Thursday, January 28, 2016

BLOG TOUR - Book Review: The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy

The Secrets of Lizzie Borden
by Brandy Purdy

Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Kensington Books
eBook & Print: 384 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

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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 rich, cultured life. Instead, haunted by the ghost of childhood poverty, he forces Lizzie and her sister, Emma, to live frugally, denying them the simplest modern conveniences. Suitors and socializing are discouraged, as her father views all gentleman callers as fortune hunters.

Lonely and deeply unhappy, Lizzie stifles her frustration, dreaming of the freedom that will come with her eventual inheritance. But soon, even that chance of future independence seems about to be ripped away. And on a stifling August day in 1892, Lizzie’s long-simmering anger finally explodes…
Vividly written and thought-provoking, The Secrets of Lizzie Borden explores the fascinating events behind a crime that continues to grip the public imagination—a story of how thwarted desires and desperate rage could turn a dutiful daughter into a notorious killer.

My Review

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 lists of facts or unnecessary descriptions, and I find it easy to become lost in her unique writing style, as well as her intriguing characters.

I knew very little about Lizzie Borden prior to reading this novel. I think I had watched a documentary about female murderers, and she was one of the women featured.  Lizzie Borden may have come from a wealthy family, but one thing that she had in common with many other murderers or serial killers was a deeply troubled childhood. She was forced to live her life almost as an outcast due to her father’s issues. She grew up different from other females her age, and was not allowed to socialize like a normal female. She spent her childhood and young adult years depressed and isolated, continuously looking towards what she hoped would be a bright future when she receives her inheritance. However, we all know that’s not how the story turned out, and it is interesting to see the author’s take on what really caused Lizzie Borden to commit such a heinous act. Although Lizzie is a murderer, I was still able to connect with her and to feel her isolation and sadness as I read this novel. The author shows that there was a lot more going on in Lizzie Borden’s story than what you see in the historical accounts of her crime.

“The Secrets of Lizzie Borden” was a little slow moving at first, and it did take me a couple of chapters to really get into the story. I would definitely recommend sticking it out if you feel like it is dragging at the start, because once you get into the meat of the story, you won’t be able to put it down! Overall, I enjoyed this novel, and I give it a FOUR out of FIVE stars.

About the Author

Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels THE CONFESSION OF PIERS GAVESTON, THE BOLEYN WIFE (THE TUDOR WIFE), THE TUDOR THRONE (MARY & ELIZABETH), THE QUEEN’S PLEASURE (A COURT AFFAIR), THE QUEEN’S RIVALS (THE FALLEN QUEEN), THE BOLEYN BRIDE, and THE RIPPER’S WIFE. An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at, you can also follow her on Facebook as Brandy Purdy aka Emily Purdy.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, January 26
Review at Julz Reads
Review at Unshelfish

Wednesday, January 27
Review at Time 2 Read
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Thursday, January 28
Friday, January 29
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Interview at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Monday, February 1
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, February 2
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Wednesday, February 3
Review at Broken Teepee

Thursday, February 4
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Friday, February 5
Review at The True Book Addict

Monday, February 08
Review at Brooke Blogs

Tuesday, February 09
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Interview at Brooke Blogs

Wednesday, February 10
Review at A Literary Vacation
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review at History From a Women’s Perspective

Thursday, February 11
Review A Book Geek

Friday, February 12
Blog Tour Wrap Up at Passages to the Past

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