See What I Have Done

See What I Have Done

Book - 2017
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'He was still bleeding. I yelled, "Someone's killed Father." I breathed in kerosene air, licked the thickness from my teeth. The clock on the mantel ticked ticked. I looked at Father, the way hands clutched to thighs, the way the little gold ring on his pinky finger sat like a sun. I gave him that ring for his birthday when I no longer wanted it. "Daddy," I had said. "I'm giving this to you because I love you." He had smiled and kissed my forehead. A long time ago now.'On 4 August 1892 Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. During the inquest into the deaths, Lizzie Borden was arrested and charged with the murder of her father and her stepmother.Through the eyes of Lizzie's sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, the enigmatic stranger Benjamin and the beguiling Lizzie herself, we return to what happened that day in Fall River. Lizzie Borden took an axe. Or did she?
Publisher: Sydney, NSW, Hachette Australia Pty Ltd,, 2017.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780733636882
Characteristics: 328 pages ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

Infolass May 01, 2017

Cold. Claustrophobic. Creepy. This fictionalized account of the real- life Borden Murders that took place in Fall River, Massachusetts, 1892 takes the reader into the heads of this dysfunctional family and associates, cleverly weaving back stories of the key living characters in this heartless,... Read More »

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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.

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.

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Infolass May 01, 2017

Infolass thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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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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