Saturday 28 October 2017

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt @ikillnovel @TinderPress #SeeWhatIHaveDone @PublicityBooks

Just after 11am on 4th August 1892, the bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden are discovered. He's found on the sitting room sofa, she upstairs on the bedroom floor, both murdered with an axe.
It is younger daughter Lizzie who is first on the scene, so it is Lizzie who the police first question, but there are others in the household with stories to tell: older sister Emma, Irish maid Bridget, the girls' Uncle John, and a boy who knows more than anyone realises.
In a dazzlingly original and chilling reimagining of this most notorious of unsolved mysteries, Sarah Schmidt opens the door to the Borden home and leads us into its murkiest corners, where jealousies, slow-brewed rivalries and the darkest of thoughts reside.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt was published in hardback by Tinder Press on on 2 May 2017, the paperback is released on 2 November 2017. My thanks to the publisher who sent a copy for review.

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

On 4 August 1892, the bodies of Lizzie Borden's parents were found at their home in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Andrew and Abby Borden's bodies were mutilated by a hatchet. Lizzie became the prime suspect because she had purchased an axe before the murders and burned a dress afterward. 

Sarah Schmidt became obsessed with the Lizzie Borden story, and spent ten years writing this fictionalised version of Lizzie's story.  See What I Have Done is a story that pulls the reader right in from the shocking first page, through the twists and turns of the aftermath of the murders, right up to the conclusion.

Whilst I knew the Lizzie Borden rhyme, from skipping in the playground as a young girl, I must admit that I didn't know much about the case. Sarah Schmidt's extensive research, along with her own additional characters really do bring this incredible story to life. 

The Borden household was never a happy house, that's for sure. Lizzie and her sister Emma are the adult children of Andrew and Abby Borden, and the story is told via their points of view, along with their Irish maid Lizzie and Benjamin; a fictitious character, added by the author.

The detail within the story is excellent. This authors descriptive writing is often stomach-churning in it's reality, evoking a myriad of different feelings and emotion; from disgust, to dismay, to empathy. She has dealt with the intricate family relationships so very well, each strand weaving neatly together to form a well balanced, fascinating and quite compelling story.

For me, the relationship between Lizzie and Emma was especially interesting, highlighting the sisterly bond that went much further, but also had such an influence on events in later years.  

Sarah Schmidt offers the reader a rare wealth of emotion within See What I Have Done, this is so much more than the re-telling of a murder case, it is a gripping and thought-provoking look at family relationships. Deliciously dark and clever.

After completing a Bachelor of Arts (Professional writing and editing), a Master of Arts (Creative Writing), and a Graduate Diploma of Information Management, Sarah currently works as a Reading & Literacy Coordinator (read: a fancy librarian) at a regional public library. She was inspired to write her first novel See What I Have Done after stumbling across the case of Lizzie Borden by chance in a second hand bookshop. Her research for the novel has included spending several nights in the infamous Borden house.

For more information visit
Follow her on Twitter @ikillnovel

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