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A Robin Redbreast in a Cage

398 pages6 hours


As he does with his earlier novels, Burnham takes his time in skillfully creating his characters so that by the end, the readers know them inside out, down to their raw hearts. Some characters suffer a transformation; others don’t; but each word and action count and stay true to them, making them distinctive. Most fascinating about this story is the mind-splitting moral debate that goes on inside Charlie’s mind at every second as she tries to fight her uncle from totally controlling and brainwashing her like he’s already done to his family. ... Charlie’s story ... pulls the reader in, and this reviewer was anxious to see what was going to happen to her — and whether or not she’d end up having a happy ending like she deserved. Jeremy’s character, while also sympathetic, is somehow less interesting than Charlie, who is obviously the star of the show. The hypocrisy and evil of religion and conservative governments is a recurrent theme in Burnham’s novels, such as On a Darkling Plain and The Many Change and Pass. Other questions explored in the novel include what it means to be a good Christian and the role of women in Christianity. If you’re interested in fiction dealing with social issues, this is an author whose works you’ll definitely want to read. — Mayra Calvani

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