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.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Edition: First American hardcover edition
ISBN: 9780802189134


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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.

bandblair Oct 23, 2017

Historical fiction is not normally my thing, but I really enjoyed this title. Fast-moving and the characters were very interesting and well-researched.

SkokieStaff_Steven Oct 19, 2017

After reading the new Lizzie Borden historical novel "See What I Have Done" by Sarah Schmidt, I cannot decide which family I’d less like to be a member of: the Bordens or the Mansons. To say that Lizzie, her sister, her father, and her stepmother didn’t always get on with each other is like saying the Trump West Wing doesn’t always manifest an ideal of harmonious cooperation. Despite fierce competition, Lizzie herself emerges as the most difficult Borden, and I am now convinced that the greatest Lizzie Borden murder mystery is how she managed to make it to the end of her natural days without someone killing her. Don’t get me wrong: See What I Have Done is a serious literary work written in an highly affected style. Still, it’s so over the top that I found it a little ridiculous. Somewhere, Joyce Carol Oates is kicking herself for not writing this book.

Nicr Oct 11, 2017

Intensely imagined psychodrama featuring Lizzie Borden and her infamous ax. Lizzie, sister Emma, maid Bridget and feral drifter Benjamin (the least persuasive character) alternate points of view. Readers looking for courtroom drama and/or forensics will be disappointed, as these things are not Schmidt's interests.

Oct 07, 2017

The atmosphere is well done, as are the characters, but I felt the addition of fictional Benjamin was unnecessary and too many strands were left unresolved, meant only to add to that atmosphere when they had potential to be useful to the plot. The author clearly didn't want to stray too far from what was known of the events, Benjamin aside, but in doing so missed out on some clever opportunity. The writing itself was superb.

Aug 21, 2017

Fabulous voices of the four characters narrating the different chapters. Lizzie : high maintenance is the kindest thing to say. Emma: brow-beaten and neglected. Bridget: treated like a dog and plenty angry about it. Benjamin: A fictional character, but oooooh -- just wait 'til you meet him. He's a brilliant addition. This author has skills!
However: Really, really ghoulish details. Characters frequently lick things (spattered blood, furniture, their teeth). Odd smells. Dead animals. Yet everyone is constantly eating pears from the Borden backyard orchard and week-old mutton soup. Lots and lots of vomiting.
Do not read while you are enjoying a meal or if you have a low tolerance for gore. Or, just read until you can't stand any more because it tends to get worse as the book goes on.

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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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