A Lizzie Borden Retelling

It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh

Publication Date: January 4, 2022

Summary from NetGalley:

For fans of They Wish They Were Us and Sadie comes a propulsive thriller that reminds us that in real life, endings are rarely as neat as happily ever after. A contemporary take on the Lizzie Borden story that explores how grief can cut deep.

Charlotte lost her mother six months ago, and still no one will tell her exactly what happened the day she mysteriously died. They say her heart stopped, but Charlotte knows deep down that there’s more to the story. 

The only person who gets it is Charlotte’s sister, Maddi. Maddi agrees—people’s hearts don’t just stop. There are too many questions left unanswered for the girls to move on.

But their father is moving on. With their mother’s personal assistant. And both girls are sure of one thing: she’s going to steal everything that’s theirs for herself. She’ll even get rid of them eventually.

Now, in order to get their lives back, Charlotte and Maddi have to decide what kind of story they live in. Do they remain the obedient girls their father insists they be, or do they follow their rage to the end?

ARC provided by Random House Children’s via NetGalley for an honest review.

Confession:

I was fascinated with the Lizzie Borden murders way back when, so when I saw that this was a modern retelling I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed. This is quite the riveting read, even when you know how it is going to end.

The chapters switch between Charlotte’s and Maddie’s points of view, although Charlotte has way more page time than Maddie. Both girl’s are struggling and coping with grief and it is interesting to see how each of them choose to deal with it. You can tell that Charlotte has other issues as well, and it was hard sometimes to read those chapters. I found them both captivating, although I did not really like either of them. They are very self-centered and entitled and to some extent paranoid of those around them and their motives.

We only see the girl’s dad and stepmother through their eyes and their interpretations of their actions were tainted by that. There were times when I thought both girls were being unfair to their father and there were also times when I thought he really did care about them. Of course he was hiding things from them as well, which didn’t help in the end.

There is a character named Lana who tries to befriend the girls and who is also keeping secrets. Some of the twists involved her. I liked her at first, but then I started to question her motives and then when she shows her true stripes at the end, I was pretty shocked. Charlotte’s ex-boyfriend Stephen was also someone who I felt sorry for at first because of the way she treated him, but by the end he was just as much to blame for what happened as Lana.

The story itself is quite compelling and it was hard at times to put the book down. It is a fairly quick read with short chapters and concise writing. There were some twists to the story that I didn’t see coming and even though you know the ending, I was never sure which of the girls would commit the murders. The ending was a bit rushed, as was the aftermath, but otherwise a very stimulating read.

A very complex story of grief and madness that I would recommend to you, especially if you were ever interested in the Lizzie Borden case.

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