Start reading Light A Penny Candle on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Light A Penny Candle [Kindle Edition]

Maeve Binchy
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £6.17 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £2.82 (31%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Kindle Books Summer Sale
Kindle Summer Sale: Books from 99p
Browse over 600 titles from best-selling authors, including Neil Gaiman, John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, Veronica Roth and Sylvia Day. >Shop now

Book Description

A story of friendship and love from the bestselling author of Circle of Friends.

Evacuated from Blitz-battered London, shy and genteel Elizabeth White is sent to stay with the boisterous O'Connors in Kilgarret, Ireland. It is the beginning of an unshakeable bond between Elizabeth and Aisling O'Connor, a friendship which will endure through twenty turbulent years of change and chaos, joy and sorrow, soaring dreams and searing betrayals...

Writing with warmth, wit and great compassion, Maeve Binchy tells a magnificent story of the lives and loves of two women, bound together in a friendship that nothing could tear asunder - not even the man who threatened to come between them forever.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Page of Start over
This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.

Product Description


"Maeve Binchy has a gimlet eye for the seething cauldron of emotions which lies beneath the surface of everyday life" (Irish Independent)

"An adept storyteller with a sharp eye for social nuances and a pleasing affection for her characters" (Sunday Times)

"A thoroughly enjoyable and readable book" (The Times)

"Brilliant: a remarkable, panoramic and vastly entertaining novel" (Molly Keane Irish Press)

Book Description

A timeless bestseller from the author of Circle of Friends

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 891 KB
  • Print Length: 836 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital; New Ed edition (30 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041OT8C2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,100 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the IRISH TIMES. Her first novel, LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, including TARA ROAD. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming 3 Sept. 2004
By A Customer
This book has to be one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The friendship portrayed within its pages is heartwarming and it is so wonderfully evoked. If there is one thing that Maeve Binchy can do, it is to create character and mood like no one else. You really feel lost when you finish the last sentence.
The only bad thing about this book is that when you've read it, it's over.
One of the few books I would willingly pick up to re - read!!
Read this if you can!!!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
One not to be missed by any Meave Binchy fan, or anyone else for that matter. You will go from laughing to crying and back to laughing so many times. A really great read not to be missed. One of her best! Once started you can't put it down.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I heard of the recent death of Maeve Binchy (July 2012) I realised that, apart from seeing the film "Circle of Friends" (1990) I had not read any of her books. This is an ommission that I intend to rectify!

Discovering that this was her first novel - rejected several times by publishers, but eventually sold for the highest price ever paid for a debute novel, £52,000, in 1983 - she went on to become Ireland's most prolific writer and playwright, selling more than 40 million worldwide.

The story spans a 20 year period from 1940 to 1960, and cleverly contrasts the lifestyle of a rural Irish Catholic family with a much smaller protestant family in urban London during the war and afterwards. The plot centres on two genuine friends, Elizabeth and Aisling - as different in personality as they are in their upbringing.

Without giving away the twists and turns of the plot, I can say that it is made believable by the strong characters and natural dialogue. Like one of the other reviewers, I was an urban child in England, who spent several holidays with a Catholic family in a small town in Eire during the early 60s. The memories are still vivid, and I could hear in my mind the Irish lilt in the O'Connell's conversation. The two families are dysfunctional - held together by the love they share, and a strict moral code. Sometimes the rigidity of the social "rules" leads to ignorance and suppression of natural behaviour - this is made apparent by Aisling's ill fated marriage to the town's most elligible batchelor, and Elizabeth's parents. It feels quaint to us now, in the "liberated" 21st century, where women have more choices and people openly discuss sexual relationships.

The reason I did not give this 5 stars is because the ending is so condensed, as if she had "run out if steam" or the publishers imposed a fixed length for the novel - it left me feeling unsatisfied, like a delicious meal with no pud!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irish life 10 Nov. 2002
This book reminds me so well of the many holidays - especially Christmasses - that I have spent in Ireland. The descriptions of rural family life are brilliant, and as a solitary English girl whose best friend is the oldest of 7 Irish children, I found the relationship between Elizabeth and Aisling totally convincing. When I first visited Ireland - many years ago now - I was overwhelmed by the difference of it all, the Catholicism, the huge families, the social networks which (as a child of suburban London) I had never experienced. I still love Ireland, and this novel was full of the reasons why. It does deal with issues - domestic violence, divorce, alcoholism - which dispel the myth of Ireland as a utopian paradise, but it still manages to be a really good story, and one which you don't want to end - is there a sequel? I would love to know what happened to the girls in the end.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rushed ending 2 May 2013
By bubbles
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved this book and the depiction of the contrasting lifestyles in Ireland and England in the forties and fifties. The only real flaw was the ending which seemed rushed. Elizabeth's husband had a very serious reaction to something he found out and it seemed rather out of character. Really spoiled it for me as I found the book very absorbing and couldn't put it down.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real page-turner 20 July 2009
I found this book one of those great holiday reads that you can't put down. I feel like I know the characters personally and have grown up with the two young women who the story centers on. I was left hanging at the end though and felt a bit disappointed that the story just stopped rather than ended.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Binchey's Best 9 Sept. 2012
I was so saddened to hear about the death of the wonderful Maeve Binchy and straight away decided to read yet again one of my favourite books of all time, Light a Penny Candle. Unfortunately I can't find my own copy and am having trouble finding any. I was born in London and at aged 11 went to live in Ireland with my Irish parents. I could identify everything that happened in the book, and my life has been so similar to Aisling's in many ways. Its a true reflection of how Ireland was in those days, everything was so very different to the way it is now, its hard to believe that women had to endure their lives, no matter how much they wanted to get out. It's the most touching, poignant, funny, sad, wonderful story that can be read over and over again. It would be impossible not to be affected by the lives of these two girls and you just want to reach out and hug them for their strength, their honesty and their complete loyalty to each other. Absolutely magnificant and I'm delighted by the reviews by everyone on here, considering many are written by people with no Irish connections, which I always believed you'd need to read the book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Recommended by my sister and thoroughly enjoyed it. A long story but didn't want it to finish.
Published 5 days ago by Old but Honest
5.0 out of 5 stars Love loved loved this
Love loved loved this, the characters were warm and colourful and storyline danced off the pages. Another great read from Maeve Binchy.
Published 9 days ago by Lululalu
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Great read and very well written. Very enjoyable story, cleverly captured characters and an engrossing read - Maeve Binchy at her best.
Published 20 days ago by Alison McLean
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
it was the first book of maeve binchy books and I have been hooked very much
Published 1 month ago by H. M. Young
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Her usual fine writing.
Published 1 month ago by HYWEL L.
5.0 out of 5 stars ... of Maeve's books I ever read and fell in love with her
This was the first of Maeve's books I ever read and fell in love with her! I've since read all her books (I think?!? Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brenda
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a thick book but one that is brilliant in its storytelling
This bookd arrived on time and in superb condition considering this is the first of the Maeve Binchy novels. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Susie Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 2 months ago by Sonia Beckford
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll Light Two
Another great story with unforgettable characters. Takes you through every emotion - wonderful read !!
Published 2 months ago by June
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
OK read.
Published 3 months ago by Wend
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category