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The Birdcage

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Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father - and a terrible secret. Each has found their way of burying it. Over the years they've grown apart, and into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where they once sat for their father's most celebrated painting, Girls with Birdcage, reunites them. Rock Point Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father - and a terrible secret. Each has found their way of burying it. Over the years they've grown apart, and into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where they once sat for their father's most celebrated painting, Girls with Birdcage, reunites them. Rock Point is a beautiful, windswept place, thick with secrets, electrically charged with the one subject the family daren't discuss. And there is someone in the shadows watching the house, their every move. Someone who remembers the girls in the painting. What they did. The sisters must unlock the truth to set themselves free - and find each other again.


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Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father - and a terrible secret. Each has found their way of burying it. Over the years they've grown apart, and into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where they once sat for their father's most celebrated painting, Girls with Birdcage, reunites them. Rock Point Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father - and a terrible secret. Each has found their way of burying it. Over the years they've grown apart, and into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where they once sat for their father's most celebrated painting, Girls with Birdcage, reunites them. Rock Point is a beautiful, windswept place, thick with secrets, electrically charged with the one subject the family daren't discuss. And there is someone in the shadows watching the house, their every move. Someone who remembers the girls in the painting. What they did. The sisters must unlock the truth to set themselves free - and find each other again.

30 review for The Birdcage

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    4+ On January 3rd, 2019 Lauren returns to Rock Point in Cornwall the home of her artist father Charlie Finch after an absence of 20 years, August of 1999 and the summer of the eclipse being the last time she was there with her half sisters Flora and Kat. All Lauren‘s insecurities come to the fore and secrets the siblings have suppressed stem back to that summer. This is a dysfunctional, disparate family group trying to be functional. Can they succeed and can past ghosts be laid to rest? The story 4+ On January 3rd, 2019 Lauren returns to Rock Point in Cornwall the home of her artist father Charlie Finch after an absence of 20 years, August of 1999 and the summer of the eclipse being the last time she was there with her half sisters Flora and Kat. All Lauren‘s insecurities come to the fore and secrets the siblings have suppressed stem back to that summer. This is a dysfunctional, disparate family group trying to be functional. Can they succeed and can past ghosts be laid to rest? The story told in duel timelines and by the siblings. This is another book by Eve Chase that I’ve greatly enjoyed. That storytelling is lovely, there are some vivid descriptions that make you feel like you are there. The house, Rock Point is at the centre of the story, it’s the key and you see it in all its faded glory. I love Bertha, the talking African grey parrot, owner of one of the birdcages of the title (Berthington Palace) who interjects herself magnificently into the storyline. The characterisation is excellent from Dad Charlie (just a bit of a player, the daughters have three different mothers!)to the sisters and Ange who works for the family in ‘99 and reappears in 2019. The dynamics are complex and chop and change which makes for interesting reading. There is a very good air of mystery that pervades and tantalises you and you get Cornwall thrown into the bargain! The pace is good throughout, there’s plenty of tension, moments of suspense, it becomes a bit dark at time as truths emerge which releases characters from its bonds. It builds well and has an ending I enjoy too with Charlie’s art being centre stage. An engrossing and compelling read. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Penguin Michael Joseph for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️

    Yuppie... my turn for the BLOG TOUR of THE BIRDCAGE by EVE CHASE Eve Chase’s The Birdcage is a story that sweeps you off your feet, the writing by the author so magical that it transports you to the lazy summers of a house called Rock Point in Cornwall. It is not just the dual timeline story that grabs the reader's attention but sewing together a quilt thru the eyes of the three half-sisters in the present times makes for some gripping reading. Right away, we are made aware of something terrible Yuppie... my turn for the BLOG TOUR of THE BIRDCAGE by EVE CHASE Eve Chase’s The Birdcage is a story that sweeps you off your feet, the writing by the author so magical that it transports you to the lazy summers of a house called Rock Point in Cornwall. It is not just the dual timeline story that grabs the reader's attention but sewing together a quilt thru the eyes of the three half-sisters in the present times makes for some gripping reading. Right away, we are made aware of something terrible that has affected the lives of everyone connected to Rock Point, so much that for, 20 years none of them have managed to step back into the place again. Lauren, Flora, and Kat, the three half-sisters are struggling in their respective lives but are unable to form any sort of sisterly bond or family connection between them. We get to read the perspective of their return thru each of their POVs but the past, specifically the August of 1999 when an eclipse had occurred is narrated thru the eyes of Lauren, the youngest of the trio. Dysfunctional takes on a new meaning in this family as everyone caters to the famous artist father Charlie Finch and his lifestyle. Eve Chase unveils the complex web at a steady pace as each interaction between the members of the family brings to light the dynamics inside it and the undercurrent of something unsaid lying dormant. The African Grey talking parrot, Bertha is the highlight of the novel and I was in awe with how the parrot and its cage Berthington Palace became a focal point in the story, Lauren’s anxiety connected to the talking parrot and birds in general causes unease in the reader every time Bertha repeats certain things in perfect mimicry with the voice of the speaker. Eve Chase explores the complicated relationships wonderfully and the face each of the sisters presents to the world and returning to Rock Point is as much a relief as coming to terms with their individuality, reconnecting them to their roots. The characterization of all of them is perfect, flawed, and more grey than white, the careless father, the grandparents trying their best with the children to form a cohesive unit, and Angie, the au pair who becomes a part of their past and present, Gemma and her mother Viv, Pete and Jonah, a whole host of characters that was sketched so beautifully. The sense of place is an advantage as Rock Point on the cliffs, the abandoned huts, the moors, and rocky outcroppings are vividly captured. The mystery element of the story is not hard to guess for seasoned readers and I did surmise the twists right from the beginning though by no means did it spoil the reading experience. A remarkable journey to Cornwall and to the lives of a family that has to relearn to trust and forgive each other, The Birdcage is a thoroughly engrossing read. Many thanks to Net Galley, Penguin Michael Joseph, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily. This review is published in my blog Rain'n'Books, ##Goodreads, ##Amazon India, ##Book Bub, ##Medium.com, ##Facebook, ##Twitter.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Why yes I would love a dual timeline coming of age thriller set in Cornwall, how kind of you to ask

