And gave her mother forty wax
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one
Some crimes, however long ago they were committed, still spark people’s curiosity. Lizzie Borden is one of them. I recently saw a very entertaining pulp series on Netflix called The Lizzie Borden chronicles with Christina Ricci as Lizzie Borden who kills familymembers and neighbours without batting an eyelash.
And a couple of weeks ago I also picked up this new novel. It tells the horrible story of the murder on Andrew and Abby Borden. Abby was Andrews second wife and he had two daughters with his first wife, Emma and Lizzie.
On August 4th in 1892 both Andrew and Abby were murdered brutally with an axe.
Lizzie was arrested, but since the jury did not think a young woman was capable of a crime like this,
she was acquitted.
There were several theories of who was quilty. Was Lizzie the murderer, or perhaps the maid Bridget, or was it a stranger after all, or did Emma have something to do with it?
In See what I have done Sarah Schmidt plays with the different theories and makes them into one story.
She tells of the almost claustrophobic atmosphere within the house, of two sisters who could not live with each other but also not not without each other. And both of them had their problems with their parents. Andrew refused to spend money on his family and Abby was deeply unhappy.
Sarah Schmidt managed to write a very interesting story, where the language took me a few pages to get into, but after that I found the way she uses words makes the story even stronger. It is a very physical book in that respect.
It is not easy to write something original when so much has already been written about a case like this, but this is certainly an original and well written book that I really enjoyed.
Published in 2017