Book Reviews of Light a Penny Candle

Light a Penny Candle
Light a Penny Candle
Author: Maeve Binchy
ISBN-13: 9780451192028
ISBN-10: 0451192028
Publication Date: 11/1/1997
Pages: 592
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 47

4.1 stars, based on 47 ratings
Publisher: Signet Book
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

46 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
fast paced, engrosing, two women caught between teh past and the future...in love with the same man. True Maeve Binchy romance!
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I've read all of Maeve Binchy's books and I still had this one as it is probably my favorite of hers
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Helpful Score: 3
One of my fave Maeves.
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Helpful Score: 3
Light a Penny Candle is one of the best books I have ever read. It sucks you in over and over. I have reread it countless times. The story starts out in the middle of WWII. Elizabeth is sent from London to the Irish countryside. She lives with a distant friend of her mother's and becomes best friends with that family's dtr, Aisling. This is isn't a war story! It's the story of two girls who grow up and learn the consequences of choices, hard decisions, and making ones life their own. Maeve Binchy is a master at character development. She writes highly nuanced characers. You learn why each character does what it does, but not in a psychobabble way. I finished this book with a feeling of completion yet still wanting more! Binchy does that to you. I highly recommend this book for someone who wants an engrossing read!
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Helpful Score: 1
the characters Binchy created in this novel are real and memorable. Successive novels seem a bit redundant if you've read this one before others. Would definitely read again.
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Helpful Score: 1
A great story of 2 women in Ireland, their childhood and their lives as grown women.
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The chaos of World War II London sends preteen Elizabeth White to the safety of Ireland and into the lives of the much larger and emotional O'Connor family. The enduring friendship she finds with her counterpart, Aisling, forms the framework of this novel, offering clear contrasts between the two families and countries. The early chapters of Binchy's 1982 debut novel are engagingly humorous, filled with solid characterizations of these two very different but compatible adolescents. The girls sustain their friendship and distinct personalities through regular letters, but unfortunately they must grow up and the novel may strain under the conventionality of the genre and some inconsistency, perhaps due to Binchy's inexperience as an author at the time she wrote the original story. Her cousin Kate Binchy reads the book well, capturing the innocence, yearning, and growth of the girl
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on
Almost akin to "the Thorn Birds" and is just as interesting. I love all of Binchy,s books, and this is one of her best.
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A young English girl is sent to live with an Irish family during WW II. Follows the extraordinary friendship of the girls as well as the lives of the other family members.
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This is a wonderful Maeve Binchy Book, I couldnt put it down. I cried several times while reading it. This is probably one of my favorite books.
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Product Description
As a child, Elizabeth White was sent from her war-torn London home to a safer life in the small Irish town of Kilgarret. It was there, in the crowded, chaotic O'Connor household, that she met Aisling-who would become her very best friend, sharing her pet kitten and secretly teaching her the intricacies of Catholicism. Aisling's boldness brought Elizabeth out of her proper shell; later, her support carried Elizabeth through the painful end of her parents' chilly marriage. In return, Elizabeth's friendship helped Aisling endure her own unsatisfying marriage to a raging alcoholic. Through the years, they always believed they could overcome any conflict, conquer any hardship. They believed they could survive anything, as long as they had each other. Now they're about to find out if they were right.
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 25 more book reviews
Maeve Binchy is one of my favorites. I can't put her books down, and this one is especially good.
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"Compassionate, and delightful, this is the magnificent story of twenty turbulent years in the lives of two women. One is English, the other is Irish. Their friendship is sealed when they are children: it is warm, devoted, unshakeable and, against all odds, it survives...
A thoroughly enjoyable and readable book" The Times
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I think about the characters from this book often, I enjoyed it very much!
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 63 more book reviews
Story starts during WWII when a shy young Englishwoman, Elizabeth White, is sent to Kilgarret, Ireland to live with the wild O'Connor family. It's here that she meets Aisling O'Connor who is destined to be her best friend. Theirs is a friendship that spans years, sorrows, chaos, change and even a man that threatens to come between them.
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 8 more book reviews
Maeve Binchy is, as always, awesome. This book made me cry!
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on
Quick, enjoyable summer read.
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Maeve Binchy brings her characters to life like no other before her. This story is very well structured with unexpected twists that keep you attentive as well as wanting to read more of her warm writing style.
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This was the first book by this author that I ever read and I enjoyed it very much. The characters were well developed, the plot was fantastic and it was a fast easy read. I will always pick up one of her books when I have a chance.
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Abridged/2 Cassetts/Approx 3 Hours.