  4. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father - and a terrible secret. Each has found a way of burying it. Over the years they've grown apart, and into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish Cliff House where they once sat for their father's most celebrated painting, Girls with Birdcage, reunites them. Rock Point is a beautiful, windswept palace, thick with secrets, electrically charged with the one secret the family daren't discuss. And Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father - and a terrible secret. Each has found a way of burying it. Over the years they've grown apart, and into wildly different lives. But an invitation to Rock Point, the Cornish Cliff House where they once sat for their father's most celebrated painting, Girls with Birdcage, reunites them. Rock Point is a beautiful, windswept palace, thick with secrets, electrically charged with the one secret the family daren't discuss. And there's someone watching the house. Someone who remembers what the girls did. This is a multilayered story with elements of surprise. The sister's are attending their father's house in Cornwall where he is going to make a surprise announcement. The sisters are dreading the reunion, they have avoided each other for years. The story is told from the three sisters perspectives in alternating chapters. The secret they share happened during the 1999 eclipse. The story flips back and forth from the present day and the summer of 1999. There's lots of little twists and one big one that made the rest of the story easy to work out. I would like to thank #NetGalley #PenguinMichaelJosephUK and the author #EveChase for my ARC of #TheBirdcage in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gill Paul

    A psychologically gripping story of three half-sisters who are reunited one summer at their father’s home on the treacherous Cornish coast. The relationships between the girls, their father, and their separate mothers are complex and intriguing. I was terrified for poor Lauren, the youngest, but we saw her gradually getting stronger and more able to deal with the family. The nastiness of Kat and Flora when they found themselves with a new half-sister was shocking, and yet understandable too when A psychologically gripping story of three half-sisters who are reunited one summer at their father’s home on the treacherous Cornish coast. The relationships between the girls, their father, and their separate mothers are complex and intriguing. I was terrified for poor Lauren, the youngest, but we saw her gradually getting stronger and more able to deal with the family. The nastiness of Kat and Flora when they found themselves with a new half-sister was shocking, and yet understandable too when you know more of their back stories. I loved the glimpses of the three mothers through their eyes, and the larger-than-life character of Charlie Finch. Each of them is totally memorable. The grandparents and Angie and Bertha and Viv – all of them complete originals. We know something terrible happened at that house during the eclipse of 1999, but what? And who exactly knows about it? The house with its large birdcage is the setting for a cleverly narrated unravelling of the past and the myriad ways in which it has shaped the present. Layer by layer we get closer to the truth. The writing is spectacular. I was consumed with writerly envy for all the spot-on similes and metaphors. This is a novel that draws you in and doesn’t let go till the last page. Enjoy!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Kat, Flora and Lauren have different mothers but share the same father: famous artist, Charles Finch. Summoned to Rock Point by their father, an unexpected announcement  – and the arrival of an individual from the past – threatens to widen the rift that already exists between the sisters as well as bring back  unwelcome memories of the dramatic event that occurred two decades earlier. It’s an event that hasn’t been spoken about since but which has lurked beneath the surface as unfinished busines Kat, Flora and Lauren have different mothers but share the same father: famous artist, Charles Finch. Summoned to Rock Point by their father, an unexpected announcement  – and the arrival of an individual from the past – threatens to widen the rift that already exists between the sisters as well as bring back  unwelcome memories of the dramatic event that occurred two decades earlier. It’s an event that hasn’t been spoken about since but which has lurked beneath the surface as unfinished business between the sisters. ‘It’s the secret they forged here twenty years ago that’s pushed them apart as it’s run through each day of their lives since. In each other they see too much of the worst of themselves.’ In Charles, the author gives us a portrait of a mercurial, rather self-obsessed artist who pours his energy into making art rather than sustaining relationships. ‘He has an ability to detach from his subjects; to see human beings as arrangement of form and flesh in space, volume and light; a technical challenge to be solved.’ His three marriages are not the only evidence of his inability to be faithful but his dedication to art has come at a cost. In a striking metaphor, the sisters are ‘mismatching dolls, from different sets’. Kat is a high-flying successful entrepreneur (on the surface at least) and Flora is a wife and mother trying hard to live up to the expectations of her husband, Scott. Close to each other in age, Kat and Flora had a close bond when younger. Lauren, on the other hand, has always felt like the outsider right from the first moment she was introduced to her two half-sisters. ‘In the archipelago of the sisters, she’s still an island on her own.’ One other notable character is Bertha the parrot whose often ill-timed mimicry of snippets of overheard conversations proves key to what unfolds. ‘We all knew Bertha didn’t invent things, just repeated them.’ As with all Eve Chase’s books there’s a real sense of place – in this case the wild, expansive coastline of Cornwall. Rock Point’s remote location surrounded by moorland dotted with abandoned cottages and standing stones, contributes to the sense of unease.  As Lauren observes, ‘Everything was bigger. Skies. Rooms. Feelings. There was more to go wrong’. The present day story (2019) alternates between the points of view of the three sisters. Interwoven with this is Lauren’s first person narrative of events in 1999. The author skilfully ramps up the tension through fleeting references and tantalising snippets of detail about events on an August day in 1999.  It soon becomes apparent that no-one has the full picture of what took place on the fateful day. It’s only when all the pieces are put together that the sisters – and the reader – find out what actually happened. Like me, you may have an inkling about the direction of some of the story but I’m pretty sure you’ll discover a few surprises. The Birdcage’s combination of long-buried secrets and exploration of complex family relationships adds up to an intriguing, well-crafted and satisfying mystery.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Eve Chase knows how to write sister relationships, as she proves once again in her latest book, which was a delicious read full of family secrets and intrigue. THE BIRDCAGE. She is also very skilled in creating an atmospheric setting, so it wasn’t really a surprise that I instantly felt transported to Rock Point, the old artist’s mansion on top of a Cornish cliff. It is here that half sisters Kat, Flora and Lauren meet, summoned by their father, the eccentric artist Charlie Finch. Each one of th Eve Chase knows how to write sister relationships, as she proves once again in her latest book, which was a delicious read full of family secrets and intrigue. THE BIRDCAGE. She is also very skilled in creating an atmospheric setting, so it wasn’t really a surprise that I instantly felt transported to Rock Point, the old artist’s mansion on top of a Cornish cliff. It is here that half sisters Kat, Flora and Lauren meet, summoned by their father, the eccentric artist Charlie Finch. Each one of the sisters embarks on the journey with some trepidation, owing to the dark secret they have been harbouring for 20 years, each of them honouring the unspoken Finch code of silence that has weighed heavily on them. Has the time come to finally confront the past? As with Chase’s previous books, each character is colourfully drawn and instantly came to life in my mind, especially the eccentric Charlie. There was even a talking African grey parrot, Bertha, who will spill a secret or two in this ill-fated family reunion. I loved the way each sister has a very distinct personality, which added to the complexity of their relationships. Told in two separate timelines, the story focuses not only on the family reunion and the sisters’ waiting for Charlie’s big announcement, but also on the events of twenty years ago, the year of the famous eclipse, when a terrible tragedy tore the sisters apart. The central mystery was intriguing and further aided by the little morsels Bertha would reveal at the most inopportune moments. It’s the first time I have ever seen a parrot used to give clues to the reader to solve the puzzle, and I loved it! The old house featured like a character in its own right, making this a most colourful and interesting cast that easily swept me along on their quest for the truth. I first fell in love with this author when I read THE GLASS HOUSE, and her latest book continued this trend. I now look forward to reading her entire backlist. If you love a good sister mystery and family secrets, then you can’t go wrong with this one! Thank you to G.P. Putnam's Sons for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review. *blog* *facebook* *instagram*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Val (pagespoursandpups)

