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

    To listen to 24 Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

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    This is quite a story.

    Review by Jill Williamson

    In Scotland, in the fall of 1745, bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh, intent on capturing the crown. In the midst of this historical event, one family struggles to choose which side to support. Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a Highlander by birth. Her husband, Lord Donald, is aware of her loyalties to Prince Charlie, but if her mother-in-law discovered it, she would be livid. And Lord Donald has secrets of his own that threaten to tear apart their marriage.

    Wow. This is quite a story. Liz Curtis Higgs can really write! Her characters are flesh and blood. I was sucked into their lives and I just couldn't put this book down. The history was fascinating, as was the way the society dealt with what was going on. Even with Lord Donald's terrible secret, I still found myself longing for him to change. I realize that this story parallels a biblical story, and I don't want to give that away or you will know how the story will end. I am happy to report that there is a second book where we can find out what becomes of Lady Elisabeth and her mother-in-law.

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  • Posted August 16, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    A must for Jacobite-era historical lovers

    Here Burns My Candle is a lovely, emotionally intense story about two women: the Dowager Lady Marjory Kerr and her daughter-in-law Lady Elisabeth Kerr. While Marjory's family has always been loyal to the English crown while living in Scotland, and have titles to prove as much, Elisabeth is a Highlander relocated to Edinburgh with her husband. She truly loves her husband and they married against Marjory's wishes, while his brother's wife was chosen for him.

    Liz Curtis Higgs mixes two major plots seamlessly into one. The first is the relationships between family members and how Marjory must come to understand the true meaning of things as they are, away from privilege and cultural rules. Issues of politics, betrayal, loss, and respect plague both women and both handle them from their own perspectives and upbringings.

    The second is the Jacobite rebellion, in which followers of Scotland's own Prince Charles Stuart decide to try to restore him to the throne over England's King George. Higgs has a wonderful grasp of the minds of the people at the time, as to why they followed who they chose. It is a story that can reach easily into modern times and make us consider why we follow who we follow and what happens when politics separate us.

    Beyond that, there is the subplot of Elisabeth's "moon worship" passed from her mother and her learning of the Bible combined with Marjory's Christian raising now tarnished.

    I truly enjoyed the historical facts weaved into the story. There were a few times at the beginning when I felt the writing was a bit stiff and a few times toward the end where things were unnecessarily repeated. There was also a favorite character who seemed to suddenly change too much and did something rather uncharacteristic. Overall though, I enjoyed the read and it kept me pulled in with very nice characterization and plenty of conflict. In fact, I now have to find Mine Is The Night in order to follow Elisabeth into her next phase of life.

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