12 October 2011

Review of Liz Curtis Higgs' Latest Series by Laura Frantz

Laura Frantz and Liz Curtis Higgs at the ACFW Conference

Laura Frantz

Many authors can tell a good story. Few tell it beautifully. Liz Curtis Higgs does both. With her poignant prose, she is able to plumb the depths of the human heart in unforgettable ways. Every time I hold one of her books in hand, I feel like I’m the guest of honor at a wonderful literary feast. I encourage you to fall back in time to 18th-century Scotland amongst steaming cups of tea, silken dresses, misty weather, and the wynds and closes of 1745 Edinburgh. You won’t want to leave!

Liz’s novels are truly unique in that she takes well known Bible stories and sets them in Scotland of old. Each is so rich and deep the reader is tempted to think they’re penned by a Scottish lassJ. Thanks to her extensive research, numerous trips to Scotland, and a library brimming with Scottish books, you can expect an authentic reading experience. Prepare to be lost in those pages and feel absolutely bereft when you’re through! Her latest Scottish series begins with the retelling of the book of Ruth.
Here Burns My Candle

In Here Burns My Candle. (Waterbrook Press, 2010 - available on audio as well as paperback and ebook formats), you have all the characters you can expect – Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, and more – only with new names such as Lady Marjory Kerr, Elisabeth, Donald, and Lord Jack. The story opens on a black Scottish night in 1745 as Bonnie Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh. The author does a beautiful job setting the stage for the conflict to come when Lady Marjory and her beloved daughters-in-law lose all they hold dear. Fascinating secondary characters surface and weave the plot in unexpected ways, leaving you guessing (and nearly gasping!) till the last page. And just when you think you can’t stand any more heartache and loss, hope springs eternal in the sequel…
            In Mine is the Night, readers are transported to the Highlands where Lady Kerr and her loving daughter-in-law, Elisabeth, come to live in near poverty close to the estate of Jack Buchanan. Be still my heart! Lord Jack is fresh from the Royal Navy and is a hero that even Boaz would be proud of! He comes into the ladies’ lives in such a tender, steadfast way. Not only do we have his and Elisabeth’s love story but the love stories of two other couples as well. Add a charming child, an aristocratic cat, and a to-die-for estate and you have more than a happy ending!
            I’m always moved by how richly Liz tells a story and how satisfying is the ending. Both books are absolutely joyous reads, with living, breathing characters and spiritual truths that stay with you long after the last page.
            I rarely write reviews and feel this doesn’t even skim the surface of all these books convey – beauty, truth, hope, struggle, God’s everlasting love and redemption, and much more. Kudos to you readers who post reviews regularly. I’ve decided writing a book review is harder than writing a bookJ!
I hope you make time for Liz’s beautiful novels. If you’ve read any of her historicals, I’d love to know which ones, and if you have a favorite. I must confess Here Burns My Candle and Mine is the Night are my top two. I can hardly wait to see what she writes next.
A heartfelt thank you to Carrie for asking me to write this review.
Bless you, Liz Curtis Higgs, for blessing us!

Readers: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of one of Liz's books, your choice of format.


  1. Thanks for this review, Laura! I have the downloaded audio version. It will be interesting listening to it in reverse order but I think I will still love listening to it. So good to have you with us!

  2. Wow, am so loving that pic of two of my favorite authors! Wonderful review, Laura; would that I could write them like that, but that's what makes you an author and me just a reader.

    Would you believe that I have read all of Liz's series that stemmed from Thorn in my Heart, but still haven't read these last two? I have sooo many books in my TBR stack and now on Kindle; so many books so little time!

    Thank you so much, Laura, for the awesome reviews of Liz Curtis Higg's newest releases!

  3. Oh, and you also asked which one was my favorite...I would have to say, Grace in Thine Eyes, though they were all excellent! GITE is the story of Davina, a mute girl, who can't cry out for help when she is being raped, paralleling the story of Dinah in the Bible. So heartrending, and a beautiful story of God's grace and healing.

  4. Oh, bless you for being here, ladies! It's a cool, wet morning in the northwest but am about to head over the mountains for some sunshine tomorrow. Thanks, Carrie and Diana, for posting this review of these wonderful books. I can't say enough about Liz's books and how they've ministered to me. Not only that, I often tell writers they are my favorite craft books as well because I learn so much about writing when I read them.

    I think listening on audio would be wonderful, Carrie. I will have to try that with these.

    Diana, I so loved Davina's story, too. Only a writer as talented as Liz could make a mute heroine so very moving! And an unredeemed man like Somerled so poignant! I cried over that one. You are in for SUCH a treat with these latest two. I envy you the pure joy of reading them fresh:)

  5. I read the Leah series and can't wait to read the Ruth. I read them so long ago though, I don't remember which was my favorite.

  6. Your review is magnificent, Laura, just like your books! You've convinced me that I need to add these books to the top of my list. What a treat it would be to win a copy -- thanks for the chance!

