A Double Review of Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Today Kim and I  bring you a double review of Home Before Dark. I gave it 5 stars and she gave it 4 stars.  This is the perfect book to get you in the mood for Halloween if you haven’t been yet!

Home Before Dark
Author:  Riley Sager

Published: June 30, 2020
Audiobook/ 340 Pages

Book Description:

What was it like? Living in that house?

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.

Jessica’s Rating: 5 Stars
Dates Read: August 18-24, 2021
Format Read: Audiobook
Jessica’s Review:

This is the perfect novel to be read around Halloween! We are dealing with the multiple tragedies of the past and is this house haunted or not?  Only time and reading Home Before Dark will tell!

Maggie Holt was just 5 years old when her family fled Baneberry Hall, the house they stayed in for just three weeks.  After the family’s ordeal, her father Ewan wrote a book based on their experiences and the book became a spectacle that Maggie has dealt with her whole life.  Being she was just five years old, and has no memories of the house and what may or may not have happened, she never believed her father.  It has now been 25 years and Ewan has died and left Baneberry Hall to Maggie.   Not even knowing that he still owned the home and not believing her father’s ‘non-fiction’ book, she decides she can fix up Baneberry Hall and then sell it.  But what Maggie gets is more than she bargains for when she returns to town.

We get two narrators with Home Before Dark:  We get Ewan’s narration through the book he wrote and we also have Maggie’s narration in present day.  And let me just say that Baneberry Hall is definitely its own character in this novel: In fact it is really the star!

There is definitely the horror element throughout this novel!  Is it ghosts of the past still haunting or something else?  Let me just say, if you don’t like snakes, then there is a part of this book that you must avoid!  We do get full conclusions to everything that has happened at Baneberry Hall and we end up with a satisfying yet scary novel from Sager! 

Home Before Dark is recommended!

Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Kim’s Review:

This was a pretty interesting one. I’ll admit that I knocked a star off the rating because it felt a little like a rehash of The Haunting of Hill House show on Netflix, but there were enough differences that I’m still happy with it! I also feel like this is one of those books that you need to read more than once to actually get everything. Maggie annoyed me a little, in that “rich kid always complaining even though they’re rich” kinda way, but she was a hard worker and she actually tried to fix things she was unhappy with. The mystery definitely kept me going till the very end and I will say that I didn’t see the ending coming! And it was definitely creepy! There were some places where I was legit freaked out!

Baneberry Hall is a place that I’d like to buy … and live in. It added so much to the story and Sager made it feel like a living character! Overall, this was a great horror book, without being full on horror. Sager walked the line of scary and fascinating well! I definitely recommend this a something to scratch the horror itch!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK