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Those who have read Ms. Higgs' "Lowlands of Scotland" series, in which she spirited the Biblical story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel from the pages of the Old Testament into 18th-century Scotland, will nod in agreement that historical fiction doesn't get much better. Well, you can stop nodding.
After a finger-drumming four years since Grace in Thine Eyes, the final part of the "Lowlands" series, the Bard of the Brogue is back--and the brogue never sounded so good. Here Burns My Candle, turns the clock back 'a wee bit' from the 1760s of "Lowlands" to the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46 in which Bonnie Prince Charlie laid claim to the throne against King George. Caught up in the political intrigue surrounding the Rising is the family of the late Lord John Kerr. The Lady Marjorie, Lord John's widow, with her sons, Donald and Andrew, and their respective wives, Lady Elisabeth and Janet, enjoy the comfortable life of Edinburgh's nobility. The Kerrs are staunch loyalists to King George, but for one: the Lady Elisabeth, whose roots cling to the verdant soil of Prince Charlie's Highlands. All is well until the charismatic Prince Charlie shreds the delicate fabric of Scottish society, laying bare the true sentiments and loyalties of not only the Kerrs, but all of Edinburgh's populace.
Secrets thread themselves through the Kerr family as deeply and darkly as the forest green of the clan's hunting plaid. The Lady Marjorie's hidden stash of gold, Donald's covert waywardness, and Lady Elisabeth's private devotion to the superstitious 'auld ways' of her Highlands past all come to light in their own way and in their own time. At the crux of the story, tragedy strikes, and Lady Marjorie must flee with her daughters-in-law to the Kerr's country estate in Selkirk. But what awaits them there? Sorry. You'll want to hear that from Ms. Higgs, not from me.
Some readers of this review might recognize a similarity to another Old Testament story. There's a free copy of the book to be had for the first person who leaves a comment on this post, telling just which story that is. If you're uncertain, check the trailer below for a clue.
Note: WaterBrook provided this copy of Here Burns My Candle for this review, as well as the giveaway copy.