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The Secrets of Lizzie Borden

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  338 ratings  ·  111 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 305 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Kensington
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Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Most people will have heard of Lizzie Borden - even I'D heard something about her here in the UK. Lizzie was a young American woman in the 1890's who was arrested for the murders of her father and stepmother. They were found dead, having suffered numerous axe wounds. Lizzie was subsequently put on trial, but eventually acquitted. She'd lost her mother at a very young age, and along with her sister Emma, was brought up by their father. Father was a very wealthy, but miserly man, who could have ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List



I think this author did a brilliant job of writing this book through the eyes of Lizzie Borden. Now, I know none of us know what she was really like, what she really thought, only what we read in other books or media, historical documents... but this was a damn fine book. You know, I really wish I could have known what she thought and was like... we know her home life wasn't great from what they say. Will anyone ever know if her father treasured her one
Heena Rathore P.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was sorry, and yet I wasn't. I had done the right thing, even though it was wrong. If only things, if only we- all of us- had been different it might never have come to this. If only, if only, if only...

This book is simply beyond words. All I can say is that I loved it and that Brandy Purdy is a BRILLIANT author. This is the first book that I'm reading by her, but it is most definitely not
Jody McGrath
Jul 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Yearning. Lust. Sex. Loneliness.
The only reason Lizzie Borden is the main character is to sell books.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy is a 2016 Kensington Publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Unsolved mysteries capture the imagination for many reasons, I think. In this case, the debate has always been about the guilt or innocence of Lizzie Borden. Did she indeed kill her parents? Were there other suspects? Was justice served or not?

In the 1800’s a crime this heinous would have done more than send shock
Lolly K Dandeneau
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't know if I am the only one who now sees Christina Ricci as Lizzie anytime I read anything related to Borden. This novel was much more erotic than I expected and gory (as it should be). What kept me engaged and up reading it late into the night (with weird dreams as a sort of creepy story hangover) is I felt like I was struggling with Borden's demons, as though I were suffocating from the attentions of her family. Do I think Borden was guilty as SIN- Yes! Do I think the victims drove her ...more
Judy Collins
A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

THE SECRETS OF LIZZIE BORDEN a chilling blend of fact and fiction, a compelling tale of Lizzie Andrew Borden, an American woman who was tried and acquitted for the 1892 axe double murders: Her father and her stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts.

“In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants. The other is getting it.”

A haunting life, Brandy Purdy takes us beyond the
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
"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
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I feel like the only reviewer who didn't love Brandy Purdy's The Secrets of Lizzie Borden. Most of my peers have offered up glowing commentary that is chock full of unadulterated praise, but my own reflections are decidedly more moderate. As usual I found Purdy's subject matter quite interesting, but the execution fell short and while I'd certainly recommend the book, I can't claim it a personal favorite.

Those who aren't
 Reading Divergence

An intriguing account of the life and times of one Lizzie Borden, of Fall River, Massachusetts, THE SECRETS OF LIZZIE BORDEN unfolds from the bird's eye view, a first-person narrative related by Lizzie herself. I was struck by the ongoing misery of the household of Andrew Borden. A wealthy man, he might have provided proficiently for his first wife and daughters, and later for his second wife. Instead the family lived as if poverty-stricken,
Paige  Bookdragon

"In her enthralling, richly imagined new novel, Brandy Purdy, author of The Ripper’s Wife--

I'm gonna stop you right there.

Reached around 30% and just skimmed the rest.

This is book is clearly not for my taste. I find the writing tedious and the characters annoying. Plus, due to some weird mojo, my tastes doesn't run to lesbian stories. Give me a M/M romance and I'm okay but F/F is..*shrugs*

I'm still interested in other Lizzie Borden books though because

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was not the first book about Lizzie Borden I have read but it was the first I have read where it seems as if she is telling her own story. Even though she was a grown woman when she committed these crimes this story gave more of a back ground to her childhood as she would have experienced it. Her father was very strict and her mother did not do much to make the girls lives easier and by all accounts her life was not an easy one. No one knows what really happened on the day her parents were ...more
Dirty Dayna
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
5 axe stars

So I loved the portraying of Lizzie Borden by Richie and decided I needed to know more. So this is historical fiction no I can't even separate what could be real from what was real...maybe that's why the murderess Lizzie Borden has stayed famous. It was interesting seeing her being portrayed in this and never would I have guessed how old she was I thought she was a teenager when she committed the crimes . I can't really reveal anything else without it being a spoiler but it was a
Kari (BookandCoffeeLover)
I have a lot of conflicting feelings about this book.
There was an excessive and unnecessary amount of description of every single article of clothing as well as home decor. It got very monotonous and slowed the pace of the story. That being said, I did love the inclusion of bisexual Lizzie narrating her story. A woman shown freely expressing her sexuality in her own way is very important, especially given the time period. However, her constant negative self image became very tiresome and
This book has more blood than a gory horror story.

So much blood.

And so much complaining.
I couldn't get past Lizzie's "Woe is me" attitude. She seemed to think the world owed her something.

