~ 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 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.
Even though this is modeled after the biblical story of the Book of Ruth and one may be able to guess at how things are going to happen, the story is riveting and keeps one turning the pages. Liz Curtis Higgs breathes life into the characters and paints vivid scenes that the reader can imagine as if living in 1745 Scotland. The three women in the story, Lady Elizabeth, Janet and Lady Marjory all have a kindred connection through their marriages, grief and suffering, but each woman is distinct in how she reacts and carries on.
Elizabeth is new to the Christian faith, while Marjory has forsaken hers only carrying out the physical acts of attending church. Janet's faith is practically nonexistent, only doing as much as society expects of her. The family's spiritual foundation and fortitude is sorely tested when tragedy strikes, long held secrets are exposed, their guineas dwindle, and high-society forsakes them. Lady Marjory begins to see the striking characteristics in Elizabeth, the very things that she used to look down on begin to save them. She starts wondering why she ever doted on her other daughter-in-law.
Higgs brings out true human character in this story. It may be a work of fiction, but it is very true to life. She has captured one of the greatest stories in the Bible and brought a new perspective that I'll not soon forget. If you love historical Christian fiction, characters who grip your heart, and a story of how faith cannot be shaken through the worst, then I advise you not to miss this book.
Here Burns my Candle on Amazon.
Liz Curtis Higgs website.