Candles in the Window, Karl Larew

Contemporary Fiction, Gay & Lesbian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literature & Fiction

This volume is a somewhat revised version of the 1999 edition. It is a nostalgic, but more especially a psychological, look and the love/sex lives of college students in the 1950s, set in the University of Connecticut. A small number of students are drawn together by the love of a beautiful, but enigmatic, girl nicknamed “Silky,” famous for her golden hair and her theater acting, as well as for her entrancing personality. A counterpoint to the students’ story comes in the form a young priest with homosexual urges.

Candles in the Window is a novel by Karl Larew- an author whose work I have grown to adore over the last couple of months. Larew is a fantastic author who has a knack for writing historical fiction, and I know this because I read and reviewed his entire military based historical series named Paul’s Three Wars. The three books in the series were exceptional and with each book, the story became even better thanks to the further development of characters and development of Larew’s writing. Shortly after finishing the last book in the Paul’s Three Wars series I knew that I had to continue reading Larew’s fiction, so that is why I read Candles in the Window which is the book I am going to review today. The description of Candles in the Window describes the book as a ‘psychological look at the love/sex lives of College students in the 1950’s’.

When I read the year 1950 as well as the word psychological I was immediately hooked; the 1950’s is a decade I have always been fascinated by thanks to the Hollywood glamour and the abundance of starlets. I am aware however that this was a tricky decade in history and I was excited to read about the dark/real side of the 1950’s. Now that I have finished Candles in the Window I can happily write that Larew has managed to captivate me again and make me fall in love with his literature even more so I implore all of you lovely readers to have a look at Candles in the Window as well as his other novels.

Candles in the Window is what I would describe as an intellectual and dedicated look at College life in the 1950’s. The 1950’s was a decade of change, more young women were pursuing College degrees, and most men were away fighting in the War. Although changes were happening attitudes regarding homosexuality did not, and Candles in the Window explores homosexuality and how it was deemed a sin and the worst crime a person(s) could commit. The story laced throughout the book follows many characters on their journey through life, sex and love while they are at the University of Connecticut studying; however one of the core characters of the novel is the beautiful and charming Susan (aka Silky). The reader will follow Susan as she, among others find their place on College campus, the reader will follow the group of enigmatic and lively characters as their lives become intertwined as they navigate through sex and love. The result of this is an enticing, intelligent and almost factual account of what life would have really been like in the 1950’s on College campuses across America.

The story laced between the pages of Candles in the Window is a breath-taking one thanks to the poignant events and the glorious descriptions. There are many factors about Candles in the Window that I adore but these two attributes are some of my favorites as they propel the story along perfectly. The profound nature of this book is one that will leave a mark on its readers, the honest look into homosexuality during the 1950’s is realistic as well as brutal and will show its readers what it was genuinely like. The descriptions, on the other hand, are beautiful as they will be able to entirely place the reader in the story very quickly. The descriptions of the events, the characters and the setting paint the perfect picture of University life as well as the decade of 1950’s and if you are obsessed with the 1950’s like me then you will love this… I know I did!

Karl Larew is the brilliant author we have to thank for the profound nature and stunning descriptions laced throughout the book. Not only is Larew a master of his descriptions, but he is also always a delightful storyteller who knows how to grasp his reader’s attention and suck them into the story at an alarming pace. Whenever I read a book by Larew I feel as if he is telling the story one on one to me, this may sound strange but I feel this because his words read flawlessly and I can imagine the passion he felt while writing them. Larew is one of those authors that will strike you with his talent and so if you read one of his books you will be captivated by his literature from beginning to end.

Candles in the Window is a remarkable, profound and genius book that I have to award five stars to. If you love historical fiction, particularly the decade of the 1950’s and love tv shows such as Mad Men and Masters of Sex, then you will adore Candles in the Window so what are you waiting for? Go read this stellar book!

Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much and love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please, comment below and let me know your thoughts on Candles in the Window; do you see yourself reading this book? Let me know all of those brilliant thoughts of yours below! Thank you so much again for reading!

Goodbye for now book lovers,

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is click the Buy on Amazon button and it will take you straight to the book on Amazon U.S.! If you are in the U.K. then below I have attached a link to the book for the Amazon U.K. I have also attached some links about the author and this wonderful book! Thank you so much again for reading book lovers, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book.

Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.Goodreads

Thank you so much again for reading!

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What a great review Aimee, this book looks interesting. I am going to read the preview and see if it suits me. Thanks for the review as always.

Kart Larew
Kart Larew

Candles in the Window was first conceived in 1959–the year I graduated from UCONN–as a short story (never published) and went through several drafts as a novel from 1963-1994. Since its original publication in 1999, I’ve made some editorial changes, especially taking care of typos. It is my first born, but the characters are quite fictional, although like most authors I’ve cherry-picked some incidents and dialogue from real life; the setting is also true to life, Some readers have said it is my best work. Anyway, that’s its story. I hope you will enjoy it as much as did Aimee.… Read more »

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