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Candle in the Darkness

(Refiner's Fire #1)

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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  12,126 ratings  ·  1,153 reviews
The daughter of a wealthy slave-holding family from Richmond, Virginia, Caroline Fletcher is raised in a culture that believes slavery is God-ordained and biblically acceptable. But upon awakening to the cruelty and injustice it encompasses, Caroline's eyes are opened for the first time to the men and women who have cared tirelessly for her. Her journey of maturity and fai ...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Bethany House Publishers
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Margie Toole For some reason I thought it was based on a real person?
Shirley J I believe each reader my have a different interpretation. I'm familiar with Francine River but have not read her books. Lynn Austin's books are…moreI believe each reader my have a different interpretation. I'm familiar with Francine River but have not read her books. Lynn Austin's books are considered similar to authors Lisa Wingate and Colleen Coble. I didn't find this book to be overdone with scripture quotes but meaningful and helpful when included. (less)

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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  12,126 ratings  ·  1,153 reviews


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Hannah
I had a 1,000 word review written and was about to post when my battery crashed. Though I am seeing stars right now, I am going to try to recreate it. Hopeless. I promise, I phrased it much more nicely before I wasted two hours of work on a book I didn't even like.

So, I may come back later and edit it into more of a semblance of what I lost. I had a really nice list of what I liked and why I couldn't stand Robert for being a selfish cad. Only I didn't call him that. Promise. I was ni
...more
Aerykah
Update 2/28/16: Just finished my 5th time through this book and I can honestly say I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, this time through! I'm quite sure I'll be reading it again in the future. :)

I just finished reading this book for the 4th time. Is it possible that it gets better every time I read it? I loved it every time & actually can't wait to read it again! :) This is my favorite series by Lynn Austin and possibly my favorite series of all! I highly recommend these books to
...more
Anne
This is undoubtedly one of my favourite books of the year. Just wow. It was totally amazing!

The prologue draws you in, the characters come alive and the writing speaks to you. The story is intense, deep, moving and heartbreaking. Lynn Austin has incredible talent, and I am sorry that I had never read a book by her before. Clearly I have been missing out!

Candle in the Darkness is going to be really hard to review without spoiling anything, so I'm just not going to mention anything at all/>Candle
...more
Nolan
Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Well, I tend to be extremely wary of Christian fiction. My personal views differ enough from these authors that their ranting and pulpit-pounding style just does me in within seconds! So I have a personal habit of automatically determining not to read anything labeled religion or religious fiction. Fortunately for me, I saw this in a war fiction category, so I read it. And I’m thrilled that I did.

This author is apparently well known among readers of Christian fiction, having one a Christy award
...more
Beth
Nov 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I had read a Lynn Austin book a long time ago (pre-kids, anyway) and really liked it: Eve’s Daughters, it was called. A recent message-board conversation reminded me of this author and so at the next opportunity, I snatched this from the library.

Ooooh, I LOVE historical fiction! And something about well-written historical fiction like this can really keep those pages turning. It’s thicker than many of the books I’ve taken on recently, but I finished the bulk of it in one long Saturda
...more
Loraine
SUMMARY: Caroline Fletcher is caught in a nation split apart and torn between the ones she loves and a truth she can't deny. The daughter of a wealthy slave-holding family from Richmond, Virginia, Caroline Fletcher is raised to believe slavery is God-ordained and acceptable. But on awakening to its cruelty and injustice, her eyes are opened to the men and women who have cared tirelessly for her. At the same time, her father and her fiance, Charles St. John, are fighting for the Confederacy and t ...more
Amanda Tero
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you want to become fully engulfed in the raging of the Civil War--the battle that was fought not only physically, but also morally, sit awhile by Caroline and read her story.

Having done a good bit of Civil War research on my own, I found "Candle in the Darkness" to be fascinating and well-researched. The story itself seemed a little slow at times because Austin was very thorough to explain the history of what was happening during that time. It actually made me think of books writt
...more
Olivia
First time reading: {3 stars}

I've always enjoyed books set during the Civil War. This one was good, especially since Caroline helps her Northern cousin to escape from the South's prison. I found myself, though, throughout most of the book wishing Caroline would meet a different guy to marry. The one she does end up with just seems lacking. Anyway, still a worthwhile read.

