See What I Have Done

See What I Have Done

eBook - 2017
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"See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt's "eerie and compelling" (Paula Hawkins) debut novel, is a wholly unique reimagining of the infamous true story of Lizzie Borden, who gained celebrity status after being tried and acquitted for the murders of her father and stepmother. On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to the maid: Someone's killed father. The brutal axe-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their house in Fall River, Massachusetts ignites a series of domestic nightmares. From the outside, no one can understand why anyone would want to murder the respected Bordens. From the inside, sisters Lizzie and Emma have a different tale to tell. Both unmarried and intimately bound together in a stifling environment, they each struggle against their oppressive home-life while longing for independence. As the police fail to find clues, Lizzie tries to make sense of the moments leading up to the discovery of the bodies. But there are other witnesses to the crime. Through the overlapping perspectives of Emma, the housemaid Bridget, the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, and the fascinating Lizzie herself, the ghosts of their pasts resurface and return to that fateful day. Shocking and riveting, Schmidt's nuanced, high-wire narration recasts a sensational true story into a sensitive and human portrayal of a volatile, tortured family, and what it means to be free and truly loved"-- Provided by publisher.
"Lizzie Borden took an axe And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one. Or did she? In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most spellbinding murder cases of all time into a sensitive and humane portrait of two sisters caught inside a volatile household -- and what it means to be free and truly loved. On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid Bridget: Someone's killed father. The discovery of the brutal axe-murders of Andrew and Abby Borden under their own roof in Fall River, Massachusetts paralyzes the small community. No one can understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens. But secret witnesses to the crime have a different tale to tell -- of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful step-mother; 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 flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? Before or after she last spoke to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Through the overlapping perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, we return to what happened on that fateful day"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017.
ISBN: 9780802189134
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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IndyPL_ChristineB Feb 28, 2019

A fictional account of events surrounding Lizzie Borden and the gruesome axe murders of her father and stepmother in the family home circa 1892 Massachusetts. Chapters are expressed through the first person perspectives of Lizzie, her sister, the maid and a mysterious stranger. Though Lizzie was always suspected, there was a lot of speculation, simmering tensions and dysfunctional family dynamics going on behind the scenes.

Nov 13, 2018

This novel is a reimagining of the Lizzie Borden story. It contains a few clunkers - did people really say "lighten up" a century ago? - and the character of Benjamin was added to merely increase the number of suspects. The story sticks close to the facts of the case, but what was the point of this novel?

Nov 10, 2018

Creepy? Check. Compelling? Check. This book really gave a different spin on the Borden murders and it was fun to go for the ride.

Jun 27, 2018

I found this version of the Borden murders to be quite compelling, and particularly appreciated the multiple perspectives, which gave one a sense of how each person was experiencing the events in the narrative. The story was gripping from the start and Benjamin’s character added a suspenseful element. I gave the book three stars because I felt some of the descriptions were a bit overwrought, such as in describing the stairs as “yelling” or a crowd of people depicted as “skin.” There were aspects of the murder that were not really developed as well, such as the tension related to finances that existed within the family.

rthomson1954 May 16, 2018

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

I jumped rope to that when I was a young girl, never giving much thought to who Lizzie was and why she would want to brutally axe her mum and dad. The answer, apparently, is because her family, and she, were wildly dysfunctional. This story raises lots of questions for the reader to ponder even after finishing the book...

Feb 21, 2018

It took me two days to rip through this delicious, creepy little feast. Highly recommended if you are into historical fiction, true crime cases, or love unreliable characters (like I do). The many, many narrative perspectives in See What I Have Done can be somewhat off-putting, but I still powered through the perspectives I didn't enjoy as much as Lizzie's, her sister Emma's and their housemaid's, Bridget. If you like neat endings wrapped in a bow, this book might not be for you. It raises many more questions about Lizzie and the Borden family than it answers, but the ride to Destination Confusion is an enjoyable one. First? Great writing. If you are a fan of Atwood at all, Sarah Schmidt's off-kilter voices will delight you. She has put one of the oddest voices I've ever read into the character of Lizzie Borden. I very much look forward to Sarah's 2nd effort.

LPL_KimberlyL Jan 24, 2018

An eerie (and even more twisted) take on the infamous Lizzie Borden case. This one will give you the chills, even though it's set during the hottest days of summer.

samdog123 Jan 15, 2018

First time author, Sarah Schmidt, has taken the Lizzie Borden story and given us a narrative told through the actual people involved. It's a tightly wound story and the author uses the atmosphere of the house itself to add to the events.. You actually feel like you're right there while you're reading the book. This is a dysfunctional family and the events leading up to the horrific murders are interwoven adding to the build up of what actually happened. It was a fabulous read and I'm looking forward to more from this author.

ehbooklover Nov 28, 2017

An atmospheric, creepy, and disturbing read about Lizzie Borden. The ultra-descriptive writing style is so effective that it made me feel uncomfortable at times

Cynthia_N Oct 30, 2017

I was disappointed in this novel. It was quick moving and pulled me in but it didn't satisfy. This is a story about Lizzie Borden. I wanted blood and guts and sadly there was very little.

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Infolass May 01, 2017

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Infolass May 01, 2017

"I was thinking of the winter, wondering when Mrs Borden would come home from visiting her relative, wondering how soon I could leave the house, go back to my family, go back to best feelings, when I heard a chock, chock sound come from the bottom of the house. I thought of Mr Borden and the pigeons. Chock. There was no bird sound. Chock. My heart got to beating fast and I gripped onto my bed, turned to look at my family. Chock, chock. A sound of grunting, like an animal eating. Chock.
Where was that coming from? Chock, chock.
A horse cart rolled down the street. Chock, the air was still, chock, the city bells struck, and was much too loud. I gripped onto my bed, couldn't move, couldn't breath, couldn't think. My bladder felt like bursting. The house went quiet. For a moment I wondered if I was in a dream. I didn't want to open my door, didn't want to go downstairs, didn't want to know what was down there.
Then I heard Lizzie call out, 'Bridget!' "


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