Liz Curtis Higgs spent years making women laugh at her speaking engagements, on video, and with her first books. In the late ’90s she wrote Bad Girls of the Bible (and its sequels), combining fiction and nonfiction to teach us lessons on life. Then she moved into historical fiction transferring the Biblical story of Jacob to 18th-century Scotland in her Lowlands of Scotland series.
Higgs must love Scotland for now she is back with Here Burns My Candle. (See the trailer here.) Having loved the first Scottish series, I couldn’t resist Waterbrook Multnomah’s offer of a free copy to review. (I know, I know, just 5 days ago I said I was trying not to accept review copies; I can’t help it; it’s an addiction.)
This book was just the mental escape I needed from my current stress. It, too, is the retelling of a biblical story, but I won’t tell you which one so you don’t know too much of the end before the beginning. It’s thoroughly set up for the sequel, due out next spring.
The story revolves around the Kerr family in Edinburgh, particularly Lady Elizabeth Kerr and her husband Lord Donald. Donald’s widowed mother doesn’t accept the beautiful Elizabeth, a humble seamstress before Donald married her. When bonny Prince Charlie arrives in Edinburgh on his way to reclaim the throne for his father, the Kerr men join his army and Elizabeth, her mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law become those who wait and watch. Family secrets and sins threaten both family ties and livelihoods.
The war intrudes on the lives of the Kerrs in the same ways it does on the lives of military families in the 21st century. Fear, heartache, rumors, misinformation, changing loyalties, and disfiguring injuries plague the family and their countrymen. The story unwinds in a way that kept me reading and rooting for a marriage that seemed doomed to fail. You’ll have to read it yourself to find out what the outcome is. If you want your own copy, you might win one by making a comment below. A winner will be chosen on Easter Sunday. Or you can buy your own copy through this link.
War has intruded into many American lives this decade as well. Maybe you’re one of the mothers who waits. If so, check out Military Moms or Blue Star Mothers for encouragement. All of us can find ways to encourage military members on Linda Jewell’s Support Our Troops weekly blog.
Thankfully, in our generation, fewer soldiers die from their war injuries. But it means many need to move through society with new limitations. If, like Lady Elizabeth you are good with a needle, consider joining Sew Much Comfort, an organization that creates adaptive clothing for those in military hospitals.
Let’s not forget those who have served us by serving their country. Pray for them. Lady Elizabeth learns the power of prayer as she waits for Lord Donald. It’s a power that still serves us well.