“One of America’s most notorious murder cases inspires this feverish debut” novel that goes inside the mind of Lizzie Borden (The Guardian).
On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. In this riveting debut novel, Sarah Schmidt reimagines the day of the infamous murders as an intimate story of a family devoid of love.
While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell―of a father with an explosive temper, a spiteful stepmother, and two spinster sisters desperate for their independence. As the police search for clues, Lizzie’s memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments.
Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.