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Extended Audio Sample Candles Burning: A Novel, by Tabitha King Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.18 out of 53.18 out of 53.18 out of 53.18 out of 53.18 out of 5 3.18 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael McDowell, Tabitha King Narrator: Carrington MacDuffie Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Author Michael McDowell, known for his chilling Blackwater series, left behind the unfinished manuscript of Candles Burning upon his death in 1999. His close friend, Tabitha King, has taken up where he left off, weaving a Southern gothic fabric of murder, guilt, innocence, corruption, and survival, in the voices of the living and the dead.

Seven-year-old Calley Dakin is daddy’s little girl, but her well-born mother persists in her contempt for the Dakin name. When her daddy is tortured and murdered by two women with no discernible motivation, Calley and her mother find themselves caught up in inexplicable events that exile them to Pensacola Beach. There, another woman awaits their presence, a woman who knows what Calley is and who seeks to control her—for Calley is no ordinary little girl.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A mix of magic realism and Southern gothic, this stunning collaboration…moves at a hypnotic pace, like an Alabama water moccasin slipping through black water.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “MacDuffie portrays the child Calley with a little girl voice and a mild Southern accent yet still manages to convey a child who is smarter than her years…As the story develops, King and MacDuffie slowly reveal the how and why of Calley’s gift.”


  • “[A] lightly supernatural confection…King completes it beautifully as to tone, aura, and flavor, and it's funny and intriguing, magnetically readable.”


  • “This is Truman Capote/Carson McCullers country with a Pandora guided by ghostly voices…grand and deeply satisfying.”

    Peter Straub, New York Times bestselling author

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sara | 2/19/2011

    " I would have given this a four but the ending wrapped up a little too quickly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Debra | 2/16/2011

    " I've read most (if not all) of Michael McDowell's books and especially loved his Blackwater series. He definitely knows how to write creepy stuff.

    I really enjoyed this book of his finished after his death by Tabitha King (Stephen King's wife). It was subtle and insidious! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lynne | 2/4/2011

    " Only downside was that it was obvious where Michael McDowell left off and Tabitha King picked up. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Linda | 12/9/2010

    " Very very disappointing. Michael Mcdowell is one of my favorite authors. I have read and re-read most of his books. This book felt so disjointed and Mrs. King's lack of skill was so clear. It was easy for a fan to pick out what was her ideas vs. the original manuscript. "

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About the Author
Author Tabitha King

Tabitha King is the acclaimed author of Small World, Survivor, The Book of Reuben, and many other titles. The wife of novelist Stephen King, she lives in Maine.