This one is well-reviewed, so I will skip the summary I normally do. I read this one because I live in Vermont and I love a good horror story. I felt drawn into the situation immediately because the creepy vibe similar to Amityville was strong. I liked how it was told from both Maggie and her father’s perspective in the past and present. While they seemed to run parallel lines, they differed vastly. Her mother’s aversion to talking, period, was offputting. The way she treated Maggie was cold, and it made little sense. A revelation towards the end could explain it if you’re reaching. But Sager didn’t draw any lines towards that fact, that’s just my overactive brain.
Around the halfway mark, the atmospheric vibe disappeared. The creepy, horror feeling was non-existent. Some of the text was repetitive, especially when we were reading Ewan’s portion. I was also less than thrilled with the big reveal. Several aspects just didn’t seem believable to me. Overall, there was just too much “extra” fluff that set the book off its original course.
Home Before Dark is available on Amazon for $13.99
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.