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Sweet Madness by Trisha Leaver
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Sweet Madness

by Trisha Leaver

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Not good. Not good at all. 1.5 stars.

At times this book shows signs of promise, but it's plagued with historical inaccuracies and an utterly absurd "answer" to what happened to Andrew and Abby Borden.

So in the end we find out that the Borden family was convinced they were "cursed" and were hearing voices and whatever. This is connected to Andrew's first wife, Sarah, and another Borden member in history who killed her children and committed suicide.

Abby apparently has been having an affair with John Morse, Lizzie and Emma's uncle. Andrew finds out and murders her with an axe. Bridget and Lizzie find Abby's body, confront Andrew, and then are saved when Liam (Bridget's boyfriend) knocks him out. So Liam and his friend Seamus are chilling in the parlor and Lizzie just ... decides to murder Andrew right in front of Liam, Seamus, and Bridget. And everyone just goes along with it and covers it up in an elaborate plot.

Wait, what????

Yeah.


Why is Emma so absent from this story? It's weird that we don't even get a single scene with her; it really stands out, and not in a good way. Why was Abby not very close/friendly with Bridget when by all accounts the complete opposite was true in real life? Why is Lizzie so friendly with Bridget (she never even refers to her as "Maggie", which we know happened often)? Why did the authors de-age Bridget? Why is Alice treated as a throw-away joke when she was a major player in the case history? Why is Andrew an over-the-top abusive asshole? Why did they feel the need to turn all of these real people into ridiculous caricatures?

I swear, this book threw pretty much every theory and speculation out there into the plot and turned it into a muddled mess.

I've read/watched pretty much everything out there that's fiction based on Lizzie Borden and this is just the bottom of the barrel. I'm so disappointed, because I expected something really amazing -- the writers said they spent so much time researching this, but none of it shows. Yes, once in a while there's a name or fact drop, but that isn't enough to make up for all the issues with this story.

I guess you could give some props to the writers for wanting to do something different with who the murderer was and why, but it just is too ridiculous and the whole story falls flat. A story from Bridget's POV is new and should be awesomely engaging, but this book just drags and drags and ends with a whimper. Bridget just feels so empty as a character/person.

This book got rave reviews and I just don't really understand what people saw in it.

And oh my god, what the hell was the focus with the pigeons?? It took up like 50% of the book when it was only ever really a footnote in the fucked-up-ness of this family. ( )
  majesdane | Aug 8, 2017 |
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Bridget Sullivan, a maid in the Borden household, describes the events leading up to the murder of Andrew Borden and his second wife, and how the youngest daughter, Lizzie, was put on trial for the crime.

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Trisha Leaver is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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