See What I Have Done

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 feel like I’m the only person who had never heard of the Lizzie Borden case before reading this book. The poem gave it away a bit, but it was so intriguing I instantly wanted to know more.

For those people like me, who have never heard of the Lizzie Borden case, here a few things to get you started:

  • August 4th 1892 – Andrew and Abby Borden’s bodies were found by their daughter, Lizzie Borden. Both of them had been brutally murdered by an axe.
  • After some time, Lizzie Borden was arrested for their murders and her trial was one of the first nation-wide news sensations which was covered in America, she was then released in June 1893.
  • There was no murder weapon found.

Sarah Schmidt wrote a historical fiction of the case on true events of the Borden Murders. After I had read the book, I went straight to Google to do some research about the case because for this type of books, the facts NEED to be accurate. I’m glad to say that most of the events she wrote about were true to the real life story.

I think that Schmidt did an amazing job with writing this book, from the first page to the last I was completely engrossed and intrigued with the story. From the first page, she puts you right in the middle of the action, with the discovery of Andrew Borden’s body. However, I was instantly made aware that there was something not quite right.

It wasn’t until references’ to Lizzie’s age within the book, and especially when I finished the book that I realised her actual age: 32. I had thought she was MUCH younger than that because she acts very much like a young teenager. She continuously makes demands off of her parents and practically suffocates her older sister, who is in her forties. This also adds to what I said previously about being aware that there is something not quite right, it adds a sort of creepiness within the book.

At the time of this story, Lizzie should be married and have her own children, instead, she is still living at home with her father, step-mother and sister and she remains very childish. Maybe because the family was trapped in a time-warp, and even though they were all aging, they all stayed the same age at heart? Particularly Lizzie.

It is very clear throughout the book that Lizzie loves her family. She loves her sister Emma and looks up to her, she loves her father and she so badly wants to feel loved by him and make him proud of her. But could she really get angry enough to kill her own parents?

I know my opinion, what’s yours?


Have you read this book? What did you think?

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