One Small Candle by Evelyn Tidman

January 5, 2018

Title: One Small Candle, The Story of William Bradford and the Pilgrim Fathers

Author: Evelyn Tidman

Publisher: Amazon Media


Author's web site: Evelyn Tidman

Genre: Historical Fiction

Print Length: 561 pages



William Bradford is just eighteen when he leaves England with the Separatist congregation to move to Holland. The congregation eventually settles in Leyden, but, battling to make a living, they decide to move again, this time to America. Opposition to the Separatist faith hinders the Pilgrims’ efforts to secure permission to emigrate. The voyage on the Mayflower is plagued with difficulties and terrible sickness. But the Pilgrims make it to Plymouth, New England where they begin the struggle to build a colony. William Bradford, as the governor of the colony, is their strength. But can his determination bring them through all the trials and tribulations of starting a new colony while, at the same time, his heart aches for a forbidden love. This is the story of the birth of a nation, based on the true story of William Bradford.


This is Evelyn Tidman’s second novel and it is a masterclass in how to write a ‘factional’. The narrative is gripping and the way the plot is written creates a real page turner. Even though many readers may be aware of the actual historical outcome of the story, Tidman is able to keep the tension going, so that the reader is never quite sure what the outcomes of the various plot lines will be. The characters are written with genuine feeling and you get a real sense of the emotional and physical turmoil that they have to go through during their experiences. The dialogue was crisp and made a helpful contribution to developing the plots and the characters. The settings are masterfully described and the readers is drawn right into the middle of the action. The snippets of historical context are added within the narrative in a manner that does not break the narrative flow. This is a wonderfully written novel that I would recommend to anyone, regardless of whether they are interested in the historical context - this is a novel about the people that made history, not simply about history itself.


What others thought (at the time of writing): 13 reviews, with all being 3* or above, giving an average rating of 4.7* 13 reviews, with 12 being 3* or above, giving an average rating of 4.4* 23 ratings (including 9 reviews), with 21 being 3* or above, giving an average of 4.4*


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