Book Life Prize Review

Title: A Candle for My Mother

 Author: Pamela L. Newton

 Genre: Nonfiction/Memoir

 Audience: Adult

Word Count: 72,000


Plot:  Lorraine Newton's stories of life in the Middle East are a fascinating close-up of history combined with the personal life of a mid-century American couple. 

 Prose: Lorraine Newton is a natural storyteller. Her descriptions paint a vivid picture of time and place, as well as show her consideration and acceptance of people as she explored the globe and encountered a diverse array of individuals. Pamela Newton's inclusion of her own travels and her candle-lighting throughout the world's churches makes a sweet connection between storylines.

 Originality: Family letters and journals are rarely this interesting. Pamela Newton has successfully integrated her personal story within that of her mother's without overshadowing or competing. 

 Character Development: Lorraine, Don, and the people they met while in the Middle East are presented without embellishment or ego. Lorraine's personality shines through in these pages. Her descriptions of the men and women they knew and the people they worked with make readers feel as if they were right alongside the couple in their travels.


 Plot/Idea: 9

Originality: 10

Prose: 8

Character/Execution: 9

Overall: 9.00

Report Submitted: September 19, 2018