Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sweet Madness by Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie {review}

Sweet Madness 
by Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie
♦publisher: Merit Press
♦release date: September 15th, 2015
♦hardcover, 224 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review 
Seventeen-year-old Bridget Sullivan is alone in Fall River, a city that sees Irish immigrants as nothing more than a drunken drain on society. To make matters worse, she's taken employment with the city’s most peculiar and gossip-laden family—the Bordens. 

However, what seemed like a straightforward situation soon turns into one that is untenable. Of course Bridget has heard the gossip around town about the Bordens, but what she encounters is far more unsettling. The erratic, paranoid behavior of Mr. Borden, the fearful silence of his wife, and worse still…the nightly whisperings Bridget hears that seem to come from the walls themselves.

But when Bridget makes a horrifying discovery in the home, all that she thought she knew about the Bordens is called into question…including if Lizzie is dangerous. And the choice she must make about Lizzie’s character could mean Bridget’s life or death.

(I abridged the description from goodreads--IMO they gave way too much away!)

Review: This was dark, dark stuff, my friends! I mean, if you know anything about Lizzie Borden, even if it's just the rhyme, you know this story is going to be the very furthest thing from sunshine and rainbows.  But it did still surprise me just how gruesome and gorily detailed this was.  

There is something about historical fiction where you know what's going to happen at the end.  It's not the same as when a story is just predictable---I found myself completely draw into this fictional account just to see how exactly that inevitable end would be reached. It was interesting seeing it from the maid's point of view, as someone who is not part of the family, but still completely entwined in all the madness. I did find it a little off-putting how one second she was so annoyed that Lizzie was following her and she was fearful of her, then the next turn she was going on about Lizzie was her best friend and she would never leave her. It felt inconsisent, but in some ways I suppose it fed into the feeling of quiet chaos that threaded through this whole story. Lizzie's friendliness toward her straddled the line between extreme concern to  full-on obsession. As the story moves along, she divulges secrets about the house and family that get creepier and creepier. But Bridget's need to stick with this job if she wants to eventually bring her sister from Ireland, mixed with her confused devotion to Lizzie, her fear of Mr. Borden, and her worry about the voices she hears in the house all make for a tightly strung intensity that felt like the turning of a screw, like I was just waiting for everything to explode. 

Which of course, it did. As I mentioned above, there are no holds barred in the vivid and blood imagery use to describe the historically rumored "40 whacks".  So be prepared if you take this one on! 

Find Trisha Leaver online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Instagram
Find Lindsay Currie online:  Website  •  Twitter  •  Instagram

Purchase Sweet Madness:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon


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