Novellas are beginning to really grow on me. More developed than a short story but not as involved as a novel, this one-sitting type read offers a contained glimpse into a world that often leaves me wanting more, but at the same time feeling fully satisfied in the tale that was told.
Out Behind the Barn is a tense and eerie tale, almost fable-like in structure. It follows the perspective of two young boys who live on a secluded farm with Miss Maggie, a woman who takes care of them. She brings other people to the farm every once in a while, people who don’t remember anything, who need to be taught simple things—people who aren’t quite right. But they will learn—that is, until they disappear.
The story is a rumination on family and our intense need for the closeness and love of others. It delves into things not quite natural in a dark way that digs right to the heart of the issue.
Though I guessed what was going on in the story fairly early due to a few well-placed hints, the tension in the story builds and builds—it is a taut, live wire of suspense. I was invested in the story and wanted to see where it would go!
Boden and Lutzke are a team that work well together. Their collaboration on this project is seamless and I look forward to reading more of their work—what they might write together as well as separately.
Associate editor, amateur photdographer, bibliophile, and occasional sleuth.