A “… sumptuous saga---war and peace, birth and death, wealth and squalor, marriage and divorce, religion, insanity, and more…” ---Harper’s

The Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency represents the film rights to this prolific and well known Irish writer’s novel Light a Penny Candle and it is now on offer for film adaptation. (First published by Viking in 1982; Signet edition now in its eighth printing.)

Ever universal with the major themes of war and friendship, Light a Penny Candle is the story of best friends---the English girl—Elizabeth--and an Irish girl--Aisling. World War II is raging: Elizabeth is sent (by her rather dysfunctional family) away from the London blitzes, in England, to stay the duration with an Irish family, the O'Connors. (This was often done at the time.) For five years young Elizabeth lives and experiences all things Irish about life in the village of Kilgarret, including how to be a good Catholic. In church Elizabeth learns how to "light a penny candle” and pray for what she wants….To a degree. The war ends and Elizabeth, now 15, returns to London where she finds her parents' marriage is about to end. Elizabeth and Aisling remain best of friends over the years, through thick and thin. Aisling marries an older (well... 30-ish) Irish fellow who likes his drink. In London Elizabeth has an affair with Johnny -- a young womanizer. Aisling's marriage is not consummated. Her husband Tony is impotent and his alcoholism is destructive. Elizabeth gets pregnant by her Johnny but does not tell him. She calls for Aisling to come to London to go with her to get an abortion. Elizabeth and Aisling's friendship endures and they believe they can overcome any conflict, conquer any hardship. The believe they could survive anything, as long as they have each other. But in the end, their friendship is tested beyond all imaginable.

Glamour Magazine described the novel as "A find...so rich and engrossing you can forget your own problems." while Newsday said Light a Penny Candle is "an Irish Thorn Birds...complete and rewarding." Light a Penny Candle is the first novel of acclaimed Irish novelist Maeve Binchy whose other works have often been adapted to film including Circle of Friends starring Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell, The Lilac Bus, and Silver Wedding.