Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Welcome to the discussion page for HER BURNS MY CANDLE by Liz Curtis Higgs. The live discussion will start tonight at 7:00 pm eastern standard time, although I have set up this page in advance for those you still wish to participate but are unable to join the live discussion. This is the place where you can share your thoughts, comments, or questions.
Here is a brief summery:
A MOTHER WHO CANNOT FACE HER FUTURE.
A DAUGHTER WHO CANNOT ESCAPE HERE 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.
Lord Donald Kerr has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.
His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory Kerr 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 pd eighteenth-century Scotland, HERE BURNS MY CANDLE illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of all tapers lights the way home.
Here are few of the discussion questions from the readers guide to get you started until tonight:
1 . Although Elisabeth Kerr is featured on the cover, the novel opens by introducing us to her mother-in-law, Marjory Kerr. How would you describe Marjory in the first chapter? And in the final chapter? What changes did you notice in her attitude toward the Almighty One over the course of the novel? And how did your feelings toward Marjory change, if at all, from first page to last? In your own experience, is growth more often borne of joy or of pain? Why might that be the case?
2. Faithfulness and forgiveness are two themes interwoven throughout the story. In what ways are Marjory, Elisabeth, and Donald faithful? And unfaithful? For what does each need forgiveness and from whom? If you were in Elisabeth’s place, faced with a loved one’s request to “Forgive me…for all of it,” how might you respond? In what ways do these characters’ struggles with faithfulness and forgiveness reflect our desire to connect with others on a more meaningful level?
3 . Loss is one of the central themes of the novel, summarized in Marjory’s own fears: “Surely a grieving widow could not lose everything. Not all she owned. Not everything.” Name all the things, big and small, that are taken from Marjory. Which of these losses struck you as most unexpected? If you’ve experienced one or more of these losses, how was your life affected? How would you cope if you truly lost everything? To what or whom would you look for strength and help, whatever the extent of your loss?
4. When Elisabeth chooses which direction her future will take, do you think she is running away from something or toward something, and why? Does Elisabeth fit the definition of a true heroine: a woman who loves sacrificially? If so, how? If not, what is she lacking? Her newfound faith will surely be tested in the sequel, Mine Is the Night. What indications do you have about how Elisabeth might respond to future trials and tribulations? What about Marjory? What course do you imagine their relationship will take in the months ahead?
5 Our Readers Guide opens with a quote from Thomas Carlyle, a 19th-century Scottish historian and essayist. In what ways does the historical reality of the Jacobite Rising of 1745 serve as a fitting backdrop for this story? What more recent historical event might also provide an interesting setting for this story and its themes? What eternal truths did you find illuminated in the hearts and lives of these characters? Finally, what do you love most about historical fiction, and what did you enjoy about HERE BURNS MY CANDLE in particular?
The quote is :
History is a mighty drama, enacted upon the theatre of time, with suns for lamps and eternity for a background.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO Add YOUR OWN QUESTIONS
REMEMBER TO PRESS REFRESH SO YOU CAN SEE THE NEW COMMENTS
Royal Reviewer Angela Renee at 9:37 AM