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Elsdon Bird is an affectionate and imaginative child raised in a family steeped in the religious intolerance of the Christian Bretheren sect.
When Dad gets sacked from his city workplace for proselytising and trying to "save" his workmates, the Birds are forced to leave Wellington and their odd-ball neighbors with whom the lonely, marginalized boy had some affinity, and move to a small, remote town in the north.
Here, life might have changed for the better, but instead the family begins to disintegrate and Elsdon's parents descend further into a rigid looking-glass world of religious fundamentalism that uses Elsdon as a whipping boy for all its frustrations.
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