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Edwin F. Casebeer

The Canary Room


Shock generated by the attack on Pearl Harbor was mirrored in the many personal traumatic disruptions of U.S. families over the next several years. The Canary Room tells the story of a 12-year-old boy in the Pacific Northwest during the last months of the war, when Herman Auerbach woke one morning to the songs and flutterings of canaries on the sun porch of a family he had never met. Without the war, would there have been a divorce, a custody hearing, a remarriage, a relocation....a canary room? The question never occurred to Herman, whose job it was to wake up every morning and get through the day, to adapt or to die.

In their debut novel, The Canary Room, set in 1945 Idaho, Edwin F. and Linda Casebeer create a vivid wartime backdrop for the story of a twelve-year-old boy in an unstable family situation. Based in part on Edwin’s childhood, the novel is rich with animal imagery and period slang. The book is written with a novel, virtuoso style, punctuated by flashbacks and stream-of- consciousness passages.  


                                                                                                                       Rebecca Foster,  Clarion Review


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