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See What I Have Done Hardcover – 2 May 2017

4.2 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tinder Press (2 May 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472240863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472240866
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Schmidt's portrayal of Lizzie is haunting and complex, a deeply psychological portrait that forces the reader to question their preconceptions about what women are capable of - for better and worse. Both disturbing and gripping, it is an outstanding debut novel about love, death and the lifelong repercussions of unresolved grief. (Observer)

[A] seminal voice of the future.... a dark, dense visceral ride that proves that this former librarian could be on course to become one of the breakout writers of the decade... Donna Tartt, make room (Stylist)

Eerie and compelling, Sarah Schmidt breathes such life into the terrible, twisted tale of Lizzie Borden and her family, she makes it impossible to look away (Paula Hawkins)

What a book - powerful, visceral and disturbing. I felt like one of the many flies on the walls of that unhappy, blood-drenched house (Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of THE LAST ACT OF LOVE)

An outstanding debut. Enviably brilliant and memorable (Hannah Beckerman)

Vivid, sultry and engrossing (Carys Bray)

A twisty, visceral, highly original novel that grips you from start to finish. An exceptional and stunning debut (Kate Hamer author of THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT)

See What I Have Done held me in its sweaty grasp to the very last pages... as deftly destabilising as the best of Margaret Atwood (Patrick Gale)

I loved See What I Have Done. So ominous and creepily compelling. Utterly macabre, in a good way. It is a novel that is close in style and sensibility to Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Sam Baker The Pool)

See What I Have Done is wonderful. Exquisitely-drawn characters, beautiful prose, a brilliant retelling of story. Every single sentence is perfect (Emma Flint author of LITTLE DEATHS)

I am obsessed with this book. It chews you up and spits you out like one of the ripe pears in Lizzie's garden. Incredibly tense and claustrophobic, Home Sweet Home is turned on its head for the nightmarish Borden family in this amazingly accomplished tale of power, betrayal and revenge (Stacey Bartlett Fabulous Magazine)

[An] exquisitely crafted and chilling re-imagining of the gruesome 1982 crimes (Lady (Must-reads of 2017))

Lizzie Borden and her axe have fascinated since 1892, and this incredible reimagining is one you'll never ever forget (Heat)

A great historical novel that takes a real life crime as its starting point. See What I Have Done is a gripping family drama and a whodunnit about two unsolved murders... chilling and claustrophobic (Stylist (Best books of 2017))

Sarah Schmidt's reimagining of the fatal events in the Borden household is dignified and sensual, as though Henry James had decided to tell the tale (Sunday Express)

Schmidt is especially good at the sweltering claustrophobia in which the Bordens lived. She is also great at portraying the pent-up frustration of the spinster Borden sisters (Sunday Independent)

Schmidt's unusual combination of narrative suppression and splurge makes for a surprising, nastily effective debut (Guardian)

Intense, unsettling and macabre (Sunday Mirror)

She skilfully evokes the claustrophobic atmosphere of the household, conjuring up the rottenness of the family's relationships (Sunday Times)

A claustrophobic, absolutely visceral novel that, like the walls of that unhappy house, leaves a stain long after the final page (Red Magazine)

Breathlessly brilliant (Heat)

A disquieting read... I loved it (The Times)

This startlingly potent novel isn't so much a straightforward whodunit as a portrait of a dysfunctional household from which the emotionally arrested Lizzie emerges as the novel's most unsettling character (Metro)

The narrative alternates between Lizzie, whose shimmering, mercurial streams of consciousness read like prose poetry... Schmidt writes with precision and flair about the oppressive boredom of domesticity, the twisted intensity of sisterly love and the forlorn dreams of leaving and of personal reinvention Emma and Lizzie share. A glittering, gory fever dream of a book, See What I Have Done is a remarkable debut. (Irish Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'Eeerie and compelling' Paula Hawkins - SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE is a haunting retelling of the infamous Lizzie Borden murders from a dazzling debut novelist, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An intriguing book. I knew the basic details of the Borden murders and have both read and seen on film various interpretations of the 'who' and the 'how' of the case. However, Sarah Schmidt has given us an inexorable build up to the murders as reported by the chief protagonists, including Lizzie Borden herself. In the end I was forced into the conclusion that given the claustrophobic atmosphere in the Borden house, coupled with the locked doors, weird smells (and indeed, stenches) and unremitting heat, it would perhaps have been rather more remarkable had NO murder been committed! Throughout, this reader was increasingly disturbed by the Child-Woman character of Lizzie and her very complex relationship with her austere and rather repellent father, whilst I retained a degree of sympathy for her step mother, who was the second victim. With the exception of Lizzie's sister who longs to get away, the concept and the reality of the nuclear family is presented as rotting behind locked doors long before the murders take place. The sense of corruption is heightened by such devices as descriptions of the several days old mutton broth served for breakfast each morning, becoming more and more rancid as time wears on, and the over-ripe and fallen pears in the garden.
This is very much the author's own envisaging of events in the Borden household, using both the factual record and her own additions, hence she adds characters who are either entirely fictional, or if they actually existed, at a remove of over a hundred years it would be very hard to judge their real part in the story. However, it was the character of Lizzie, whom we get to know well via her first-person narrative, who made me distinctly uneasy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so creepy. The reader sees things from the perspectives of Lizzie, Emma, Bridget and Benjamin. It’s a difficult thing to call, but I think Lizzie is the most disturbed of all the narrators.