    I quickly became enraptured with this very dysfunctional family, the Finches. Transported to Rock Point on the Cornish Coast, this multi-layered, dual timeline story had me captivated. The pace was excellent throughout and the character development masterful. "Because life's grown-up lesson-always, by its nature, learned too late- is about consequences, mostly the unforseen ones." The story revolves around the three Finch girls, Flora, Kat and Lauren, the daughters with all different mothers, of C I quickly became enraptured with this very dysfunctional family, the Finches. Transported to Rock Point on the Cornish Coast, this multi-layered, dual timeline story had me captivated. The pace was excellent throughout and the character development masterful. "Because life's grown-up lesson-always, by its nature, learned too late- is about consequences, mostly the unforseen ones." The story revolves around the three Finch girls, Flora, Kat and Lauren, the daughters with all different mothers, of Charlie Finch. Charlie is a celebrated artist and a serial philanderer. The girls are called back to Rock Point again after being gone for 20 years living separate lives. It is obvious from the start that something traumatic happened 20 years ago, and Lauren was the most affected. Rock Point was the meeting place each summer for the girls. Time to spend with each other and with their father and grandmother, away from their respective mothers. Flora and Kat were always closer - they didn't even find out about Lauren until she was almost a teenager. It proves for a distinct dynamic - two against one. Flora is married with a child and is the prototypical beautiful stay-at-home wife with a perfect life. (or is that just what she wants others to see?) Kat is the drivin, non-nonsense businesswoman whose life revolves around the company she built. Lauren rounds out the three and is the most fragile. Raised by her single mom who lived the bohemian life - bringing Lauren travelling with her around the world - seems lost now as her mother recently passed away. There is an air of mystery surrounding so many aspects of this story. The memories about the incident the night of the solar eclipse in 1999, the unspoken secrets of Charlie and his mother, and the sudden and unexpected marriage announcement in 2019. Being back at Rock Point opens up old wounds and unspoken sentiments. This story is full of revelations and shocking twists. Each character in this book seemed to have been hiding a secret. Once someone outside the family learns that the sisters are back in town, anonymous threats in the form of notes appear. I was so proud of myself in figuring out one of the twists early on, but it didn't ruin the reading at all. There were plenty of unexpected other twists and revelations along the way. "Forced to acknowledge that the past lives on like the wrong tense in a Word document, constantly underlined, needing to be addressed. And she never has. They never have." I really enjoyed this psychological thriller and would not hesitate to recommend it. This was my first book to read by this author, but I will definitely be looking into her backlist! Thank you to NetGalley and Putnam/ G.P. Putnam's Sons for the ARC to read and review. U.S. Pub date: 7.19.22

  9. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    3.5 stars Family gatherings can be complicated enough,but this one more do than usual. An unusual family of father and three daughters (each with different mothers) That in itself can cause problems,but added to that is a secret from 20 years ago that only some of them know the truth of. This adds tension to the book,as you know it has to be something pretty major to have the effect it has. I enjoyed the interactions of each of the characters ,each so different to each other,and the house that seems 3.5 stars Family gatherings can be complicated enough,but this one more do than usual. An unusual family of father and three daughters (each with different mothers) That in itself can cause problems,but added to that is a secret from 20 years ago that only some of them know the truth of. This adds tension to the book,as you know it has to be something pretty major to have the effect it has. I enjoyed the interactions of each of the characters ,each so different to each other,and the house that seems to have a character all of its own. Definitely a story that kept me entertained from the first page to the last. Not my first Chase book,not my last either.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Reyes

    I called every single one of the twists, the final chapters after the mystery was solved were a bit cheesy, and I feel like the author sometimes was trying too hard with the language, if that makes any sense, but it was a good story and I loved the dynamics between the sisters 👍🏼

