See What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt

When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden – thirty two years old and still living at home – immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime.

Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie’s unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie’s uncle to take care of a problem.

This unforgettable debut makes you question the truth behind one of the great unsolved mysteries, as well as exploring power, violence and the harsh realities of being a woman in late nineteenth century America

Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt is a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders, for fans of Burial Rites and Making a Murder.

‘Eerie and compelling, Sarah Schmidt breathes such life into the terrible, twisted tale of Lizzie Borden and her family, she makes it impossible to look away’ Paula Hawkins

My Review:  I must admit to not knowing much about the original Lizzie Borden case for a couple of reasons – 1. It happened in 1892 and 2. I don’t really read much true crime, however I had to “google” Lizzie before reading this book to see what I could find out first and I was surprised to realise that I had heard of her and remember singing the “skipping rope rhyme” years ago.

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

See What I Have Done is a beautiful and chilling account of the infamous murders of Andrew and Abby Borden.  At time this exceptionally tense and atmospheric story was so horrifyingly realistic I had to put the book down and gather my thoughts.  Each character is portrayed with such emotion and realism that you forget they are fictional versions created from the author.  The tension running throughout this book is felt deeply and is at times disturbing.  Not an easy read, but gripping and fascinating throughout.

About The Author:  Sarah Schmidt is a Melbourne based writer who happens to work at a public library.  See What I Have Done is her first novel.

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