Lizzie Borden took an ax
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
In recreating the events of that fateful day, August 4, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts, and the extraordinary circumstances which led up to them, Evan Hunter spins a breathtakingly imaginative tale of an enigmatic spinster whose secret life would eventually force her to the ultimate confrontation with her stepmother and father.
Here is Lizzie Borden freed of history and legend—a full-bodied woman of hot blood and passion, fighting against her prim New England upbringing, surrendering to the late-Victorian hedonism of London, Paris and the Riviera, yet fated to live out her meager life in a placid Massachusetts town.
Seething with frustration and rage, a prisoner of her appetites, Lizzie Borden finally snapped . . . but how and why she was led into her uncompromising acts is at the heart of this enthralling, suspenseful work of the imagination.
Alternating the actual inquest and trial of Lizzie Borden with an account of her head-spinning, seductive trip to Europe, Evan Hunter portrays with a master craftsman's art the agony of a passionate woman and the depths of a murdering heart.