I received a free copy of The Secrets of Lizzie Borden for my honest review. All purchase links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one I receive a small commission which helps to keep the Farm cats in treats.
About the Book:
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
eBook & Print; 384 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
In her enthralling, richly imagined new novel, Brandy Purdy, author of The Ripper’s Wife, creates a compelling portrait of the real, complex woman behind an unthinkable crime.
Lizzie Borden should be one of the most fortunate young women in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her wealthy father could easily afford to provide his daughters with fashionable clothes, travel, and a rich, cultured life. Instead, haunted by the ghost of childhood poverty, he forces Lizzie and her sister, Emma, to live frugally, denying them the simplest modern conveniences. Suitors and socializing are discouraged, as her father views all gentleman callers as fortune hunters.
Lonely and deeply unhappy, Lizzie stifles her frustration, dreaming of the freedom that will come with her eventual inheritance. But soon, even that chance of future independence seems about to be ripped away. And on a stifling August day in 1892, Lizzie’s long-simmering anger finally explodes…
Vividly written and thought-provoking, The Secrets of Lizzie Borden explores the fascinating events behind a crime that continues to grip the public imagination—a story of how thwarted desires and desperate rage could turn a dutiful daughter into a notorious killer.
About the Author:
Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels THE CONFESSION OF PIERS GAVESTON, THE BOLEYN WIFE (THE TUDOR WIFE), THE TUDOR THRONE (MARY & ELIZABETH), THE QUEEN’S PLEASURE (A COURT AFFAIR), THE QUEEN’S RIVALS (THE FALLEN QUEEN), THE BOLEYN BRIDE, and THE RIPPER’S WIFE. An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at www.brandypurdy.com, you can also follow her on Facebook as Brandy Purdy aka Emily Purdy.
Lizzie Borden took an ax….
Most of us know that little bit of “poetry” about this famous murderess from Massachusetts. I knew very little about the woman behind the myth so I was very intrigued when offered this novel about her. I’ve read other books by Ms. Purdy and enjoyed so I thought I’d enter into the world of Lizzie Borden. Most of the book is pure fiction because not much is known about Lizzie and her early life other than her father was a cheapskate.
He had grown up without much money and despite doing quite well financially he still didn’t like to spend money – even to the point of common “luxuries” like oh, indoor plumbing! This led Lizzie and her sister to dreaming of the day they would be free of him and inherit his money. That dream went down the tubes when her father remarried.
One day Andrew and his wife are found dead – as we all know – from being hacked with a hatchet. Did Lizzie do it? The police thought so and she was soon arrested. I’m not giving out any spoilers here when I tell you that she was ultimately acquitted and that sets up the last section of the book. Lizzie decides to remain in the city but she is reviled and does not live happily ever after.
This was an interesting look into a legendary woman. She was legendary for some very awful reasons. This also makes her a less than sympathetic character for a reader to try and get behind. She didn’t have the best of childhoods and it was not a time in history when women were particularly appreciated but very few of them ended up accused of being an ax murderer. Ms. Purdy creates a fully dimensional Lizzie out of what little history provided. The story is more compelling in the beginning than after the trial perhaps because there was just more going on. I don’t think the freedom Lizzie longed for provided what she thought it would. Accusations of murder do have a way of casting a pall over one’s life – whether she did it or not everyone believed that she did.