See What I Have Done (Hardback)
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See What I Have Done (Hardback)

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£12.99
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 02/05/2017
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I looked at Father. I touched his bleeding hand, how long does it take for a body to become cold? and leaned closer to his face, tried to make eye contact, waited to see if he might blink, might recognise me. I wiped my hand across my mouth, tasted blood.

When her father and step-mother are found brutally murdered on a summer morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden - thirty two years old and still living at home - immediately becomes a suspect. But after a notorious trial, she is found innocent, and no one is ever convicted of the crime.

Meanwhile, others in the claustrophobic Borden household have their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie's unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid, and a boy hired by Lizzie's uncle to take care of a problem.

This unforgettable debut makes you question the truth behind one of the great unsolved mysteries, as well as exploring power, violence and the harsh realities of being a woman in late nineteenth century America.

Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, See What I Have Done is a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders, for fans of Burial Rites and Making a Murderer.

'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

‘Schmidt's unusual combination of narrative suppression and splurge makes for a surprisingly, nastily effective debut’ - The Guardian

'…haunting and complex, a deeply psychological portrait that forces the reader to question their preconceptions of what women are capable of - for better and worse.' - The Observer

Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
ISBN: 9781472240866
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 574 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
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 *

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Reviews

View all

“Vividly disturbing and equally gripping....”

This is a cleverly written re-telling of a gruesome crime committed by Lizzie Borden in 1892.

The story has an extraordinarily chilling tone set in the Bolden household before and after the murders happen. Told... More

Hardback edition
17th April 2017
Helpful? Upvote 98

“Chilling, vivid and completely absorbing”

We all know the rhyme - 'Lizzie Borden took an axe...' and with this book Sarah Schmidt has given one of the most famous Victorian crimes a fresh leash of life. What makes this book so fascinating is the... More

Hardback edition
18th April 2017
Helpful? Upvote 71
Hux - Blogger, @littlehux

“A twisty turning literary thriller that takes on that infamous American murder”

Well, holy heck guys.

I’ve known about the Lizzie Borden case for some time, though I’m not entirely sure why. I suspect either a cultural reference in a Nickelodeon show – Hey Arnold perhaps – or the library. Either... More

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