the magic of bestselling author Maeve Binchy's unforgettable debut novel, LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE! The chaotic events of World War II find a shy young English girl in Ireland under the care of the wild and boisterous O'Connor family. It is through them that she meets the young lady destined to become her best friend...and together they will endure years of change, joy, sorrow, soaring dreams, bitter betrayals, and an unbreakable bond that nothing could tear asunder.
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 4 more book reviews
The marvellous first novel of Maeve Binchy about the lives and loves of two women, bound together in friendship.
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Writing with her usual warmth, wit and great compassion, Maeve Binchy tells a magnificent story of the lives and loves of two women, bound together in friendship.
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 10 more book reviews
Like all of Maeve's books, I did not want to see this one end! I wanted to know more about Aisling and Elizabeth and everything that will happen to them as they move on into the next chapter of their lives. You can't help but feel like you know everyone in Binchy's books, and her characters are just wonderful.
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 422 more book reviews
In the days of World War 11 there was a friendship between Englishwoman Elizabeth White and Aisling O'Connor of Ireland. Theirs was a friendship that would go thorough years of chaos and change, joy and sorrow,soaring deams and searing betrayals-an unbreakable bond that nothing could break. Not even the man who threatened to come between them forever.
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 25 more book reviews
A great story of friendship over twenty turbulent years. I have missed Aisling and Elizabeth since I finished the book.
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Loved it
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This was my first book I brought in Ireland, so it makes the story more interesting to know the places she was in.
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 97 more book reviews
As a child, Elizabeth White was sent from her war-torn London home to a safer life in the small Irish town of Kilgarret. It was there, in the crowded, chaotic O'Connor household, that she met Aisling--who would become her very best friend, sharing her pet kitten and secretly teaching her the intricacies of Catholicism. Aisling's boldness brought Elizabeth out of her proper shell; later, her support carried Elizabeth through the painful end her parents' chilly marriage. In return, Elizabeth's friendship helped Aisling endure her own unsatisfying marriage to a raging alcoholic. Through the years, they always believed they could overcome any conflict, conquer any hardship. They believed they could survive anaything, as long as they had each other. Now they're about to find out if they were right...
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 13 more book reviews
From Library Journal:
The chaos of World War II London sends preteen Elizabeth White to the safety of Ireland and into the lives of the much larger and emotional O'Connor family. The enduring friendship she finds with her counterpart, Aisling, forms the framework of this novel, offering clear contrasts between the two families and countries. The early chapters of Binchy's 1982 debut novel are engagingly humorous, filled with solid characterizations of these two very different but compatible adolescents. The girls sustain their friendship and distinct personalities through regular letters, but unfortunately they must grow up and the novel may strain under the conventionality of the genre and some inconsistency, perhaps due to Binchy's inexperience as an author at the time she wrote the original story. Her cousin Kate Binchy reads the book well, capturing the innocence, yearning, and growth of the girls. Recommended for larger fiction collections.
-Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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I really enjoyed this book.
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This is one of my favorite Maeve Binchy books.
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The chilling days of WWII brought shy young Elizabeth White to Kilgarret, Ireland to live with the wild O'Connor family. It was here that she met Aisling O'Connor, the girl destined to become her best friend. They shared a room in the rollicking O'Connor house and they quickly shared their hearts. Theirs was a friendship that would endure through years of chaos and change, joy and sorrow, soaring dreams and searing betrayals. Nothing could tear their friendship asunder, not even the man who threatened to come between them forever.
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 14 more book reviews
I always like Maeve Binchy's books. This one covers a lengthy period of time for two young women, starting in their childhood during WWII. You get to see the contrast between a very much alive (and lively) Irish family and the rather sad existence of a couple with no real sense of "family". The young women share their ups and downs as they cope with growing up, parents, lovers, and marriage - with some unusual twists along the way. The ending was completely unexpected - you'll have to read it!
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 48 more book reviews
Great read! A real "meat and potatoes" novel.
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on
As a child, Elizabeth White was sent from her war-torn home in England to the Irish countryside and the town of Kilgarret. There she met the charming Aisling O'Connor and Aisling's bustling and rather large family. The two girls struck up a firm and fast friendship - one which carried them each through the darkest times of their lives.

Elizabeth had to deal with the breakup of her parents chilly marriage and Elizabeth was there for Aisling all through her marriage to a raging alcoholic. They always believe that they can overcome anything as long as their friendship lasts. They are about to test that theory.

