Sometimes a single flame can ignite a love that lasts a lifetime.
Milo Phillips knows the meaning of pain. Suffering through the most intense physical agony of his life, he’s confined to a hospital bed to bear it alone. More than once, he wishes he’d died in the explosion that melted and mangled his skin. Darkness consumes him, snuffing all the joy in his life and leaving an empty hole in its place.
But one day, a flicker of light sneaks into his hospital room, driving away some of the hopelessness. For the first time in months, pain isn’t all he feels.
The flicker’s name is Sara Foster, his new nurse. Milo just hopes that Sara can see past his scars. Because underneath, his heart has begun beating again just for her.
I’m a huge fan of Devney Perry’s Jamison Valley series; the stories are full of wounded/tortured souls, of external/internal scars, of struggle and triumph, of darkness and light, of the lowest lows and the highest highs. They’re about the meaning of family, of love, of sacrifice, and of forgiveness.
Ever since meeting Milo Phillips, I’ve wanted to hear his story, to understand what’s beneath his anger, his pain, and his inability to find even the smallest amount of light in his darkness. The way that Perry crafts Milo and gives voice to all of his struggles truly illustrates just how low he has spiraled since his accident, but readers can also see the light that Sara brings to his life and how she refuses to give up on him, even when it wants to give up on himself.
Sara has the kindest heart, the warmest smiles, and the gentlest demeanor, and despite losing her dad and having a mother who never put Sara first, she’s a compassionate, genuine and hardworking nurse and person. While the saying a ray of light is a bit cliche, it’s exactly what Sara brings to her patients’ lives and those she cares about and while her feelings for Milo may be unadvised due to her role in his care, she’s exactly what he needs and deserves and that becomes vividly clear the further into the story you go.
I adore the meaning behind The Candle Palace and how it came to be, even if it is a bit morbid. As someone who loves analogies, this one worked for me and it has limitless interpretations that all fit this story, one way or another. The way I see it…The Candle Palace is where a torch can remain lit, even when it’s determined to extinguish itself when things feel overwhelming and darkness seems to surround it. And, to some extent, readers can relate to this idea, understand how difficult life can be at times, and agree with the idea that ‘it’s bad before it gets better.’
I hope Devney Perry continues to bring readers back to Jamison Valley, but even if she doesn’t, I know that the characters’ stories and the lessons taught will stay with me for quite some time.
4.5 Poison Apples
About the Author
Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.