  11. 5 out of 5

    bookishcharli

    Ahhh you all know that my heart loves a good dual timeline with multiple POV book, and this one is no exception. Three half-sisters head to their father’s house in Cornwall as he’s planning on making a surprise announcement, unfortunately all of them are dreading it as they have successfully avoided each other for years due to an incident one summer. Unfortunately for them, someone is watching the house, someone that remembers exactly what happened. We get to hear from all girls perspectives as Ahhh you all know that my heart loves a good dual timeline with multiple POV book, and this one is no exception. Three half-sisters head to their father’s house in Cornwall as he’s planning on making a surprise announcement, unfortunately all of them are dreading it as they have successfully avoided each other for years due to an incident one summer. Unfortunately for them, someone is watching the house, someone that remembers exactly what happened. We get to hear from all girls perspectives as the secret of what happened in the summer of 1999 is finally revealed. If you want to read a psycho-thriller full of caged secrets and complex familial relationships then look no further. This book is for you. Thanks to the plot and the wonderful writing, you’ll be gripped from page 1 right up until the final word. Thank you to Michael Joseph for having me on the blog tour for this one, it’s a superb read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    Three half-sisters, Lauren, Kat, and Flora return to their family home, Rock Point, in Cornwall. They have been summoned by their artist dad, Charlie Finch, who wants to make a big announcement. They left 20 years ago and subsequently are leading very different lives. They re-visit an occurrence that happened around the time of the solar eclipse, reverting to their childhood personas. The story is told in flashbacks between 1999 and 2019. This story is chock full of secrets, revelations and shoc Three half-sisters, Lauren, Kat, and Flora return to their family home, Rock Point, in Cornwall. They have been summoned by their artist dad, Charlie Finch, who wants to make a big announcement. They left 20 years ago and subsequently are leading very different lives. They re-visit an occurrence that happened around the time of the solar eclipse, reverting to their childhood personas. The story is told in flashbacks between 1999 and 2019. This story is chock full of secrets, revelations and shocking twists and the characters are colourfully drawn making them vivid in my mind, especially eccentric Charlie. Bertha, an African grey parrot, added further interest and was happy to repeat a secret here and there. The intriguing central mystery provides further enjoyment and I fully appreciated this riveting tale. Highly immersive and well worth a read. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Penguin Michael Joseph UK via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cat Reads Books

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free digital copy of this book. The following is my honest review. Three estranged half sisters travel to their aging artist father's beach estate for a weekend to hear his "big announcement." While they're there, old drama and secrets are dug up, including some that a few people really, really wish would stay hidden. This book continuously fell just a hair short of what it was trying to be. I wanted to write out a long detailed rev Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free digital copy of this book. The following is my honest review. Three estranged half sisters travel to their aging artist father's beach estate for a weekend to hear his "big announcement." While they're there, old drama and secrets are dug up, including some that a few people really, really wish would stay hidden. This book continuously fell just a hair short of what it was trying to be. I wanted to write out a long detailed review, but the truth is it's just fairly forgettable. The characters are boring and come across as one dimensional despite what should be really interesting dynamics between them. What I found most frustrating about this book is that there were 3 main characters and two of them were completely aware of all the details around the "mystery" the reader was supposed to figure out. I guess we were supposed to try to solve things with the third main character but it was just annoying. The "twist" was also very disappointing. I'm pretty sure I actually rolled my eyes, not because it was that predictable but just because I was so uninvested in the characters or story. I think it was the writing that made it hard to connect; it was flowery where it didn't need to be and detached where it could've had more spunk. I wouldn't say this was a complete waste of my time but I probably won't read more from this author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    I really enjoyed Eve Chase's 'The Glass House', so it was great to be back into another family relationship drama read set around a house. This time it's Rock Point. This is an enjoyable read, with a split time frame, where three contrasting half-sisters come together, drawn by their artists father to unlock the past. Bubbling secrets lie rooted into the narrative linked to a night of an eclipse. I love how Chase creates atmosphere in her writing and the setting is almost a living thing for the I really enjoyed Eve Chase's 'The Glass House', so it was great to be back into another family relationship drama read set around a house. This time it's Rock Point. This is an enjoyable read, with a split time frame, where three contrasting half-sisters come together, drawn by their artists father to unlock the past. Bubbling secrets lie rooted into the narrative linked to a night of an eclipse. I love how Chase creates atmosphere in her writing and the setting is almost a living thing for the reader through vivid, sensory descriptions. I'd definitely recommend this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    KarenK2

    I received this from Netgalley.com. "Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father - and a terrible secret." I generally enjoy reading these twisty family sagas but this one didn't do it for me. I had trouble distinguishing the characters, they sounded all the same with their 'kitschy ' voices and the story didn't capture my attention. 2☆ I received this from Netgalley.com. "Kat, Flossie and Lauren are half-sisters who share a famous artist father - and a terrible secret." I generally enjoy reading these twisty family sagas but this one didn't do it for me. I had trouble distinguishing the characters, they sounded all the same with their 'kitschy ' voices and the story didn't capture my attention. 2☆