Second time reading: {3 stars}

I read a hardback copy for my second reading through. Nothing beats holding a real, ho/>Second
...more
Anita
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
wow! awesome! whew!

this book makes the Civil War personal. written from the point of view of a real southern lady (Richmond, VA) who, though she loves her southern home and country, loves God more. the old slave, Eli, teaches her that the Bible says " slavery is wrong".

She risks losing absolutely everything to support her beliefs. this story tells WHY she did what she did.

She visits her "northern" cousin first in PA at the death of her mother, then later in a southern pr
...more
Hana
Revised rating upward: I just downloaded Uncle Tom's Cabin and several books by Frederick Douglass and I ordered Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877, all of which means that Candle in the Darkness had more of an impact on me than I first thought. So...bumping the rating up to 4 Stars.

A very readable, clean romance ideal for Christian teens or possibly younger audiences. Good introduction to the Civil War and life in the South, including thoughtful portrayals of slave life.As my new pr
...more
Rita
Another great read by Lynn Austin! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed and the story flowed seamlessly. If I had to find a flaw, it would be that the ending seemed too short. I know this is the first book in the Refiner's Fire series; but, since the others are from different people's perspectives, I'm not sure much, if anything, will be said about this book's main characters. An epilogue would have been great. That said, I still loved this book and highly recommend
...more
Abbie Shire
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
(How do I explain this...?)

*cough cough*

Let's just begin with - well, really cliche books are NOT my strong point. An-And I don't really like Christian romance as a genre. At all.

http://memecrunch.com/meme/G3W6/legol...

So cute MC walks down the street like, 'yo I'm an abolitionist', and then hot guy turns up out of the blue, completely bumps into her, knocks her stuff off into the street, helps her pick it up, ends
...more
Maria
Torn between the loyalty she feels necessary towards her family and the force of the feelings in her heart, Caroline Fletcher finds herself in a very distressing situation after the Civil War outbreak. She knows she must protect her loved ones, but is she ready to sacrifice herself and lose her chance of happiness in order to do that?

“We have been fighting for six long days. When I close my eyes at night it’s very difficult to erase the horrifying sights and sounds from my mind. And so I/>“We
...more
Sonya
Buddy read with Aery :D
Kendra
Jan 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I love historical romances, especially ones that center around the Civil War or one of the World Wars. At first, I really enjoyed this story but as it went one, I found myself disliking Caroline. She helped the North under the guise of being against slavery yet, she lamented the entire time that she just wanted to do whatever it took to end the war so her fiancé could come home. She struck me at times as completely self-centered and somewhat of a spoiled brat. She wanted her slaves freed but did ...more
Sharon Paavola
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Candle in the Darkness over a year ago yet vividly remember how it touched my heart. I immediately passed it on to my sister-in-law who asked if I had a good book for her to read. The main character, Caroline, raised in the South to believe slavery was a basic part of life is challenged in her long held belief. This may be one of the best stories of that time period revealing the depth of deception people had towards ownership of slaves. I don't want to spoil the book for you. I would enc ...more
Louise
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Story Description:

Book 1 in the Refiner's Fire series. The daughter of a wealthy slave-holding family from Richmond, Virginia, Caroline Fletcher is raised in a culture that believes slavery is God-ordained and biblically acceptable. But upon awakening to the cruelty and injustice it encompasses, Caroline's eyes are opened for the first time to the men and women who have cared tirelessly for her. Her journey of maturity and faith will draw her into the abolitionist movement, where she
...more
Hilary
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin is a well-developed, engaging story of a girl’s personal walk through the most dramatic and horrifically defining times in American history. With sensitivity, Ms. Austin gives voice to the often explosive feelings behind both sides of the Civil War, while leaving the reader empathizing with the individuals and the hard choices they are called upon to make.

We are introduced to Caroline Fletcher, the daughter of a Southern,slave-owning, plantatio
...more
Shannon
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

What an incredible story! It drew me in from the beginning and I couldn’t put it down.

