I’m so pleased to have been invited to participate in the blog tour for The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins. Don’t forget to check out the blog tour schedule for other wonderful posts on this tour.
Title: The Confessions of Frannie Langton
Author: Sara Collins
Publication date: 4th April 2019
Publisher: Viking (Penguin)
1826, and all of London is in a frenzy. Crowds gather at the gates of the Old Bailey to watch as Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, goes on trial for their murder.
The testimonies against her are damning – slave, whore, seductress. And they may be the truth. But they are not the whole truth.
For the first time Frannie must tell her story. It begins with a girl learning to read on a plantation in Jamaica, and it ends in a grand house in London, where a beautiful woman waits to be freed.
But through her fevered confessions, one burning question haunts Frannie Langton: could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?
It is not very often that I start writing up a review before I’ve even finished a book. Make a few notes, sure, but nothing more than that. But The Confessions of Frannie Langton was keeping me awake at night. I found myself turning it over in my mind at 4am.
It was on one of these mornings that I eventually found myself staring out the kitchen window, cup of tea in hand. I was trying to think of a word to describe the book, but the word was evading me. Sinister? No. Dark? No. And then it came to me.
Definition: not disposed to forgive or show mercy; unrelenting. (Taken from Dictionary.com)
This is, by far, the most appropriate word I can think of to describe this book. It doesn’t hold back. It makes no excuses or apologies for the deplorable treatment of black people by white people. It lays bare all of the brutality, immorality, and depravity for all to see, and confronts them with an ignominious past.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton is not a murder book. Yes, it features murder as a trope, but that’s not the point of it. It’s about freedom and love. It follows the life of Frannie, a life slavery and servitude from which she craved freedom, yet was fearful of it.
The story changes between the present and the past as Frannie desperately tells her story, desperate to unveil something that will save her from the gallows.
Collins has this wonderful way of making you feel like you are right there with Frannie. You will walk the streets of London with her; you will swear you can hear the rustle of her clothes, and smell of the soot from the fireplaces.
A profound and stark book, Collins has brought history to life. Highly recommended.
Thanks to Viking Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Sara Collins studied law at the London School of Economics and worked as a lawyer for seventeen years.
In 2014 she embarked upon the Creative Writing Masters at Cambridge University, where she won the 2015 Michael Holroyd Prize of Re-creative Writing and was shortlisted for the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Prize for a book inspired by her love of gothic fiction.
This turned into her first novel, The Confessions of Frannie Langton.
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