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    The Birdcage by Eve Chase There's a punchy energy to ‘The Birdcage’ that grabs you right away: ‘the cat-paw-quick movement of her father's sketching hand’ The dramatic engagement is immediate, and I really enjoyed the thrill of that. Chase handles split narrative and dual timelines adroitly. Once you have each of the three half-sisters firmly set (name, appearance, family background), it is a pleasure to knit together the separate strands of action in your imagination, as the two plots (1999 and 20 The Birdcage by Eve Chase There's a punchy energy to ‘The Birdcage’ that grabs you right away: ‘the cat-paw-quick movement of her father's sketching hand’ The dramatic engagement is immediate, and I really enjoyed the thrill of that. Chase handles split narrative and dual timelines adroitly. Once you have each of the three half-sisters firmly set (name, appearance, family background), it is a pleasure to knit together the separate strands of action in your imagination, as the two plots (1999 and 2019) unfold for each sibling. In fact, it's what makes the novel so addictive, and the technique keeps the book fairly clipping along. Flora is riveting to read, Kat brisk, but it’s Lauren who will have most readers emotionally engaged: ‘Lauren manages a trembling, transformative smile. She’s got one of those plush French-movie mouths with a slight overbite that can only be carried off by someone gamine, with psychological complexities. […] The sweet quirkiness that Lauren’s always worn, like a floaty blouse, now seems to be constructed from a denser, heavier fabric.’ In fact, each character, even those on the peripheries, are remarkably convincing and observed with fine attention to detail. The family, and Angie, in particular, fairly leap off the page in full technicolour: ‘The Campari-red plume of hair. The triumphant smile on that slack, sensual mouth. The starburst of lines around those blown-out mad-green eyes.’ Perhaps this is because the reader gets multiple views of each character (Kat’s character portrayal is painted by both Flora and Lauren; Lauren's is coloured by Kat and Flora, et. cetera): ‘Clearly out there, in the world, Kat matters. Before this trip, Flora hadn’t realized quite how much. And it kindles a confusing conflict of pride and jealousy, even though she’d rather die than admit either sentiment to Kat. Pouring a glass of water […] she vaguely wonders how it is that her own life has got smaller and smaller while Kat’s has expanded globally, hot and light, like some sort of astonishing gas.’ This speaks volumes for how deftly the author has balanced the three viewpoints within the split narrative. This stands, also, as testament to how successfully the dual timeline is juggled. The novel - not only despite, but positively thanks to - its complexities of structuring, is a truly fluid thing and so pleasing to read. Eve Chase's writing is really zesty: ‘Kat sucks in her breath, Cornwall’s rapid approach registering as one tiny shock, then another, until it’s like dozens of acupuncture needles bristling on her scalp.’ Chase’s use of inventive simile makes her work particularly energetic to read: ‘the sea’s thunderous boom – like hundreds of whales thrashing their tails at the same time’ ‘The surrounding fields have a tremulous sheen, like the silky flank of a panting black horse.’ Luxurious passages of description, coloured by the attitudes and memories of the sibling with control of the viewpoint, pepper the action-driven and dialogue-rich plot, and are delicious to read: ‘Dad’s proper studio was an old button factory in London’s East End. […] But at Rock Point he “mucked around” and I’d seized the role of helper, mixing things, washing brushes, organizing. […] Unlike my sisters, I’d learned its language: scumble and saturation; fat over lean; filbert and fresco; top-tone and tooth; gesso and ground. The stories sat in the fat metal tubes of paint. Bone Black was made of charred animal bones. Cobalt gave you cancer. Lead White sent you curly whirly cuckoo. Vincent Van Gogh sucked his paintbrushes and chopped off his ear: Dad would demonstrate this, taking a palette knife to his own, pretending to saw, making us all giggle.’ Another effective contrivance is the parrot, Bertha, who mimics spoken phrases in the speaker’s own voice. This mechanism allows the characters to hear, after the fact, what’s been said by others (often about them) in the household. This potent little device works wonderfully to create tension and intrigue, at the same time undermining the girls’ inner monologues and unsettling the reader. It also functions, in the most satisfying way, to loop everything round in the denouement. And the funny thing is, usually a constant prefiguring or foreshadowing of ‘the thing’ that the reader doesn’t know – the event to be revealed as the crux of it all – would grate with me. But it’s not tiresome at all in ‘The Birdcage'. I felt a measured excitement as, bit by bit, the mystery was revealed. Chase lets her reader guess in the 2019 narrative at what’s happened, long before she reveals it in the 1999 storyline. But this also works well. The plot, once weare clued-in, erupts in such a flurry of action that you’ll be tumbling too wildly towards the climax by that point to catch your breath until it’s finished. Be prepared to lose a couple of days if you pick up ‘The Birdcage’: this book is addictive. I couldn’t bear to put it down, and I relished every time I opened it again. My thanks are due to Penguin Michael Joseph UK for an ARC via Netgalley, in exchange for this honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Monika Armet

    4.5* review rounded up to 5* This book begins with a ‘Breaking News’ piece saying that a body was recovered from the sea near Zennor in Cornwall. This immediately piqued my interest and I was itching to find out more. The story goes back four days to 3rd of January 2019, where three half-sisters Flora, Kat, and Lauren arrive at Rock Point in Cornwall to see their father, Charlie Finch. Charlie, a prominent artist, but also a womaniser, invited them on a pretext of helping him to clear the house of 4.5* review rounded up to 5* This book begins with a ‘Breaking News’ piece saying that a body was recovered from the sea near Zennor in Cornwall. This immediately piqued my interest and I was itching to find out more. The story goes back four days to 3rd of January 2019, where three half-sisters Flora, Kat, and Lauren arrive at Rock Point in Cornwall to see their father, Charlie Finch. Charlie, a prominent artist, but also a womaniser, invited them on a pretext of helping him to clear the house of his mother’s, and the girls’ grandmother’s possessions. The real reason was revealed later and it was a cracker! The girls (or I should call them women) haven’t spoken to each other about the events that occurred at Rock Point during the summer of 1999, where Kat and Flora were fourteen, and Lauren thirteen. Lauren always compared herself to her sisters – they were beautiful and she was envious of their good looks. In contrast, Lauren had pale skin, bushy dark hair, and wore second hand clothes, as her mother said they were better for the environment. During that summer something horrible happened. It was the summer of total solar eclipse, and the girls’ grandfather was particularly excited about it. The tension in the house was palpable and was flowing off the pages. Twenty years later, someone still remembers what happened at Rock Point. Someone who writes malicious notes and puts them through the letterbox. Flora, Kat, Lauren and their father must come together and face up to what they’ve done. This is such an amazing book, I was hooked from the first page. I liked how all characters had secrets, which were slowly revealed one by one. I felt that because of those secrets, each character was trapped in their own birdcage, thus the choice of the book title was very apt. As I was reading, I had the impression that the house was also a character in itself, with its creaking and groaning. The descriptions of the storm and the solar eclipse were stunning and added so much to the story. This was my first book by Eve Chase but it won’t be my last!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm Blogger

