This book of historical fiction is set in the 1600's in New England during part of King Phillips war. The main character of the book is Mary. She is an actual person who was captured by Indians and later ransomed. She wrote an account of her captivity from which the author was able to get the information for the book.
In this book, Mary is conflicted between white and Indian culture, also between the strict Puritan views of life and her own views which are diametrically opposed. She comes to believe that slavery is wrong, that God is not constantly chastising his people, that people should be free to think their own thoughts. Her caged sparrow is a symbol for all that she feels. It is a very interesting and powerful look into that time period.