Even 25 years after her father published his “non-fiction” book about their time at Baneberry Hall, Maggie Holt still gets asked what it was like. Receptionists, deliverypeople, everyone wants to know. What was it like to have an imaginary friend named Mr. Shadow? Did she really see all those dead people? How scary was it on the night her family fled what was supposed to be their home?
Well, Maggie was 5 at the time, so she doesn’t remember. And also, her dad made it all up. So yes, it’s a little bit of a sore subject. The Holts don’t talk about Baneberry Hall, not for the 25 years Maggie has been asking her parents what really happened.
Until her father dies and Maggie unexpectedly inherits it. She didn’t even know her dad had kept it. Her mother, divorced years ago and enjoying a retirement, offers to purchase it sight unseen, no questions asked, full value, Maggie doesn’t even need to set foot inside! But Maggie can’t resist. Not only is she curious to know what actually happened and to see the place for herself, but she’s a house flipper. This is her job! She’ll just spend the summer up in Vermont and get it ready for sale, and if she uncovers long hidden family secrets, then so be it.
When she gets there, she realizes that her father may not have been lying about everything.
Ughhhhh, Riley Sager. He knows exactly what I want, exactly how to get me on tenterhooks. New England? Love it! Big ol house! Love it! Tiny town? Love it! Ghosts, or maybe not? Incredible!
But there’s just always something that doesn’t quite click for me. I have absolutely no clue what it is, but I’m always left a little disappointed. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll pick up anything else from him, unless he puts out something Just For Me. But his writing alone just isn’t enough to make me read everything he writes. Sad!