This is a deliciously creepy book. Telling the story of the infamous Lizzie Borden, a Victorian-era Sunday school teacher accused of murdering her father and stepmother in an ax-wielding fit of rage, it can hardly help being disturbing. However, Sarah Schmidt's gorgeous writing, fully realized characters and insight into tangled domestic politics mean that this book will do much more than indulge a reader's morbid curiosity. A fictional re-imagining of the Borden murders won't be to every reader's taste, but if you're fascinated by the dark side of human nature and like literary works with Gothic horror sensibilities (think of the writings of Flannery O'Connor or Shirley Jackson) you're likely to gravitate to this all-too-true story of family dysfunction, violence and its terrible aftermath.
Meghan Casey (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)