    I’d like to thank NetGalley and Michael Joseph for approving me for an ARC of this book. A special thank you to Kallie from Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. I have read and loved two previous books by Eve Chase and the third is sitting on my bookcase so I was very excited to be involved in this one. This story starts with a family reunion that brings three estranged half sister’s back to their summer holiday home. Lauren, Kat and Flora as adults couldn’t be anymore di I’d like to thank NetGalley and Michael Joseph for approving me for an ARC of this book. A special thank you to Kallie from Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. I have read and loved two previous books by Eve Chase and the third is sitting on my bookcase so I was very excited to be involved in this one. This story starts with a family reunion that brings three estranged half sister’s back to their summer holiday home. Lauren, Kat and Flora as adults couldn’t be anymore different from each other if they tried. Kat seems to be the most vocal of all three and is the career woman who is hell bent on succeeding but is desperately lonely, even if is she won’t admit it. Flora is married and has a delightful little 4 year old ,Raff. Whilst on paper it seems that Flora has everything she could ever hope the cracks in her life start to show very early on and we realise that not everything is as it seems. Finally we have Lauren the quietest of the three and the one who seems to still be struggling with what happened the last summer they were all together. As the story flicks between 1999 and 2019 we learn that there were a lot of secrets being kept that summer. Everyone had something to hide and went out of their way to keep it concealed. Eve Chase slowly unravels the lies and deceit as we dive further into the complex sibling relationships and their father’s life. I felt so much sympathy for Lauren and how her older sister’s treated her that summer. I have 4 older half sister’s myself and I can’t imagine any of them being so cruel and hurtful towards me. Rock Point itself was beautifully eerie. The house felt like a character and the scenery perfectly matched the story, as the bad weather came in and the eclipse stared the characters and their lives started to spiral and fall apart. I could Imagine the moors and the ruined cottage during the thunderstorm but could also see the beauty that made Rock Point a wonderful place to be. Once again Eve Chase has delivered an atmospheric, chilling and beautiful read with sibling relationships at the heart of it. I was intrigued from start to finish, completed engrossed in the characters but I also wanted to savour every moment!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steph Edmeads

    This is my first Eve Chase read and it was interesting. Really really loved the mysterious setting and all the descriptions. I’m such a lover of books that give off a mysterious / eerie vibe, I just feel so drawn to them. Thought the way it was written with a dual timeline was good and I did like the interaction between the three sisters. They are very much a dysfunctional family full of secrets and drama. It’s quite a slow paced book but has a gradual build up of tension and suspense whilst givi This is my first Eve Chase read and it was interesting. Really really loved the mysterious setting and all the descriptions. I’m such a lover of books that give off a mysterious / eerie vibe, I just feel so drawn to them. Thought the way it was written with a dual timeline was good and I did like the interaction between the three sisters. They are very much a dysfunctional family full of secrets and drama. It’s quite a slow paced book but has a gradual build up of tension and suspense whilst giving the reader a full and detailed insight to the characters lives and what happened in the past. All all round atmospheric read and I’m obsessed with this beautiful cover. Isn’t it stunning?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vivienne

    My thanks to Penguin U.K. Michael Joseph for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Birdcage’ by Eve Chase in exchange for an honest review. This atmospheric novel is told through two timelines. It moves between the perspectives of Lauren, Kat and Flora, three half-sisters who share a famous artist father and a terrible secret. In 2019 the sisters are invited by their father, Charlie Finch, to join him at Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where twenty years before they had sat for their father's most cel My thanks to Penguin U.K. Michael Joseph for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Birdcage’ by Eve Chase in exchange for an honest review. This atmospheric novel is told through two timelines. It moves between the perspectives of Lauren, Kat and Flora, three half-sisters who share a famous artist father and a terrible secret. In 2019 the sisters are invited by their father, Charlie Finch, to join him at Rock Point, the Cornish cliff house where twenty years before they had sat for their father's most celebrated painting, Girls and Birdcage. They never discuss the events of that summer and yet there is someone in the shadows watching their every move. Someone who remembers the girls in the painting - and what they did. Eve Chase skilfully utilises the landscape of North Cornwall as well as the architecture and history of Rock Point as an atmospheric backdrop for her family drama. I felt that the narrative was quite restrained allowing the secrets to be revealed gradually in an organic manner though the suspense increased as the story progressed. ‘The Birdcage’ also explored the complex relationships between the sisters as well as how they relate individually to Charlie. Overall, I found ‘The Birdcage’ a satisfying character-led mystery.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Colette Lamberth

    I love the guessing game you can play when an author drips feeds you the information about a life changing event that happened some time ago. In this case it was 20 years earlier and a dual timeline is used to great effect. While I correctly got the who and what right I wasn’t remotely close to guessing the how. There is quite a cast of characters here with 3 half-sisters, their mothers, father and his fiancée to name a few and also Rock Point the Cornish cliff house that is the setting in both I love the guessing game you can play when an author drips feeds you the information about a life changing event that happened some time ago. In this case it was 20 years earlier and a dual timeline is used to great effect. While I correctly got the who and what right I wasn’t remotely close to guessing the how. There is quite a cast of characters here with 3 half-sisters, their mothers, father and his fiancée to name a few and also Rock Point the Cornish cliff house that is the setting in both timelines. This is a fascinating tale of friendships and relationships.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erin Nuttall

    Thank you so much to Penguin Michael Joseph for sending me the gorgeous ARC of this novel to read and review! This book had me hooked from the start. With a dark secret between the sisters, and a dual timeline keeping us guessing what each other them know, I was desperate to unravel the mystery and it kept me up till the early hours reading most nights! Most of the characters I did find unlikeable in some way (bar Lauren, she is very sincere and kind). Kat & Flora seemed very cruel in some ways, Thank you so much to Penguin Michael Joseph for sending me the gorgeous ARC of this novel to read and review! This book had me hooked from the start. With a dark secret between the sisters, and a dual timeline keeping us guessing what each other them know, I was desperate to unravel the mystery and it kept me up till the early hours reading most nights! Most of the characters I did find unlikeable in some way (bar Lauren, she is very sincere and kind). Kat & Flora seemed very cruel in some ways, as you will discover when you read the novel, and this made me not care about them as much as I did Lauren, however, as we learn more about their lives through their chapters, I did warm to them more. Their Father, Charlie, is a ladies man, with each daughter being to a different woman, which I’m never a fan of, however, he does show how much he loves each daughter individually throughout the story and you see he is a devoted Father. My favourite character was probably Bertha the Grey African Parrot, and I do wish she’d had a little bit more of a role within the story (she was very entertaining!). Angie was probably my least favourite character from the beginning, but by the end of the novel, she does have a little bit of redemption. There are quite a few secrets that are gradually unearthed, in which some of them I did guess, that kept you wondering just what else the characters could be hiding (especially Charlie, his secrets seemed never-ending). There are many emotional moments within the novel, with Lauren suffering from Anxiety/PTSD from an incident that happened in 1999, and between each sister when they discuss their own personal lives. It made me long to dive into the book and give each girl a cuddle! The reveal of the main secret is also quite a sad and emotional moment, which although I had guessed what had happened, it still made me tear up. Eve Chase has created an encapsulating and enthralling story with a brilliant ensemble cast, and if you’re looking to dive in to a family drama/mystery novel, then I highly recommend this!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Farmer-wright