I could go on but then I would sound like Lizzie going on and on with a long list of complaints. Only difference would be that her complaints are actually readable. That is if you can stand it.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This is the second book I picked up by Brandy Purdy and I was not disappointed. I will admit I was initially and immediately drawn to this title by the subject matter as I seem obsessed with all things Lizzie Borden, or maybe I am just drawn to serial killers in general. Hmm...what might that say about me? I couldn't wait to find out more about Lizzie and while I know it is a work of fiction, from reading "The Ripper's Wife" I knew Purdy would include so many historical references that I would ...more
Jess (Primrose)
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was ok

The cover of this book is what first piqued my interest. I found it to be creepily haunting and I wanted to know more. The cover and my appreciation for the hours of research that must have occurred are the two most positive aspects of my impression of this book. The author is very talented with her descriptions of the mode of style, settings, and emotions of the characters. Her description of the oppressive life the Borden girls lived would seemingly make almost anyone snap at some point..
Hope Sloper
Dec 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
My dislike of this book has nothing to do with lack of anything within the pages, and everything to do with my disinterest in the way that Lizzie Borden is portrayed.

Read full review @
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting fictional take on Lizzie Borden

I know very little of the actual facts concerning the murders of Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother, and I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I could recognize what was absolute fiction and what was embellishment of the truth. But still, it was a good read.
The story is written chronologically beginning right before the murders and continuing through Lizzie’s life after. I enjoyed the chapters about the trial the most.
Kali Cole
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway-books
This was a critical and opinionated novel that was drawn out and boring to read. I found that the way Lizzie Borden was depicted was as confusing as her story. What should have been a more darker and twisted tale, turned out to be a cringe-inducing mess with lust, sex, and periods. It’s only redeeming qualities was the last few chapters where her older life is described. I was hoping for a better story, but this book disappointed me immensely.
Michelle Stockard Miller (True Book Addict)
"I can only tell you this, for whatever it is worth to you, all those old adages about money embroidered on so many samplers are absolutely true; it cannot buy happiness and it is the root of all evil."

This, a quote from Lizzie Borden in the book, entirely sums up the story of Lizzie, at least as told in this book. This fictional account of Lizzie and the murders of her parents is so excellently told, it reads like it was written by Lizzie herself. I am thoroughly impressed with how engaging it
Kathleen Kelly
Jan 17, 2016 added it
Recommends it for: any one interested in Lizzie Borden
I would think most everyone has heard of Lizzie Borden, acquitted of murdering her stepmother and father in Fall Rivers, Massachusetts in 1892. Acquitted because at that time there just was not enough evidence to convict her of the crime. Did she or didn't she? I tend to think that she did and was very clever covering it up or as is indicated in the book, she had help cleaning up from the servant Bridget. I also believe that she had a lot of provocation and felt justified in what she did. I have ...more
This is my favorite 2016 new release so far!!

Lizzie Borden has been resurrected from the dead to tell her story! & she came back with a vengeance!! WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD SO READ NO MORE IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED!

The Lizzie Borden case has been an intriguing case to many people throughout the years. Even after 100 years it sill manages to attract hundreds of people to the house where the murders took place. The actual house is now a bed and breakfast that I hope to visit one day!

The story
Cynthia Corral
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I didn't enjoy this book at all, and I really think it belongs more in a YA category than adult historical fiction. I have nothing against YA, but I felt like I was reading the thoughts of a 13 year old, not a mature woman in her 30s. There really are some good books about Lizzie Borden out there, I can't recommend this one.
Lynn Vaillancourt
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A riveting and chilling look into the life and murders of Lizzie Borden.
Robyn Markow
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: true-story-ish, lgbtq
Dismal, dismal, dismal. If I could give this 0 stars, I would. I'm truly baffled by the number of 4-5 star reviews for this.

Grossly historically inaccurate, first of all. That's this book's biggest problem. (That, and the writing, but we'll get to that.) So, this book seems to be in some kind of competition with Sweet Madness as to which book can be the worst fictional book about Lizzie Borden. I have so many issues with this, I don't even know where to start ... Just, do people ever actually
Book Review originally published here:

The Secrets of Lizzie Borden is one of dozens of books based on Lizzie Borden, the infamous axe murderess (or alleged axe murderess) who supposedly snapped one day and killed her stepmother and father in a most gruesome fashion. Lizzie was eventually acquitted of the crime by a jury. The story is almost as famous as the history of Jack the Ripper, so I’m sure you’ve all heard the tale.

In this book, the author dives
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Any time author Brandy Purdy has a new novel coming out, I jump at the chance to get a review copy prior to the release date of the book. I heard about her newest novel, “The Secrets of Lizzie Borden”, and was excited when asked to review it for my blog. Ms. Purdy is an excellent historical fiction author, and she has a natural talent when it comes to combining the facts gained from her meticulous research, and adding her own spin to the story. As a reader I never find myself bogged down with ...more
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Why read The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy? I have always been intrigued by this part of American history and I am always found Brandy Purdy's books so easy to get into.

Before reading this book, I wondered why the crime was committed. Now I know that there were many compelling reasons. We are taken into the times when women’s opinions meant little and men control of their lives. The scene at Fall River, Massachusetts is set very well with attention to the details of dress, social
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