Stasha's Reviews > Light a Penny Candle

Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy
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's review
Jul 12, 2012

really liked it
Read from July 12 to 24, 2012

This book started out being rather boring, but as the pages turned, the story became more and more interesting, with some twists and turns which I did not expect. The story follows Elizabeth White and Aisling O'Connor, an English and Irish girl respectively, thrown together at the beginning of the Second World War. Aisling's mother, Eileen, agreed to take in Elizabeth at her family home in Kilgarret, Ireland, after Elizabeth's mom, Violet, wrote to her to spare her daughter from the Blitz in London at the time(Eileen and Violet were childhood friends).Aisling and Elizabeth become very close friends, so much so that long after returning to England, the girls maintain a relationship with each other and their families. The story spans many milestones and life events throughout the girls' lives and how they support each other as they became women--death,sex, relationships, to name a few---revealing the many triumphs and tribulations of the human experience.

From reading the synopsis, the novel was not quite what I had expected. Before reading, I was actually under the impression that Aisling and Elizabeth would have fallen out, and I thought the falling-out would have been because of Johnny Stone, Elizabeth's lover. I was quite suprised that Elizabeth's husband, Henry, did not appear to mind the friendship that his wife maintained with Johnny long after their relationship was over.And I was not the least surprised that Aisling eventually became attracted to Johnny, but I honestly do not believe for once that Elizabeth was okay with it, in spite of the fact that she knew what the outcome would have been.

I did not find the ending to be rushed, as other reviewers had stated, I just never saw it happening the way it did! But I was expecting something more, to be honest. As dramatic as it was, I felt the final scene between Elizabeth and Aisling was too flat. Other than that, I immensely enjoyed the story.

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