    The Blurb: Twenty years after their last visit, half-sisters Lauren, Kat and Flora are summoned to Rock Point: the beautiful and windswept cliff house where they sat for their father's most famous painting, Girls and Birdcage. But what should be a joyous return is darkened by memories of the catastrophic events of a summer twenty years before. Because when the sisters arrive, it is clear that someone is determined not to let the past lie. Someone who is watching their every move. Who remembers the g The Blurb: Twenty years after their last visit, half-sisters Lauren, Kat and Flora are summoned to Rock Point: the beautiful and windswept cliff house where they sat for their father's most famous painting, Girls and Birdcage. But what should be a joyous return is darkened by memories of the catastrophic events of a summer twenty years before. Because when the sisters arrive, it is clear that someone is determined not to let the past lie. Someone who is watching their every move. Who remembers the girls in the painting, and what they did . . . My review: Set on the rugged coastline of Cornwall, the story is told in a dual timeline - 1999 around the solar eclipse and 2019. This is a slow burn of a book where the intrigue surrounding a long held secret gently simmers until the final few pages. What exactly happened at Rock Point in 1999; what was their father, Charlie going to tell them, and what was it that Lauren’s mother was trying to tell Lauren before she died. I really liked the premise of the story but the slow pace distracted me at times and I found my interest easily wandering, I just never felt in a desperate hurry to pick up the book. Other than Lauren and Gemma, I didn’t really feel any connect to the other characters. Having said that, I never felt like giving up on it as I found that I really wanted to know what the secrets were. Overall, I’d say that this was an enjoyable and very readable story but paced at a gentle amble despite the gripping nature of the secret, which I felt needed to be arrived at rather more quickly.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    All of Eve Chase's novels use the same Gothic-y, dual-timeline format to tell similar stories about complicated family dynamics and buried secrets. It's a winning formula for me, even if it makes the books so similar that they run together in my head. Still, THE BIRDCAGE stands out—at least to me—as her best story yet. Yes, it's predictable (I literally saw ALL of the plot twists coming), but that doesn't make the tale uncompelling. Maybe less suspenseful than it could have been otherwise; still All of Eve Chase's novels use the same Gothic-y, dual-timeline format to tell similar stories about complicated family dynamics and buried secrets. It's a winning formula for me, even if it makes the books so similar that they run together in my head. Still, THE BIRDCAGE stands out—at least to me—as her best story yet. Yes, it's predictable (I literally saw ALL of the plot twists coming), but that doesn't make the tale uncompelling. Maybe less suspenseful than it could have been otherwise; still, it remains an engrossing novel that kept me racing through the pages, even though I knew what to expect. As far as characters go, the Finches are a likable bunch. They're privileged, entitled, and arrogant, yes, but they're also very human in their flaws and mistakes. It's hard not to root for them to come clean with one another so they can find healing in truth and re-connection. I wanted that for them, in spite of their dysfunctionality. THE BIRDCAGE also feels deeper and wiser than Chase's other books. She plays with a lot of symbolism and meaningful motifs in the story. There's the eclipse, the birdcage, color, light and dark, etc. which added another layer to the tale. I prefer approachable commercial novels to artsy-fartsy literary fiction, but this novel blends the two in a way that really appeals to me. All considered, I really enjoyed THE BIRDCAGE. If I could, I would give it 4 1/2 stars; since I can't, I'm rounding up.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Clair Sharpe

    In December 2019, we meet half sisters, Lauren, Kat and Flora as they are summoned to their father’s home, Rock Point on the Cornish coast. We quite quickly get a sense of the women’s personalities – Kat is a high powered and efficient business woman, Flora is a mum who loves her young son dearly but isn’t happy and Lauren is the fragile one, having recently lost her mother. We quickly learn that something bad happened back in 1999, the year of the solar eclipse – something that is never spoken o In December 2019, we meet half sisters, Lauren, Kat and Flora as they are summoned to their father’s home, Rock Point on the Cornish coast. We quite quickly get a sense of the women’s personalities – Kat is a high powered and efficient business woman, Flora is a mum who loves her young son dearly but isn’t happy and Lauren is the fragile one, having recently lost her mother. We quickly learn that something bad happened back in 1999, the year of the solar eclipse – something that is never spoken of. We only hear about the past from Lauren and we hear how she never felt like she fitted in with her slightly older and glamorous sisters, having only been introduced to the family a couple of years earlier. She does however adore her enigmatic and creative father and it is in 1999, he paints his most celebrated painting of his three daughters together. Although I actually guessed the mystery (at least partly) quite early one, this didn’t spoil the reading experience at all. I found the descriptions of the summer of 1999 nostalgic and I could well imagine what an amazing time the girls would have staying with their dad and grandparents in a grand old house in Cornwall, with the freedom to swim in the sea and explore the countryside, but I completely felt Lauren’s insecurities as well. When the women return to the house in 2019 it is winter and the house, which has mostly sat empty in recent years has a much more gothic feel with dark corners and squeaky floorboards. The pacing of the story worked well – it took a long time for us to find out what happened that summer but I was still completely engrossed in the mystery and was quite happy with all the strands of the story which kept me wanting to keep reading about these three women. I enjoyed The Glass House back in 2020 so was keen to read The Birdcage and it didn’t disappoint. A well crafted character driven mystery, looking at the often complicated relationships between families, with suspense throughout.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gem ~