You’re never quite sure if she actually committed the murders, or she should just be committed, or both…

On the day that she discovers her father and stepmother’s bodies, Lizzie is agitated, almost giddy, and delights in getting people to look at the bodies. She calmly eats pears whilst her parents are laid out on the dining room table and the police exam the crime scenes.

Lizzie insists that someone has been in the house, but no one really believes her, especially Bridget the young housemaid.

But if Lizzie did kill her parents, was there a reason? There is something rotten at the core of the Borden family, and nothing is quite what it seems.

I LOVED this book. I savoured it. It was such an interesting story, the characters were deliciously dark and twisted, and the writing was descriptive and poetic. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, and plan to buy it for a friend’s birthday. It is a stunning book! And it has orange edged pages!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A nice take on history
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant book and exceptional customer service from the seller.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Characters so very unattractive I simply couln't care what the outcome really was.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 May 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.”

This debut novel fictionalises the infamous murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in 1892. The story is told from the point of view of Emma and Lizzie – Andrew’s two adult daughters, who lived with their father and stepmother, the family’s Irish maid, Bridget, and of a man named Benjamin, who is asked to accompany Emma and Lizzie’s Uncle John to the small town of Fall River, Massachusetts, where the family live.

Of all the voices in this novel, that of Bridget was, for me, the most revealing (interestingly, she was often called ‘Maggie’ by the Borden family – following the Victorian tradition of naming servants by previous members of the household who had had that name, so all maids could be ‘Maud,’ in one house, for example, or names were changed if they were considered too ‘exotic’ or pretty). The author has given Bridget back her own name for this novel, and it is she who really shows what occurs behind the blind façade of a middle class Victorian home.

Although Andrew Borden was a wealthy, and successful, businessman, he was known for his frugality and things were far from happy in the Borden household. Relations between Abby Borden and her two step daughters were strained, it was known that Lizzie had a tendency to steal things and doors in the house were kept locked – both outer and inner doors – and there were arguments about who would inherit Andrew Borden’s property. Although the sisters were close, there were also tensions between them and Emma was away at the time of the murders.

The author really makes this time come alive and you need to have a strong stomach to read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
It is the morning of 4th August 1892 and the bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden are discovered in their home. They have been brutally murdered with an axe. It was Lizzie Borden who discovered the mutilated body of her father. Here in See What I Have Done the debut novel by Sarah Schmidt she tells the story with fact and fiction in a gripping and riveting debut.

I have to admit to not knowing the story of the brutal murders that took place in the Borden home so before I started to read the book I did a little research to prepare myself for the book. Once I started I became hooked on Sarah Scmidt’s telling of the story using both facts and then using fiction to re-tell the infamous story.

When the Police arrived at the family home in Fall River, Massachusetts it becomes clear there was only one suspect and that was Lizzie Borden. Could she really have taken an axe to her stepmother and to her father? Despite the fact that there was other people in the house the police believe that she was responsible for the murders. Lizzie Borden was then tried and acquitted. To this day the murders remain unsolved in what remains one of the most heinous crimes the axe that was used in the murders was never found.

There are a numbers of characters that Scmidt focuses on in the novel with Lizzie and her sister Emma who at the time of the murders was not present in the family home, then there is the girls Uncle John and then the maid, Bridget. With the facts of the case already known Schmidt then weaves a dark and claustrophobic story. Behind the front door of the family home clearly all was not well. To say this was a troubled family even dysfunctional, there was many things quietly bubbling away under the surface in that steaming hot summer.
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