Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy

Title: The Secrets of Lizzie Borden
Author: Brandy Purdy
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: January 26, 2016
Source: HFVBT

What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

"The Secrets of Lizzie Borden" is a historical fiction book that takes on the infamous Lizzie Borden, a woman most well known for killing her father and stepmother. After watching the Lifetime drama starring Christina Ricci last year, I was anxious to read a historical fiction on Borden (the book is always better, you know). This book really gets in the head of Borden and is a book that I will be thinking about for a long time!

Told from the perspective of Lizzie herself, this book gives you a front row view to all of the things that Lizzie is struggling with. This character is struggling with some inner demons to say the very least. We see Lizzie struggling with wanting to so badly get out from under her father's thumb. We see her trying to figure out love and who she is attracted too, which is further complicated by her being attracted to people inappropriate to society's norms of the day. The author does a great job of building her character into one that is real and complicated. This is a dark and twisty book that gave great insight into a woman who was incredibly complicated.

The writing of the book is good. I've read several of Purdy's other books and really like how she uses her writing to really envelop the reader and have them experience the character's world. This would be a great pick for those who like their historical fiction on the darker side.

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  1. Nice to read about it but I probably wouldn't read the book. Am off historicals and dark sides for the moment. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. I reviewed this one last week! I enjoyed it, too. Lizzie was such a complicated character; sometimes so unlikeable and other times you feel so bad for her!


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