The Den by Abi Maxwell

The Den

Abi Maxwell

This is a story big on atmosphere and place - it's feels almost film-like in its descriptions of the homestead and the woods. Told from the perspective of four female characters, it's a story of sisters; of separation and loss; of mystery, escape and survival. The language weaves a spell as seductive as the landscape - and the reader can't help but be drawn in - completely caught up in the lives of Jane, Henrietta, Elspeth and Claire.


I always imagined that family to have transformed out of their bodies and into those of the wild dogs. Yet no matter what each of us thought, the story itself was still part of our landscape, our very own fairy tale. During snowstorms, my sister and I would pretend to hear howls. I n all seasons we would go out to the foundation - The Den , as our father had named it - and spend hours inside its four crumbled walls .... When we really did hear howling at night, our father wouldn't say anything reasonable about the danger the chickens or whatever other animals we had at the time might be in. He would just look at us conspiratorially and say, is it a coyote? Or is it the family's voice?'

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