"A lush and luminous gem of a novel: The Den is a book with depth and mystery and soul." (Chris Bohjalian, author of The Red Lotus)
Sisters Henrietta and Jane are 15 and 12, growing up in a farmhouse on the outskirts of a small New England town. When Henrietta becomes obsessed with a local boy, Jane takes to trailing the young couple, spying on their trysts. Until one night, Henrietta vanishes into the woods.
A century and a half earlier, sisters Elspeth and Claire are separated by an ocean: Elspeth’s pregnancy at 17 meant she was quickly married and sent to America to avoid certain shame. But when she begins ingratiating herself with a wealthy mill owner, a series of wrenching and violent events unfold, culminating in her disappearance.
Each in their own times, Jane and Claire must search for their missing sisters beneath the watchful eyes of their shared small town. With echoes of The Scarlet Letter, The Den is a transporting, layered tale of two women, living generations apart yet connected by place and longing, and condemned for the very same desires.
"Abi Maxwell has written a lush and luminous gem of a novel: heartbreaking in some moments, heartwarming in others, and always rich with wonder and surprise. The Den is a book with depth and mystery and soul." (Chris Bohjalian, best-selling author of The Flight Attendant)
"Addictive and delightfully eerie, The Den paints a new portrait of an old subject: the ways we tamp down, hide, control and obscure that oldest of chaotic energies, the original socially disruptive force, female desire." (Rufi Thorpe, author of The Girls from Corona del Mar)
"Author Abi Maxwell provides readers with plots that center on women's behaviors, specifically, how the desire for love will bring young women into conflict with their communities. Hester Prynne would have felt right at home in a town where women's yearnings are interpreted as sins in need of punishment." (Olivia Kiernan, The Minneapolis Star Tribune)