Caroline was the daughter of a wealthy, slave-owning family from Richmond, Virginia. She grew to see slavery for what it was - cruel and unjust - as she watched how those around her were treated despite how tirelessly they cared for her and her family. Her passion to bring freedom to slaves grew stronger as she matured and led to her becoming involved in the abolition movement where she wa
...more
Aerykah
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, read-the-series
Update 2/28/16: Just finished my 5th time through this book and I can honestly say I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, this time through! I'm quite sure I'll be reading it again in the future. :)

I just finished reading this book for the 4th time. Is it possible that it gets better every time I read it? I loved it every time & actually can't wait to read it again! :) This is my favorite series by Lynn Austin and possibly my favorite series of all! I highly recommend these book
...more
Caitlin
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Lynn Austin is becoming one of my favorite authors. Her books are well-written, her settings and characters are full of interesting historical details, and her plots are driven by actual events and legitimately difficult struggles by her characters. She has all the things I love about the Christian romance genre - an uplifting lack of violence and salacious sex scenes (It's not so much that I'm a prude as that they're excessively difficult to write well and generally end up just being embarrassi ...more
Katharine
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama, romance, christian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lyndi
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed, I had a history lesson as well as a story! Always good when you can get educated as well as entertained. It was nice hearing from both the North and the South sides regarding why they thought they were in a war with each other. I love how Austin gave you perspectives even from the slaves points of view. Some commented that they didnt think Eli was realistic, I felt the opposite. I liked how being a slave he still had a heart for God and not bitter, he really appreciated that hi ...more
Jennifer
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book for our book club. It's Christian Historical Fiction and takes place during the Civil War. I've never read much about the civil war and I've never been to any of the states or sites where so much blood shed took place. But after reading this book, I'd like to. It was interesting to read about the main character's journey from slave ownership as a way of life to abolitionist. And not just in thought and principle, but in action. The risks she took and the danger she faced to put ...more
Allicia
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book in the library and I plan on reading the three part series. I enjoyed this book and was excited to get back to it once I set it down. I realized while reading it that it is primarly catgorized as Christian Fiction, but I didn't mind the references to the bible or religion. I like historical type fiction for something to read that distracts me from normal day ongoings, and this book takes place during the civil war and seems to have the backdrop of war time done well and as ...more
Janelle
This book really caught me by surprise. In the early stages I thought it was just going to be another silly romance - girl meets boy, they hate each other, fall in love despite themselves, and bingo, happy ever after, despite the war. But it turned out to be far deeper than this. The author painted a very grim picture of the war, and caused me to think deeply about the nature of freedom and why we value it so highly. The freedom to make basic choices about our lives is precious. We have many fre ...more
Loraine
Jan 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Another awesome book about the civil war. What a horrible time. But what amazing people came through it. I loved the writing and the plot and the characters. I just didn't like who Caroline ended up with. I think he was a wimp. She should have chosen the other one who loved her. That's all I'm saying. . .
Victoria Lynn
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book of historical fiction was amazing. The depth and storyline was just so realistic. I don't remember a lot of details because it has been a while since I read it, but I remember liking it a lot, but feeling that it was pretty long.

I don't remember if there was any content.
Annie
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lynn Austin is my favorite Christian author overall. Often times the Christian theme in her books is very subtle, which generally I prefer, but not in this book. Her writing is very engaging. I would say though that this story, set during the Civil War, began with many of the exact same themes and scenarios that other books dealing with slavery had. But when it moved into the Civil War, I felt she did a good job showing how difficult and long that war must have felt for those left behind. I abso ...more
Melissa Newman
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow!!! Really! This book was just amazing! Faith, courage and perseverance! LOVED Eli..: to have the faith that he had as a African American slave in the Civil War... wow! What great insight in a dreadful time of history for our country! Amazing!
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 6 Jan 31, 2015 01:27PM  
Clean Fiction: Discussion of May 2015's "Extra" Book of the Month 2 3 Aug 01, 2014 05:42AM  

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2,610 followers
For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later ...more

Other books in the series

Refiner's Fire (3 books)
  • Fire by Night (Refiner's Fire, #2)
  • A Light to My Path (Refiner's Fire, #3)
“Faith don't come in a bushel basket, Missy. It come one step at a time. Decide to trust Him for one little thing today, and before you know it, you find out He's so trustworthy you be putting your whole life in His hands.” 112 likes
“What's it like to fall in love, Tessie?" I asked.
She gazed into the darkness for a long moment, then her smile widened. "Well, when you see that certain man you heart flies like paper on the wind--don't matter if you just see him one minute ago or one year ago. When you with him, ain't nothing or nobody else in the whole world but him. You might be walking down the same old street you walk on every day, but if you with him, your feet don't hardly touch the ground anymore, like you just floating on a little cloud. And, honey, you want his arms to be around you more than you want air to breathe.”
17 likes
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