    The dramatic and enticing synopsis drew me towards this book as well as my utter adoration of The Glass House by the same author. In a similar vein, this is also a duel timeline, gothic mystery novel with grown up half-sisters returning 20 years after their last visit to a Rock House, the family home of their shared father who is an artist. Rock House is depicted as a beautifully grand home nestled amongst the elements with the Cornish coast on its doorstep as well as the Moors beyond. I instant The dramatic and enticing synopsis drew me towards this book as well as my utter adoration of The Glass House by the same author. In a similar vein, this is also a duel timeline, gothic mystery novel with grown up half-sisters returning 20 years after their last visit to a Rock House, the family home of their shared father who is an artist. Rock House is depicted as a beautifully grand home nestled amongst the elements with the Cornish coast on its doorstep as well as the Moors beyond. I instantly felt like I was there exploring the house, eager to prize open the drawers and toy chests to reveal their secrets myself. The quirky, dysfunctional and secretive nature of both the set up and family within the house was constantly compelling reading. I found I was constantly swaying between which characters I felt a connection with and who I was suspicious or even disliking of; ultimately there's the beauty of the book, how it reveals slowly the complexities of human relationships, appearances and our flaws & mistakes. There's such a palpable sense of late-90's nostalgia in the memories of the girls from 1999, the summer of the solar eclipse; the intensity of childhood friendships and the sense of neverending summers of discover and misadventures felt so relatable. I think this is yet another book of Eve Chase's that I'll be remembering and recommending for some time to come.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karen Huxtable

    Three half sisters, Flora, Kat and Lauren all have different mothers and the same father Charlie Finch. Charlie is an artist and his mother owned a house in Cornwall called Rock Point. They used to visit their Granny and Father in the summer holidays and the last time they all stayed at the house was the summer of 1999. Now in the present day, Charlie has called them all to the house as he has news to share with them all. From the outset of this book you know something big happened that year to th Three half sisters, Flora, Kat and Lauren all have different mothers and the same father Charlie Finch. Charlie is an artist and his mother owned a house in Cornwall called Rock Point. They used to visit their Granny and Father in the summer holidays and the last time they all stayed at the house was the summer of 1999. Now in the present day, Charlie has called them all to the house as he has news to share with them all. From the outset of this book you know something big happened that year to the family. It was also the summer that Charlie painted his famous piece The Girls and The Birdcage. I really enjoyed the dual timeline and it flowed really well and effortlessly switched between the two. Lauren was always the sister on the fringes as her mother Dixie was from a very different then the other girls. Fractured family relationships are prevalent in this novel. Rock Point is a formidable setting with its cliffs, a turbulent sea and secluded truths. I have read and enjoyed this authors books previously and this one was no exception. An atmospheric Cornish setting with secrets galore make this an engrossing and intriguing story. 5 stars *****

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sara Burgess

    I just love books with a big house at the heart of them and this does not disappoint. I think Eve Chase depicts characters very well, and has a great knack of deftly describing the setting, action, character, feelings with a confident brush stroke that brings them to life. I could very much imagine being there. Bertha, the parrot with her indiscriminate copying of the most inopportune comments, was a great way to add suspense and drop hints. I loved each of the flawed sisters, and I was very ple I just love books with a big house at the heart of them and this does not disappoint. I think Eve Chase depicts characters very well, and has a great knack of deftly describing the setting, action, character, feelings with a confident brush stroke that brings them to life. I could very much imagine being there. Bertha, the parrot with her indiscriminate copying of the most inopportune comments, was a great way to add suspense and drop hints. I loved each of the flawed sisters, and I was very pleased for them at how the novel ended. It was very well structured with a good cliffhanger after most chapters making me feverishly read the next chapter to find out what had happened. It had me in tears at times, particularly towards the end, when Angie brought... I won't spoil it, but I was glad. It may have been a little too neat, but I can very much forgive that as I enjoyed it so much.

  29. 5 out of 5

    AndiReads

    A dual timeline generational mystery filled with secrets and strong emotions between a pieced together family surrounding a selfish patriarch as he makes a startling announcement. The Birdcage is a delight and filled with clues and metaphors within it's tight prose. Charles, a famous and infamous artist has summoned his children to his Cornwall estate for a gathering and a declaration. The half sisters (Kat, Flora and Lauren) dread this meeting at their old summer gathering place. Multiple points A dual timeline generational mystery filled with secrets and strong emotions between a pieced together family surrounding a selfish patriarch as he makes a startling announcement. The Birdcage is a delight and filled with clues and metaphors within it's tight prose. Charles, a famous and infamous artist has summoned his children to his Cornwall estate for a gathering and a declaration. The half sisters (Kat, Flora and Lauren) dread this meeting at their old summer gathering place. Multiple points of view from the past are interspersed to give us hints on what has already transpired. The sisters are bright and vibrant characters and you will enjoy meetings them and hearing about their lives. As the timelines converge we learn the great secret as well as uncover who is terrorizing the family with threats. If you like dual timelines, family mysteries and secrets, big and bold characters, then #TheBirdCage is for you #Penguingroup #putnam #netgalley #netgalleyreads

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I love finding a new author that I like with a back list of books that I can look forward to reading. The Birdcage by Eve Chase exceeded my expectations. A dual timeline, tick. Set in wonderful Cornwall, tick. A mixed up family with hidden secrets, tick. Three sisters with different mothers and an artist father at the centre of the family who cannot resist in every sense. The book kept me enthralled by slowing feeding the clues over time and I was rapidly turning the pages of the closing chapter I love finding a new author that I like with a back list of books that I can look forward to reading. The Birdcage by Eve Chase exceeded my expectations. A dual timeline, tick. Set in wonderful Cornwall, tick. A mixed up family with hidden secrets, tick. Three sisters with different mothers and an artist father at the centre of the family who cannot resist in every sense. The book kept me enthralled by slowing feeding the clues over time and I was rapidly turning the pages of the closing chapters to reveal the finale. Excellent book.

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