The Ryland Boys

The Ryland Boys is a 2014 novel by American author Jack Ketchum. It tells the story of five brothers, the Rylands, who live in a remote cabin in the woods of Maine. The brothers are all homeschooled and have never been to the outside world. They are raised by their abusive father, who beats them regularly and forbids them from interacting with anyone outside of the family.

One day, the Ryland brothers come across a young girl named Sarah who is lost in the woods. Sarah is immediately drawn to the brothers, and they quickly become friends. However, their father is furious when he discovers Sarah, and he forbids the brothers from seeing her again.

Despite their father’s orders, the Ryland brothers continue to meet with Sarah in secret. They develop a deep affection for her, and they come to see her as a surrogate sister. However, their relationship with Sarah is threatened when their father discovers their secret.

The Ryland’s father is enraged when he learns that his sons have been disobeying him. He beats them severely and locks them in the basement. He then vows to kill Sarah if she ever comes near his family again.

Sarah is determined to save the Ryland brothers. She sneaks into the Ryland’s cabin and confronts their father. The father attacks Sarah, but the Ryland brothers manage to escape from the basement and come to her aid.

The Ryland brothers and Sarah fight together against their father. In the end, they are able to defeat him and kill him. The brothers are finally free from their father’s abuse, and they are able to start a new life with Sarah.

The Ryland Boys is a novel that explores a number of complex themes, including:

  • Family: The novel explores the importance of family and the destructive power of abuse. The Ryland brothers are raised in a dysfunctional family where violence is the norm. 
  • Good vs. evil: The novel also explores the themes of good vs. evil. The Ryland’s father is a sadistic and evil man. He enjoys inflicting pain and suffering on others. 
  • Redemption: The novel also explores the theme of redemption. The Ryland brothers are initially portrayed as violent and dangerous people.  compassion. They eventually redeem themselves and become good people.


The Ryland Boys is a dark and disturbing novel, but it is also a story of hope and redemption. It is a novel that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.

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