I really enjoyed this book and it is not only a 5 but a 5,000! I give it an A+!
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Great saga about WWII and post-war life for 2 little girls who grew up together. One from Ireland one from England. Lots of twists and turns, just like real life.
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I read this for a TBR challenge in my online book club, The Reading Cove. As a long time reader of Maeve Binchy's, I hadn't realized LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE was her debut novel, the one that started it all.

I enjoyed the first third of the story, getting to know Elizabeth White and her parents, Aisling O'Connor and her family. The two girls become fast friends in 1940s Europe when 10-year-old Elizabeth is refugeed to Ireland during WW2.

Although this is classic Binchy - very well-written, with strong characterizations, and rich settings - the friendship thread wasn't as strong for me in this story. I really didn't feel too strong a bond between Elizabeth & Aisling once Elizabeth returned to England. And the evolution of their friendship is riddled with typical clichés.

What saves this lengthy tome for me is the thing I love most about Maeve Binchy's writing - her ability to make you feel you know the characters. You become invested in their lives and care about what happens to them. I was moved by how Aisling's mum, Eileen, was so welcoming of Elizabeth, treating her as her own, making what was no doubt a frightening experience for a 10 y/o much more pleasant.

Things got rather strange and out of character in the end, and I didn't enjoy the last third of the book as much. Overall, I didn't feel this book had a wide enough scope for the characters to support its 600 pages, so it definitely felt overlong. I give this one (B-).
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on
Great story, well written, hard to put down.
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I love her books. It is very sad there will be no more due to her passing this summer.
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 47 more book reviews
A really good book, which was hard to put down
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 416 more book reviews
I read this for a TBR challenge in my online book club, The Reading Cove. As a long time reader of Maeve Binchy's, I hadn't realized LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE was her debut novel, the one that started it all.

I enjoyed the first third of the story, getting to know Elizabeth White and her parents, Aisling O'Connor and her family. The two girls become fast friends in 1940s Europe when 10-year-old Elizabeth is refugeed to Ireland during WW2.

Although this is classic Binchy - very well-written, with strong characterizations, and rich settings - the friendship thread wasn't as strong for me in this story. I really didn't feel too strong a bond between Elizabeth & Aisling once Elizabeth returned to England. And the evolution of their friendship is riddled with typical clichés.

What saves this lengthy tome for me is the thing I love most about Maeve Binchy's writing - her ability to make you feel you know the characters. You become invested in their lives and care about what happens to them. I was moved by how Aisling's mum, Eileen, was so welcoming of Elizabeth, treating her as her own, making what was no doubt a frightening experience for a 10 y/o much more pleasant.

Things got rather strange and out of character in the end, and I didn't enjoy the last third of the book as much. Overall, I didn't feel this book had a wide enough scope for the characters to support its 600 pages, so it definitely felt overlong. I give this one (B-).
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 416 more book reviews
I read this for a TBR challenge in my online book club, The Reading Cove. As a long time reader of Maeve Binchy's, I hadn't realized LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE was her debut novel, the one that started it all.

I enjoyed the first third of the story, getting to know Elizabeth White and her parents, Aisling O'Connor and her family. The two girls become fast friends in 1940s Europe when 10-year-old Elizabeth is refugeed to Ireland during WW2.

Although this is classic Binchy - very well-written, with strong characterizations, and rich settings - the friendship thread wasn't as strong for me in this story. I really didn't feel too strong a bond between Elizabeth & Aisling once Elizabeth returned to England. And the evolution of their friendship is riddled with typical clichés.

What saves this lengthy tome for me is the thing I love most about Maeve Binchy's writing - her ability to make you feel you know the characters. You become invested in their lives and care about what happens to them. I was moved by how Aisling's mum, Eileen, was so welcoming of Elizabeth, treating her as her own, making what was no doubt a frightening experience for a 10 y/o much more pleasant.

Things got rather strange and out of character in the end, and I didn't enjoy the last third of the book as much. Overall, I didn't feel this book had a wide enough scope for the characters to support its 600 pages, so it definitely felt overlong. I give this one (B-).
reviewed Light a Penny Candle on + 2 more book reviews
Elizabeth White, shy child of a trobled English marriage,Aisling O'Connor, bold daughter of a roistering Irish family. War threw them together. Peace sent them on their separate ways. But later, when they knew they both loved the same elusive, utterly irresistible man their lives were inextricably linked. Two women caught between the past and the future, theirs was a world swept up in change... a world where old ways no longer worked and new ways demanded daring...a world where--in times of trouble--it was no longer enough to... LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE
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Didn't actually read this
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Two women, one man... you know the rest.
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I haven't read this book yet, but I had two copies so thought I'd share. I love all Maeve Binchy's books that I've read so far.