On Boundaries – A Review of Riley Sager’s Home Before Dark


I’ve never been much of a show/movie watcher. Reading has always been more enjoyable for me because it lets your imagination run wild. Have you ever noticed that when you read a book before its movie companion comes out, that more oftentimes than not – you’ve entered two separate worlds. Meaning, the world you imagined while you were reading was not exactly how its movie directors imagined. And, sometimes your imagined world was more enjoyable than the movie?

This book though, what can I say? This is The Haunting of Hill House meets American Horror Story meets Stranger Things.

The story centers around Baneberry Hall, a mansion where deaths happened mysteriously to its previous owners – specifically between fathers and their daughters. The property was selling for cheap and Ewan Holt needed a new place, a change of scenery for him and his family; never did he think this new place would be 10 times larger than their current home at a fraction of the price. Despite everything, he decided to take it anyway, bringing the property and its history to haunt his wife and daughter Jess and Maggie respectively. The verdict? Their residency lasting only 21 days with the promise to each other to never step foot into the house again.

“What was it like? Living in that house.”

Baneberry Hall is later deemed the House of Horrors based on the fictional book written by Ewan Holt. At 25 years, Maggie has become a house flipper, who upon her father’s death learned that the house was never sold, making her the sole proprietor. She breaks her family promise by returning to flip the house, seek its worth and most importantly find out the truth. Was anything detailed in her father’s book real, or was it as it was published a work of fiction? Maggie meets natives of the small town while learning more about them during her short return back. Dane Hibberts, an ex-convict. Martha Carver, a previous owner of Baneberry Hall who now works at a local bakery, Brian Prince a local reporter, just to name a few. Each person Maggie meets is perceived differently, which helps her create a different barrier with them individually. What lengths will a father go and what boundaries will he set to protect his family? Pick up this bone-chilling story and find out!


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