See What I Have Done: Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018
Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt 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’ Paula Hawkins
‘Stunning’ Sunday Times
‘Gripping… outstanding’ Observer
‘Glittering’ Irish Times
Just after 11am on 4th August 1892, the bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden are discovered. He’s found on the sitting room sofa, she upstairs on the bedroom floor, both murdered with an axe.
It is younger daughter Lizzie who is first on the scene, so it is Lizzie who the police first question, but there are others in the household with stories to tell: older sister Emma, Irish maid Bridget, the girls’ Uncle John, and a boy who knows more than anyone realises.
In a dazzlingly original and chilling reimagining of this most notorious of unsolved mysteries, Sarah Schmidt opens the door to the Borden home and leads us into its murkiest corners, where jealousies, slow-brewed rivalries and the darkest of thoughts reside.
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 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 * A disquieting read... I loved it * The Times * Breathlessly brilliant * Heat * A claustrophobic, absolutely visceral novel that, like the walls of that unhappy house, leaves a stain long after the final page * Red Magazine * She skilfully evokes the claustrophobic atmosphere of the household, conjuring up the rottenness of the family's relationships * Sunday Times * Intense, unsettling and macabre * Sunday Mirror * Schmidt's unusual combination of narrative suppression and splurge makes for a surprising, nastily effective debut * Guardian * 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 * 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 * 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) * Lizzie Borden and her axe have fascinated since 1892, and this incredible reimagining is one you'll never ever forget * Heat * [An] exquisitely crafted and chilling re-imagining of the gruesome 1982 crimes * Lady (Must-reads of 2017) * 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 * 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 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 held me in its sweaty grasp to the very last pages... as deftly destabilising as the best of Margaret Atwood -- Patrick Gale 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 Vivid, sultry and engrossing -- Carys Bray An outstanding debut. Enviably brilliant and memorable -- Hannah Beckerman 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 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 [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 * 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 *
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