Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Borden Murders by Sarah Miller

2016, Random House

On August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden was having a typical morning.  She got out her handkerchiefs to iron, and went out the the barn to find some fishing leads for her pole.  But when she got back, chaos reigned...

Her father and step-mother had been brutally murdered, their faces hacked to pieces.

She was only gone 10-15 minutes.  How could this have happened?  Right away the police were called and the investigation into one of the most famous murders began to proceed.  But what makes this murder and subsequent trial one of the most (in)famous trials in American history is the big whodunit?

At the time, it was HIGHLY irregular for a woman, especially a woman of society and wealth, to be put on trial for something as heinous as murder by an axe, but all evidence pointed to poor Lizzie.  She was under house arrest, then taken to jail for months until the trial began in Fall River, Massachusetts.  Who did it?  Was it truly Lizzie or someone else?  Will the real murdered be captured for the town could rest easy or not?

I absolutely LOVE narrative non-fiction, and Sarah Miller doesn't disappoint with her book.  Not only does the reader feel like they're reading a novel, but she also leaves an air of mystery throughout, nudging the reader to the end to see if anything happened, new evidence was found, and who was ultimately responsible for the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Borden.  Miller provides the reader with historical excerpts from newspapers and trial transcripts as well as eyewitness testimony from not only the day the murder happened, but all the interaction that happened between Lizzie Borden and themselves.  Miller takes one of America's most intriguing events and creates a big picture that at the same time dispels rumors most people think from then until today.  This is an excellent collection to any collection.  Recommended JH/HS.

1 comment:

Mary Ann said...

My dad and I were aside readers of these books. A favorite author is Erik Larson. His Galveston hurricane book got us started. Then Devil in White City. And In the Garden of Beasts. Need Dead Wake and Thunderstruck. Also remember reading Flu with him...