Monday, November 27, 2017

2018 Most Anticipate - Lizzie

Anyone who has followed my blog knows that I am a huge fan of Dawn Ius' books. You'll also know that I have been super into all things true crime recently. It should come as no surprise that when it was announced that Dawn was writing a book inspired by a very infamous true crime case that I was immediately dying to get my hands on a copy.

Lizzie offers an modern take on the Borden Murders and, naturally, focuses on Lizzie Borden (who was the main suspect in the murder of her parents). The modern slant, I feel, gives this book a unique feel as this story has been told via books, movies, and television many times before.

The Goodreads synopsis offers up plenty to ponder, including revealing the lesbian love story that seems to be at the centre of this novel. 
Seventeen-year-old Lizzie Borden has never been kissed. Polite but painfully shy, Lizzie prefers to stay in the kitchen, where she can dream of becoming a chef and escape her reality. With tyrannical parents who force her to work at the family’s B&B and her blackout episodes—a medical condition that has plagued her since her first menstrual cycle—Lizzie longs for a life of freedom, the time and space to just figure out who she is and what she wants.

Enter the effervescent, unpredictable Bridget Sullivan. Bridget has joined the B&B’s staff as the new maid, and Lizzie is instantly drawn to her artistic style and free spirit—even her Star Wars obsession is kind of cute. The two of them forge bonds that quickly turn into something that’s maybe more than friendship.

But when her parents try to restrain Lizzie from living the life she wants, it sparks something in her that she can’t quite figure out. Her blackout episodes start getting worse, her instincts less and less reliable. Lizzie is angry, certainly, but she also feels like she’s going mad…
This makes it seem very dark, which is exactly what I want (and expect) from this kind of novel. I can imagine that being inside Lizzie's head will be unsettling but a rewarding reading experience.

Dawn was kind enough to take some time and share some more details about Lizzie, and it only served to make me more desperate to sit down and read it.

1. What gif do you feel describes Lizzie?​ 

Either this one:

or this one:

2. What part of Lizzie Borden's story inspired you to write LIzzie?​ 

I've always been fascinated by true crime, particularly unsolved mysteries, and Lizzie's story is perhaps one of the most infamous in U.S. history. My gut suggests that she was guilty, but I loved following the trail of evidence—or perhaps lack of evidence—that led to her acquittal, and exploring some of the theories that have emerged over the years. Many of these theories are explored in the book in varying depth and fictionalization.

3. Did you feel any pressure adapting a historical figure that is so infamous? 

Ironically, I felt less pressure writing about Lizzie Borden than I did when writing the story of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII in Anne & Henry. Maybe because while writing Anne & Henry, I fell in love with the process of weaving historical facts into fiction. For some reason, Lizzie's story was easier to translate to young adult. The biggest challenge for me was creating a sympathetic character who was, in all probability, guilty of a heinous crime.

4. If a signature cocktail were to made for Lizzie, what would be included in it?​ 

Lizzie loves to cook with spices, so I think it might be something like a Ginger Pear Snap—spiced pear vodka, ginger, rosemary, lemon juice, Rhubarb bitters and ginger liqueur. Though Lizzie would likely add extra lemon juice because she loves to use her neon citrus peeler.

5 Name a song you listed to for inspiration while writing this novel? 

For some reason, I listened to a lot of Lorde while writing this book, but the song that resonates most is Sia's Alive, which was on constant loop during the scenes between Lizzie and Bridget.  ​

6 What 2018 release are you most anticipating?​ 

So tough to narrow it down to just one, but I am super excited for T.E. Carter's, I STOP SOMEWHERE.

7 If not too spoilery, can you share the first line of Lizzie​. 

I'm dying. ​

That is a simple, but effective opening line! It is interesting that there is no resolution to the case. Going into this novel the reader is aware that nobody was ever convicted of these murders. This immediately makes me wonder what ending this novel has in store for us and I cannot wait to find out. I am also curious to see how much sympathy readers are able to have for Dawn's Lizzie as they follow her story. I am also excited to see Dawn's take on the 'media circus' that this case ingnited and what that might look like under a modern lense.

Lizzie releases April 10, 2018 but you can pre-order it right now from any retailer.

You can find out more about Dawn by following her on Twitter, and by visiting her her website. You can also find out more about her books on the publisher website.

Are you into true crime? Do you like books that are 'inspired' by true events? Let me know in the comments. 

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to find out the next book on my 2018 Most Anticipated List!

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