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The Black Candle

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  828 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Bridget Dean Mordaunt was a woman of consequence in her own part of the world. Inheriting her father's businesses at the age of nineteen, by the time she was twenty-three in 1880, she was running them as confidently as any man. Yet the path destiny required her to follow was not an easy one. Her feckless cousin Victoria became infatuated with Lionel Filmore, the ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published October 26th 1990 by Corgi (first published 1989)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  828 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A lot of characters to remember and keep up with made this a slightly confusing read.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I had read Catherine Cookson so many years ago, and didn't remember her writing making much of an impact on me at the time. Reading tastes often change over several years and I decided to give her a whirl.

I enjoyed the story for much of the book, but either this one was too long for me or too depressing! The characters, especially Bridget, were realistically drawn and I was caught up in their life stories from the start. As I continued reading I hoped for some redemption for them, some kind of
Mark Tilbury
I had seen the TV adaptation of this novel before reading it, and was very surprised at how much more there is to the book. There are more characters in it and the depth of story is much better in the book. I'd highly recommend it if you like a good historical family saga full of secrets. I'm always impressed with Cookson's ability to transport a reader back in time and in this story she surpasses herself! An excellent read - a lengthy read, but a good one.
Nov 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
It just seemed like the whole point of the book was to say that good people never stay good, relationships never last, and life taints you no matter who you are. I don't think that everything has to be peaches and cream all the time, but there does have to be some happiness life. Anyway... I just felt like it was a bunch of people being miserable for no reason and never learning from it.
Nov 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
This was not as happy a book as The Wingless Bird. I felt that the heroine became the villain, without enough warning by the author, so I felt somewhat betrayed, and sad about most of the characters.
Sarah Davies
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Previously read this many years ago, but on rereading the book the story didn’t flow as well as I remembered. Still a good story but it does seem to stutter for quite awhile.
Shirley Revill
Another great read written by Catherine Cookson. Really enjoyed this book.
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this and found the ending very moving.
Beverly Jones Bennett
This was a great read. It was 2 books. I couldn't put it down but the ending was disappointing to me.
Kathleen Craig
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyed reading this book. It gives me an insight of the life in the last century in the North East and it is this that I find interesting about the various industries there at the time, mining etc. glassmaking etc. I find it incredible that Catherine Cookson managed to write so many books with the North East as a background and to be able to pen so many.
I have read several now including "The Black Velvet Gown" recently and several others.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's many, many years since I last read a Catherine Cookson and I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed them. This was a great book, taking a family over many years and several generations. The sins of one generation are visited on others however, there is always the chance of redemption. A very satisfying book.
May 18, 2012 rated it liked it
I read all of Catherine Cookson's books some years ago and enjoyed them immensley. I recently re-read all of them and find that on a second look I found them all so very predictable, and was rather disappointed. However I'm sure that it is my tastes that have changed not the calibre of her story telling.
Dec 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-books-read
This book was set in England in the 1880's about a girl left to run her father's business. There wasn't enough character development and it was sad to boot! I am not sure if I will read another one of her books again, but I might give her one more chance. She has several of her books on Netflix, so that is why I tried reading one.
Elaine Cougler
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Black Candle by Catherine Cookson is an interesting look at human nature and class divisions as set out in England from 1883 to the 1920's and 30's. Cookson has avoided mere romance, drawing her characters in a realistic way against the historical contexts of the time. A very enjoyable book.
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Honestly, this is really a romance novel wrapped up in some historical dressing. But if you're going to write historical fiction, please don't have your characters speak and think as if they're current. For example, would a young woman living in the 1880s use the phrase, " self analysis?"
Cheryll Butters
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great read. Catherine Cookson always takes me away to another place :) A bit shocked that there was a hanging and a shooting in this book though! Still, I suppose it was necessary for the story...
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read most of Catherine Cookson's books as she wrote them but don't remember this one. It was great, as are all her stories - kept me focussed from beginning to end - wonderful character descriptions; excellent story line and development.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Human psychology takes you on a roller coaster ride as the fates of two sisters involved with another family and the children thereafter unfold before you like a forest tangled and growing towards light.
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, novel
Very good. Full of historical color regarding the life and times in the early to mid twentieth century. Rich in detail. It's easy to become involved in the lives of the characters of this book. I think it would make a great mini-series!
June Marino
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, yard-sale
Interesting book about a young heiress, Bridget and the twists and turns of her family life, her business life and the life of her relatives. Characters were well developed. A long but enjoyable book!
Oct 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another Cookson story staged in England about a woman who owned several businesses and ended up as the matriarch of a dysfunctional family with secrets too painful and shameful to reveal.
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Love catherine Cookson, never disappoints!
Mary Moore
Mar 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Couldn't get into it.
Jean Darroch
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a book to read that is set in historical times and a romance this is a good book to read.
Ann Millar
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Not as good as others, but a riveting drama nonetheless.
Jackie Simons
Read 3/96
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
A great Catherine Cookson!
Karen C
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Read Catherine Cookson periodically. Never love the books. Some I like more than others. Can't remember specifics.
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Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, who Catherine believed was her older sister. Catherine began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master.

Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby
“Life was good except for―oh, yes, there was always an except.” 3 likes
“Fancy feathers make peacocks, but you pluck them and see what's left.” 2 likes
More quotes…