See What I Have Done
Based on the true story of Lizzie Borden who stood trial for the murder of her father and stepmother, 'See What I Have Done' is a compelling and well crafted novel.
The use of language is experimental in places, and the structure fragmented as Sarah Schmidt takes the reader backwards and forwards in time and in and out of different points of view. This complexity accentuates a story in which there is still much unsolved mystery.
It is not known whether Lizzie Borden did kill her parents or not, and in the novel we are presented with a mosaic of different scenarios. Things that might and could have happened. Reasons why they might have come about. Dark motives at the heart of a fractured family.
The writing is very accomplished and recreates authentically the claustrophobia of the Borden household. Father, stepmother and two adult daughters are living in close proximity to each other with all the tension and awkwardness that creates.
This book is not always an easy read. The visceral and sharply evocative descriptions of decay and death are so realistic that they assault the senses. But the quality of the writing and the execution of the plot are masterly and the overall read is well worth it.
A recommended read for anyone who craves the unusual, and for anyone who is familiar with the real life story of Lizzie Borden and intrigued to enter a fictionalised version of her world.
Thanks very much to the publishers for a review copy of this book.
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