Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not effect my opinion of the book or the review itself.

This book is structured almost as a diary of sorts, offering an author-imagined version of Lizzie Borden's life, from her early years until her deathbed.

Lizzie is our narrator, and it is through her eyes we are allowed into the inner workings of her heart and mind. Real historical figures make appearances, including the various members of the Borden household and their servants, as well as celebrities of the time such as Nance O'Neil.

Purdy speculates on if Lizzie did indeed commit the murders she has become infamous for, the actual relationship between Lizzie and her sister Emma, and Lizzie's sexuality and tragic experiences with love and loss.

Of course, we cannot know for sure if what Purdy imagines was actually true for Lizzie, but it makes for an interesting read nonetheless. Purdy's writing style can all too frequently lean heavily towards the melodramatic unfortunately, especially when describing matters of the heart, which can certainly be off putting.

I wanted to read this book because I am fascinated by true crime, and the Borden case is one of the most famous unresolved crimes in history. I would recommend this book to those like me who want to read more about the Borden murders, and gain possible insights into Lizzie herself. I'm not sure anyone not already interested in the case would find the book gripping enough to stick with it.


  1. I like it when novels are written like diaries. I might give this a try :)

    Aeriko @ The Reading Armchair

    1. Thanks so much for the comment!

      It's sort of a hybrid of a confessional and a diary, definitely interesting.