Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Review: Mine Is the Night

I don’t know how Liz Curtis Higgs did this. The Bible's Book of Ruth is only four chapters long, yet she wrote two novels spanning just over 900 pages based on that simple story—and kept me in suspense through both though I know the story well. I read the first book, Here Burns My Candle, last year about this time and finished the sequel, Mine Is the Night, today. I highly recommend this series.

Mine Is the Night picks up the story as Elisabeth and Marjory (Higgs’ Scottish versions of Ruth and Naomi), newly widowed, return to Marjory’s home town of Selkirk. Once wealthy and titled, they are now destitute and dependent on the kindness of Marjory’s distant cousin, Anne. This novel is the story of all three women from that point in time.

Higgs tells a fascinating story in an intriguing and well-researched setting. On occasion she uses a Scottish word for effect. These are italicized, so the reader knows to find their meaning in the glossary in the back. All of the characters learn and grow, and the reader can’t help but care what happens to them. Young Peter and Charbon the Cat added just the right touch of fun.

I loved that Higgs carefully tied up all the loose ends, even resolving minor issues from the first book that I’d forgotten all about. These were sweet surprises that showed her writing skill and made the story feel complete. If Scottish history or novels based on Bible stories interest you, you’ll like reading this series.

Thank you, Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers, for sending it for my review.

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