In the Garden of Spite: A Novel of the Black Widow of La Porte
An audacious novel of feminine rage about one of the most prolific female serial killers in American history--and the men who drove her to it.
They whisper about her in Chicago. Men come to her with their hopes, their dreams--their fortunes. But no one sees them leave. No one sees them at all after they come to call on the Widow of La Porte. The good people of Indiana may h
And this is based on true events: a close encounter to one of the most dark, vicious, dangerous women serial killers of the history: ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you Belle Gunness ( this time Belle is not definition of beauty ...more
Well, well, well a female serial who is not sugar and spice and everything nice. Although she would want you to think that she is! Based on real life serial killer Belle Gunness, a Norwegian-American who killed in Illinois and Indiana between 1884 and 1908 before disappearing.
Belle is k ...more
This book is a blend of fact and fiction and is the story of serial killer Bella (Belle) Gunness who was born Brynhilder Paulsdotter Størset in Norway and was active in Illinois and Indiana. After a traumatic event and cruel treatment by landowner Anders, she exacts revenge and leaves Norway to join her sister Nellie in Chicago. From then on, she changes her name to Bella and becomes a very different person to the one who grew up in the land of her birth. The ...more
This book was nothing I expected but everything I anticipated. Deliciously dark, macabre, and so so hard to put down, this is truly a book I didn't even know I needed in my life until the I picked it up. From the very first chapter it seemed to put a spell on me and sucked me right into the very demented very disturbing mind of someone truly broken and I loved every single minute of it.
Of course the most fascinating part of this whole sordid tale is the very fact that ...more
I expected this would be a disturbing, gory, horrific, and upsetting read, and it was all of that. What I didn't expect was how t ...more
Character portrayals: ★★★★★
Have you heard the story of the Widow of La Porte? Belle Gunness' reign as one of the most prolific female series killers in early 1900s America is a chilling and true tale.
Belle Gunness was born Brynhild Storset in Norway in the 1800s to a poor fami ...more
This was such a fantastic read that I find myself missing it days after I finished. I've never heard of Bella Gunness before and the depth of research needed to write a story this all encompassing definitely impressed me. It was fun to read about something completely new. Usually, books of this nature feature a male killer or are set in more modern times. I felt this straddled historical fiction and true crime rather well. It didn't get bogged down in details (this was my struggle with The De ...more
Growing up, Belle (fka Little Brynhild) wasn’t the angelic, picture perfect daughter of the St¢rset family. With a quick temper and spiteful tendencies, Belle’s anger causes her to be brutally beaten by Anders, the man that impregnated her. Shortly after Belle’s recuperation from her injuries, Anders mysteriously fal ...more
Last year, one of my favorite discoveries was Camilla Bruce’s You Let Me In, her debut that impressed me so much that I would read anything else she writes, sight unseen. Because of that, I was totally unprepared for what awaited me when I picked up In the Garden of Spite, her new novel about the most notorious female serial killer in American history.
Oh man, this book was so messed up. So brilliantly twisted. This nightma ...more
In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce is for anyone who is fascinated by the mind of a serial killer. There is always a beginning to the evil. Brynhild Paulsdatter Storset wants more than the life of a tenant farmer. She sets her eyes on a man who is the farm owner’s son. But even as she is with child, he still won’t have her and he beats her and leaves her for dead. Except she lives. Her revenge i ...more
Set in 1877 Selbu, Norway, Little Brynhild is a precocious, tough little girl living under the hand of her brutish, drunk father and protective mother. They live in abject poverty, her older sister, Big Brynhild now Nellie as she is known has long since moved to America settling in Chicago with her husband where they too are struggling in a new land to survive. As Little Brynhild matures hoping for better circumstances she catches the eye of a farmer's son and ends up pregnant. Na ...more
This title is a challenging review as it is a historical thiller(?) I guess? Or historical fiction at any rate marketed as much a thriller as anything although there is graphic violence there is only intermittant action. Which is a long winded way of saying it was not a one sitting read by any means. This novel moved slow, which at times was frustrating even as the reader in me admired the skill with which camilla Bruce set the story ...more
"They never expected me to hold a grudge." Those words will haunt me for quite some time now.
I admit I've been fascinated by fictionalized stories of serial killers. Usually, they don't haunt me in my dreams and keep me up at night. But this... this... THIS has scarred my brain, I think. And (unfortunately) also caused me to want to learn more about the serial murderess Bell ...more
Based on a true story the novel tells of Bella Sorensen killing spree as she thrives to live a comfortable life after starting life as a Norwegian immigrant. In a determination to live ...more
Wow. what a story! This largely fictionalized account of the real serial killer, The Widow of La Porte, Belle Gunness, is very slow to start but when it takes off -- you will find it impossible to put down. Despite lengthy investigations, there is still no accurate tally ...more
What a creepy tale this was! Told from the perspective of Norwegian sister’s Bella and Nellie. Nellie moved to America first, where she married and raised a family in Chicago. Bella followed soon after. Nellie and her husband introduced her to perspective suitors.
I thought it was clever to provide both sister’s perspectives. When we read headlines about ...more
Equally chilling and realistic is Bruce's portrayal of the treatment of women in the 19th century. Belle's disdain for men, love of money and desire for independence no ...more
Thus far, ‘In the Garden of Spite’ was one of my most anticipated must reads this year and did the author deliver? No, no, a million times no! There aren’t enough words to describe how devastated I am. Since its announcement, I was more than ready to proclaim this as 2021 best of the best. I thought this was going to blow me away but unfortunately the drawn out, tedious painstakingly boring story has shattered all the hopes and dreams I had for this novel.
The only positive ...more
Belle Gunness is thought to have killed at least 14 people and possibly many more. Most of them were men she conned into marriage or the promise of marriage, and others who just got in h ...more
Almost half of the story is told from POV of Belle's sister, most of which was unnecessary and didn't bring anything to the story. It was just her constantly suffering from her poor back and being suspicious of her sister but doing nothing about it.
Belle Sorenson is said to be the first female American serial killer, yet her story is not well known. A Norwegian immigrant, Belle has always wanted to rise above her station and live in comfort. She will do so, no matter what it takes.
This was a fantastical book. I could not put it down. The author of course had to take liberties with the characters and stories, but I think she did a superb job. ...more
A story about a female serial killer? Say no more. This book was on my radar for weeks and I couldn’t wait to start reading it. It sounded deliciously dark and creepy with so much promise. My book club picked this one to read for our February book because it sounded so amazing.
I was fully ready for this book to be on the darker side. In fact I expected it to be one of my more darker reads with a lot of nuance and atmosphere. On the surface this book was primed to be one of my favorite reads ...more
”We are all just creatures on this earth, fending for ourselves the best that we can. There is nothing unnatural about me. I walk the same pastures as any other. I am as natural as they come. There are just not many of my kind.”
A fictionalized account of infamous serial killer Belle Gunness, IN THE GARDEN OF SPITE takes readers on a journey from Belle’s tragic beginnings to her rise to wealthy, connected woman, with a trail of bodies in between. Known to many as The Butcher of Men, t ...more
|Challenge Corner: In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce -> Starting January 30th, 2021||5||4||Feb 01, 2021 09:01PM|
|YA Buddy Readers'...: In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce - Starting January 30th 2021||1||5||Jan 02, 2021 08:15AM|