    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

  7. Oh Michelle, SO happy you stopped by! Bless you for your kind words. I'm afraid this review was like pulling teeth as nothing I said seems to do Liz justice. You'll soon see, I hope, after reading her fine books! Bless you so much.

  8. A FB friend of mine has tried to enter several times and couldn't, using her google account. She would really like to be entered in this giveaway! Her name is Barbara Hapgood Rasco, and I appreciate her perseverance! Count yourself officially entered, Barbara!

  9. Thanks, Diana, I am sorry that Google is acting up again or Blogger or whatever. I wonder what it is? But bless you for putting Barbara's name up for her!

  10. Oh, ladies, I'm so sorry for the delay. I haven't been able to access even through Chrome today and only by some miracle can get on tonight. I see others are having trouble, too, per the comments above. I'm so sorry! Thanks so much, Diana, for entering for Barbara. I had to do that also for a reader on another interview this week. Anyway, thanks to everyone for coming by. I'll be on a little road trip for the next few days and won't have my laptop but will check back in when I return. God bless you all!

  11. Laura, your review was fantastic! Even if you hadn't recommended Liz's books before, this review would have been all I needed :) I LOVE Scottish setting, actually I'm always looking for more European settings in books.

    And Laura, I do find it hard to write reviews for the books I love. It's easier to criticise something - those words come more readily (hmmm ... says something about human nature? or just me??).

    Carrie, thanks for the opportunity to win one of Liz's book!

  12. Laura,What a great review it makes us all want to rush out or download it for our nooks or kindles!! I look forward to reading more from Liz. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.. Soon I will be dreaming of Scotland!!

    Julie Lippo

  13. I am reposting from Facebook from Liz Curtis Higgs: Oh, Carrie! Laura's review was so beautifully written (and so glowing), I was too befuddled to leave a comment. ;>) I'm eager to read HER latest novel, The Colonel's Lady, set in 18th-century Kentucky. Woo-hoo!

  14. I've already tweeted about how I was so touched by Liz's writing in "Grace in Thine Eyes" that I had to take a break from it for a month before I was emotionally ready to finish it! Looking forward to reading more!

  15. OH bless you all for being here!

    Stephanie, I felt that way, too. It took some time for me to read another book after I finished Davina's story, too. It was that powerful.

    Carrie, Thanks for being the hostess with the mostest here:) I look forward to reading your audio review Friday!

    Julie, I think you will find Liz's stories magical. She is such a gem on the page and in person! Thanks so much for your kind words.

    You are a master at writing reviews! I am still glowing over TCL:) Bless you so much.

    I'm leaving on a little road trip today but will see you next week. God bless you!

  16. It was so fun to see Liz at ACFW in St Louis in Sept! Hi Liz!

  17. Love the interview - I love the concept of taking bible stories and setting them in 18th century Scotland. It makes my mind want to jump in and explore awhile. I would love the chance to win this book.

  18. a fabulous interview/posting. i have loved all of liz's novels...a lot :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  19. great review, makes me want to read some of her books...oh how I love historical fiction!!!!


  20. Dearies, it THRILLS my heart to see how many of you LOVE reading historical fiction. ME TOO! I think they must imbed magnets in those delicious covers, because when I got to a book store, historical novels LEAP off the shelves and into my hands. ;>) Thanks again, Laura, for a beautiful review of my latest two-book saga. Can't wait to hear what YOU are working on next!

  21. Ahh, I finally got here. Questionable internet service for a week of vacation and I knew what was going on over here in OTT and hated missing it.

    Thank you for a great review and interesting conversation. What a treat! Adding the photo of Laura and Liz was the icing on the cake! (Cliche' alert!)

  22. We have been so excited to have Liz here this week! Deb, now we have at least three Colonial American Christian Writer members here. Is that a quorum? And we don't object to cliches!

  23. Lin Cote, good to see you here. Did you get your pic with Liz up on Facebook? I wonder how many there are now floating around out there from conference? Thanks so much for coming to visit!

  24. Jen, Karen, and MamaDove, We all seem to like the same books - great historical fiction! Will enter you for the drawings!

  25. I love historical fiction. Christian Historical Fiction is even better and when it is based on a bible story, like Ruth & Boaz, that makes it THE BEST! I'm ashamed to say I've only read one of Liz's books but would love to read more :) Oh, I went to her website and found she has this really cool devotional called Rise & Shine...I am totally liking the way that one looks. I have watched her on video, though and she's so encouraging!

    Laura, your review is stupendous!!! Wish I could write them like that, but I have to agree with Diana...that's why you're the writer and I'm the reader :)

    Hi Carrie! Once again, thank you for such a great blog {{hugs}}

  26. Anne, So good to see you here and hope you are doing well! Liz has written all kinds of great stuff including The Bad Girls of the Bible series that my clients used to love (when I worked as a psychologist.)Thanks Anne! Hugs back!

  27. I read Here Burns My Candle and really loved the story. I have Mine is the Night on my wish list and hope to read soon.
    Thanks for the great review and the opportunity to enter this giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com


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