Life on a Candlestick is author Claudia Andrus’ reflection on the events of her life and her spiritual experiences from the time of her birth in 1940 through the death of her husband in 2010.
When she was a baby, Andrus’ mother died of breast cancer, having rejected her doctor’s advice to have an abortion in order to receive cancer treatment. The author spent her early years in Kansas, living with her father and three older sisters. Andrus felt an occasional cold shoulder from her siblings, but she didn’t know the source of it until years later, when she learned the circumstances of her mother’s death.
She survived numerous brushes with death. She was bit by a rabid dog at 5, then badly burned in a kitchen fire at 8 or 9. Yet even as a young child longing for a mother, she had a deep feeling of God’s love for her.
At 17, she became pregnant by a boy she was dating and bore a son. She went on to suffer two traumatic marriages and the birth of second son and a daughter before ending up with the man who would bring her true love and happiness.
This book is best judged as a work of Pentecostal Christian testimony. Recurring themes are the author’s waking visions and physical sensations during prayer. There are miraculous healings, angel visits, and preservations from harm.
Unfortunately, the regular events of life are very hard to follow due to the author’s frequent baffling omissions. She tells us that she gives birth to a daughter, for example, and never mentions the daughter again. We sometimes learn that she has gotten married only when we subsequently learn she’s getting a divorce.
In short, the conventions of narrative are so poorly handled here that even Andrus’ fellow Pentecostals will find her book hard to follow. Despite the author’s very evident sincerity, this book will challenge even the most dedicated readers.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.