The verse about Lizzie Borden goes like this:

Lizzie Borden took an ax

And gave her mother 40 whacks.

And when the job was nicely done,

She gave her father 41.

I remember skipping rope to this very verse, and it’s one that isn’t really kind to Lizzie–I mean, she was acquitted of the murders. Since then, there have been various retellings of this story, but none quite like the YA version Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie are releasing TODAY.

Sweet Madness tells the Lizzie Borden tale as seen through the eyes of Lizzie’s Irish maid. I was lucky enough to receive a copy before the release and it is AMAZING! Trisha and Lindsay had me at a Lizzie Borden retelling, but this was oh so much more! In Sweet Madness, we are given a glimpse into the house of the famous Bordens; into the mental illness that plagued them all.

So, HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to Trisha and Lindsay!!!! Thank you for bringing us another fantastic read!

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Sweet Madness

by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

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. But Bridget can’t afford to be picky—the pay surpasses any other job Bridget could ever secure and she desperately needs the money to buy her little sister, Cara, passage to the states. It doesn’t hurt that the job location is also close to her beau, Liam. As she enters the disturbing inner workings of the Borden household, Bridget clings to these advantages.

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.

The unexpected bright spot of the position is that Lizzie Borden is so friendly. At first, Bridget is surprised at how Lizzie seems to look out for her, how she takes a strong interest in Bridget’s life. Over time, a friendship grows between them. But when Mr. Borden’s behavior goes from paranoid to cruel, and the eerie occurrences in the house seem to be building momentum, Bridget makes the tough decision that she must leave the house—even if it means leaving behind Lizzie, her closest friend, alone with the madness. Something she swore she would not do.

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.

SWEET MADNESS is a retelling of the infamous Borden murders from the point of view of Lizzie’s Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan.