Originally published on Apr 27, 2017.
“He was still bleeding.” I yelled, “Someone’s killed Father.”
324 pages, ebook.
Read from April 7, 2017 to April 8, 2017.
Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC and for fueling my crime and murder intrigue! I would like to point out that I technically finished this book in one sitting whilst on a 14-hour flight that crossed over between two different days. Yeah, high-fives for me!
Everyone knows the story, or at least the song: “Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.” On August 4, 1892 in Fall River Massachusetts, Lizzie Borden was charged with murdering her father and step-mother with an axe. Lizzie was later acquitted of the murder, despite the majority of people believing she was guilty, because basically it was thought that women could not be capable of committing such a brutal act. Narrated from many perspectives, this debut novel explores the story of the family leading up to the murders and the idea of whether or not Lizzie did indeed commit the murders.
Toying with the idea that Lizzie was spoiled and functioning at a child-like capacity (it was easy to forget that she is actually a grown woman), the novel reflects on how her sister Emma has been trying to escape the family home and getaway from Lizzie since the passing of their mother. Their overbearing father, Andrew, always favoured Lizzie and did little to spare Emma any responsibilities after the passing of their mother, even though he has since married a plump woman named Abby. The home was tense and unhappy. Even the maid, Bridget, is saving every spare coin she had to getaway from the argumentative and strange family. However trouble is brewing on the horizon and someone has it in for Andrew Borden. With an intense climax and twisted ending, this book will not fail inquisitive minds.
Schmidt is the queen of acute and sensory descriptions. There are few books that can describe blood and vomit in such an uncanny way. If you are at all squeamish, this book may be a bit unsettling for you but don’t let that stop you. I promise it is worth it. The book is intensely visual and the author has an immense talent in bringing her words alive. The characters, especially Lizzie, are curious, disruptive, complicated and disturbing and the plot adds a new twist to an old story.
I expect to see a lot from this author in the future as this novel is a killer debut! Ha, see what I did there? Bad joke… yeah. Anyway! If you are at all interested in true-crime, historical-fiction, murder, or just curious characters with great visuals then add this book to your to-read list ASAP and pick up a copy this summer when it comes out in August.