Friday, February 20, 2009

Light a Penny Candle

Light a Penny Candle
By Maeve Binchey
582 pages
Copyright 1982; 2007

This is a reissue of a book that I am pretty sure I read when it first came out.

For some reason the title always stuck with me, anyway. But when I picked it up at the remainder bin at the book store a few weeks ago, I couldn't recall a word of the story, so I decided to reread the book.

Elizabeth White is a child when bombs start falling on England during WWII. Her mother, an agitated and anxiety-ridden sort, sends her to Ireland to stay so she will be safe.

The family that takes in Elizabeth is not kin but instead the mother, Eileen, was Elizabeth's mother's friend in school.

Elizabeth meets Aisling there, Eileen's daughter who is Elizabeth's age.

The story follows their friendship and their lives as the two grow up. Elizabeth returns home to her parents much older and wiser and the intervening years have left quite a void. Her mother leaves her father shortly after she returns home; her father is a helpless soul who is not capable of much love.

Together the two friends take on the world.

The book is an interesting glimpse at life during and after WWII in England and in Ireland. The characters were well-drawn and the heroines both grew exponentially over the course of the book.

4 stars


  1. Sounds like a book I'd like...

  2. I have a little something for you on blog!

  3. I'll have to look into this one. Have you read Angela's Ashes? Loved that one, sad as it was.


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