Stink. Bloody. Rotting. Decay. Putrid. Stench. Rancid. Filthy. These are the words that dominate Sarah Schmidt’s historical gothic novel, See What I Have Done. There’s also lots of sweat, bits of brains, vomit, decapitated pigeons, decomposing flesh, and blood spattered walls.
It’s the story of the 1892 axe-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Massachusetts. Forensics wasn’t what it is today – the murderer left little evidence. Eventually, the youngest daughter, Lizzie Borden, was arrested, spent ten months in jail and stood trial but was ultimately acquitted (due to a technicality and inconclusive evidence from witnesses).
I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of the case, nor the accuracy of the detail as presented by Schmidt (there are hundreds of reviews of this book and others related to the murders, if that’s your thing). I should point out that I am apparently the only person in the world who knew nothing about this case until reading See What I Have Done. Absolutely nothing. So again, it’s pointless commenting on accuracy but I do have thoughts on Schmidt’s writing style and the way she tells the story. Continue reading
Homesickness is a peculiar thing. Unpredictable and urgent or gently tugging and constant. I have never really experienced homesickness (even as a 16-year-old exchange student in Germany) – not as an overwhelming sensation, anyway. But my brother would, even on our month-long family summers at McCrae – he just wanted his own bed and his usual routines. I was thinking a lot about people’s different experiences as I was reading Stephanie Bishop’s The Other Side of the World. Continue reading
A line jumped out halfway through Richard Yates’s penultimate novel, Young Hearts Crying –
‘…but there was a persuasive tone of sadness all through the story and a well-earned sense of impending tragedy toward the end.’
And it was as if Yates had written a review of his own book. Continue reading
Two books, high expectations for both – unfortunately I was underwhelmed… Continue reading
I feel like Elizabeth Taylor gets overlooked.
I don’t mean this Taylor:
Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. Continue reading
I’m in the tiniest of minorities regarding The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley.
I didn’t like it.
There was too much of what irritates me about (some) historical fiction. Specifically: Continue reading
It’s a terrible thing to compare one Holocaust story with another…. But it’s kind of what we do when we read about a topic that interests us, isn’t it? Continue reading
Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.
This week, all three books are by Sarah Waters. I read The Paying Guests this year and although I didn’t rave about it, it was certainly a light, entertaining read. Waters fans urged me to try some of her other novels, so I’m letting you decide – which one should I read next? Continue reading