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And gave her mother 40 whacks
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father 41.
Or did she?
In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.
On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid, "Someone's killed Father." The brutal ax murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell - of a father with an explosive temper, a spiteful stepmother, and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.
As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie, whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone, and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie; her older sister, Emma; the housemaid, Bridget; and the enigmatic stranger, Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Allison Smith on 08-07-17
Rambling saved by narrators.
This story is told from four character's povs. The problem is that the writing style and rhythm barely changed from person to person. Even the narrators had trouble sometimes making the writing sound different from one character to the next. But it is the performances, I think, that saves this, which may be why the audio is getting higher reviews than the book.
Frankly, the story begins to ramble and get down right silly at times, in its theory of what took place. I found myself tuning out or shaking my head while listening.
A caveat: Maybe I am too much of a realist to take this book seriously. I prefer to stick to nonfiction, but this book didn't convince me otherwise.
Beautiful cover art.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful