See What I Have Done by Sarah SchmidtIn this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.
On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; 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 of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.
SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt 🍷 📚 (Book Club Discussion)
See What I Have Done enters the murder house and, with quiet intensity, creates a memorable place of horror. The Borden home in Fall River, Massachusetts, is the primary setting, and it is a place of suffocating strangeness. Though Andrew Borden was a successful businessman, he had certain eccentricities and a tendency toward penny-pinching. After his first wife died, Borden married Abby Gray, who then became stepmother to Lizzie and her older sister, Emma. Using alternating perspectives that shift from Lizzie, Emma, Bridget the family maid, and Benjamin, a troubled young man with a violent streak, See What I Have Done establishes its prevailing mood of tension, resentments, and unnerving New England Gothic detail.
Thank you! On Aug. In a dazzling debut novel that is as unsettling as the summer heat that permeates the crime scene, Schmidt alternates the first-person narration among sisters Lizzie and Emma Borden; Bridget, the family's maid; and a mysterious man named Benjamin, whose role doesn't come into focus so much as congeal like drying blood. Bridget, who sees everything and is seething that Mrs. Borden recently confiscated her savings, is eager to get out of the house—and Schmidt creates such a palpable sense of unease that the reader is, too. There are books about murder and there are books about imploding families; this is the rare novel that seamlessly weaves the two together, asking as many questions as it answers. There was a problem adding your email address.
The sisters are ten years apart at thirty-two and forty-two, and each has their own grievances with their father and stepmother. I had grown tired of it but there I was. There is nothing that escapes blood. It seems as if every character in the book has a reason to want Mr. Borden dead, whether it is the scheming Lizzie, Bridget the maid whose savings Mrs. Borden has taken, Benjamin the hired man, John the uncle, or even Emma the disgruntled sister.
A Review of See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
Tours run every hour; free for children six and under. You can buy a Lizzie Borden doll., Sarah Schmidt does a great job of presenting this work of historical fiction about the life and times of Lizzie Borden complete with factual data and Creepy atmosphere. I wouldn't eat the food!
Rarely, however, do nursery rhymes tell the whole truth; those lines belie a much more complex and uncomfortable story. From the first, Schmidt sows doubt about who the true perpetrator of the double murders may be in reality, Lizzie was acquitted of the crimes and no other suspect ever was charged. I wiped my hand across my mouth, tasted blood. The sense of vertigo only deepens as we hear from the other characters in the book. As she dresses on the day of the murder, unaware of the impending disaster, she fantasizes about being free of Lizzie by remembering a day 20 years earlier. On the morning before the murders, Bridget plans to give her notice to Mrs.