Excited to be today’s stop on Sarah Schmidt’s blog tour for the paperback release of ‘See What I Have Done’. Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book. Here is my review:
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.
What does TWG think?
I have been wanting to read Sarah Schmidt’s, ‘See What I Have Done’, from the first moment I saw it doing the rounds on social media back in May. Yes, it has been on my TBR pile that long! One thing I also noticed at the time was just how varied each readers opinions were. Of course, that made me even more curious to get stuck in.
Using events of a real life situation as inspiration, Sarah Schmidt has taken facts from the historic ‘Lizzie Borden’ case in 1892, and has put a personal spin on the storyline itself. Wikipedia states that Lizzie Borden was acquitted for the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, but who DID kill Lizzie’s parents? Still an unsolved case 125 years later, a lot of people seem to reach their own conclusions on the double murder. Sarah Schmidt however, had her own ideas about what really went on that day, thus being the inspiration for this novel.
I have to admit; I hadn’t heard of Lizzie Borden until the day I picked up ‘See What I Have Done’. I had to spend a little while trawling through Google so that I had a rough idea of the situation itself. Not that I didn’t trust the authors factual knowledge, don’t get me wrong, but when it comes to historical based novels, I like to ensure I have some of the facts clear in my own head before I proceed.
I finished reading ‘See What I Have Done’ about ten minutes before I started writing this review as I wanted to keep everything fresh in my mind. I really don’t know where my mind is with this book after all. I loved the authors literary skills and story telling – it was clear that Sarah Schmidt had done her research whilst also ensuring that she incorporated fiction alongside the facts to keep the reader interested. For me, the authors skills were the star of the show. I cannot fault the way in which the storyline was executed overall.
However, I found the content of the storyline incredibly difficult to gel with. Although, I guess having a theme of murder in a storyline isn’t going to make you reaching for the party poppers, but you know what I mean (I hope). I really wanted to fall in love with this book, especially given the fact that historical fiction is one of my go to genres. But there was just something about the book which left me feeling as though I was missing something. What, I have no idea. I did fall in love with the authors words themselves though, does that count?!
Whilst ‘See What I Have Done’ didn’t meet my expectations, the authors story telling and fantastic writing talent made the book come alive. Sarah Schmidt is exceptionally talented at her craft and I am rather looking forward to what she puts her pen to next.
Thanks Tinder Press.