Title: Home Before Dark

Author: Riley Sager

# of pages: 402

Date of Publication: 17th September 2020

Published by: Hodder and Stoughton

“Baneberry Hall remembers!”

Maggie Holt was five years old when she, along with her parents, moved to the Baneberry Hall in Bartleby, Vermont. Twenty days later, they flee from the Victorian mansion in the middle of the night.

Twenty-five years later, Maggie Holts is the restorer of dilapidated homes and an interior designer. By fate or luck, she inherits the same Baneberry hall after her father Ewan Holt passed away. Maggie had a strained relationship with her father after he published a non-fiction retelling of their time spent in this same house and reasons they fled away. The book House of Horrors changed Maggie’s life. But now that she has inherited the Victorian mansion, she plans to restore the house and find the truth.

Once she arrives in Bartleby, she has a feeling of familiarity yet, doesn’t remember much from her childhood. Once she arrives, she meets with the people mentioned in the book. She sees them coming alive. The more time she spends in the house, the more she thinks her father’s book may be true! Is Baneberry hall haunted? Or is it Maggie’s imagination that’s playing with her?

‘Home Before Dark’, has a story that will give you goosebumps while reading and blow you away once you finish it.

Maggie Holt is wrapping her head after her father passed away. She has much work ahead of her. She has just inherited the house changed her life. As a child, her parents left a plethora of questions unanswered and, with every day, she disliked that nobody answered her questions.

Now she has the house she is determined to find the answers. But she encounters things that confuse her more. Growing up, the book tormented Maggie. Maggie Holt became synonymous with the book. Every time she gave her name, the inevitable question, “How was it living in the house?” followed her. Maggie knew her father wrote the book to earn money and fame, and none of the contents is true.

The book has two timelines. One is Maggie’s timeline is present and her move to the mansion in Bartleby. Other, timeline is loosely based on the concept of book-within-a-book. The second timeline is the narration from Ewan Holt’s book, The House of Horrors.

As the book proceeds, the events of the two timelines coincides, which makes it eerie. It creeps into Maggie that her father’s book may not be false stories.

Riley Sager’s writing is convincing and spine-chilling. Home before dark edges on the genre of horror brings an added element in this genre which amalgamates with horror and mystery thriller.

Baneberry hall is not just a mansion it has a personality. Inside the house, the reader has an impending sense of fear. The chandelier, the study on the third floor, gives an uncanny feeling to the reader.

The ending is apt and fulfilling and it’s not just for the readers but also Maggie. The foggy and unclear 25 years of Maggie’s life gets a satisfying end.

Riley Sager’s Home before dark is a tale of Baneberry Hall’s intrusion in Holt family. But it’s a story of a woman who relentlessly searches the missing pieces of her life that were hidden away.

Thank you, NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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