One Candle’s Light

Written by Fay Alexander
Review by Susan Higginbotham

At twelve years old, William Brewster meets a party of courtiers traveling through Scrooby and is instantly drawn to William Davison, who encourages the lad to aspire to study at Cambridge. Once at the university, Brewster falls in with a group of friends who will change his life—and whose ideas will lead him to a new land.

Every American schoolchild knows the story of the Mayflower and the Plimoth Colony, but only through the most famous episodes, and the individual stories of the pilgrims often get lost among the historical set pieces such as the first Thanksgiving. One Candle’s Light gives us one such individual story, reminding us of the sacrifices and moral dilemmas faced by the pilgrims and not shying away from the uncomfortable topic of their relations with the Native Americans. As an earnest story about earnest people, this novel won’t be to the taste of those who prefer their fiction light or their characters glamorous, but those interested in reading about a period that’s been relatively neglected in fiction should appreciate this book.