Aussie Author Challenge Australian Women Writers Book Reviews

Book Review: See what I have done by Sarah Schmidt #AWW2018

book review see what i have done

In the summer of 1892, Andrew Borden and his wife Abby were murdered in their Fall River home with an axe. Andrew’s younger daughter, Lizzie Borden, was tried for their murders but later acquitted. No one was ever convicted for their murders. In See what I have done, Schmidt engages in a fictional retelling of the true story tracing it back to the few days before the murder. Narrated through the eyes of Lizzie, her older sister Emma who was away at the time of the murders, their Irish maid, Bridget, and the mysterious stranger, Benjamin, the novel explores who could have potentially had the motive to murder the couple and casts doubts in the reader’s mind.

This was an interesting novel to read. I didn’t know much about the Lizzie Borden story and I did briefly look it up but it doesn’t matter if you don’t. The writing was evocative, almost grossly disturbing at times as Schmidt manages to use almost all the senses while describing the setting and the murders. The story is interesting enough to keep you wondering whether Lizzie did it or not. However, the end was a bit anti-climactic for me.

My only other problem with this novel, which I believe is well-researched and well-crafted, was that none of the characters was likeable. Lizzie is certainly not likeable but neither is Emma. The murdered father and stepmother are not likeable which in a way means, as a reader, you don’t really care all that much.

I do recommend reading this if you enjoy historical fiction but not if you have a weak stomach.

My rating:

Where to find the author:

Website | Twitter |

***Read and reviewed for the 2018 Aussie Author Challenge and the 2018 Australian Women Writers’ Challenge***

Until next time,

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  • CookieCrumbsInc.
    8 May 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I remember reading the Borden story in my obsessively-read-about-serial-murderers phase. But I’ll give this a miss because I’m not up for any gore rn :/

  • BellyBytes
    8 May 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Will give this one a miss since it isn’t highly recommended by you.
    BellyBytes recently posted…A tale of a pickle #FlavoursomeTuesdaysMy Profile

  • Emily Wrayburn
    9 May 2018 at 4:10 pm

    I felt much the same about this one. I was disappointed because I had hyped it up a lot to myself.

  • May 2018 Reflections - Sanch Writes
    1 June 2018 at 9:11 am

    […] the month before, the blog took a bit of a hit too. I reviewed a couple of books – See what I have done and Remind me how this ends – wrote the one poem and my weekly gratitude posts. The only time […]