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The Confessions of Frannie Langton
Cover of The Confessions of Frannie Langton
The Confessions of Frannie Langton
The Costa Book Awards First Novel Winner 2019
Borrow Borrow
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Confessions of Frannie Langton read by Sara Collins. They say I must be put to death for what happened to Madame, and they want me to confess. But how can I confess what I don't believe I've done? 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?
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Confessions of Frannie Langton read by Sara Collins. They say I must be put to death for what happened to Madame, and they want me to confess. But how can I confess what I don't believe I've done? 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?
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About the Author-
  • Sara Collins is of Jamaican descent and worked as a lawyer for seventeen years in Cayman, before admitting that what she really wanted to do was write novels. She studied Creative Writing at Cambridge University, winning the 2015 Michael Holroyd Prize, and began to write a book inspired by the idea of 'writing a Gothic novel where the heroine looked like me'. This turned into her first novel, The Confessions of Frannie Langton.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 25, 2019
    Collins’s debut is a powerful portrayal of the horrors of slavery and the injustices of British society’s treatment of former slaves in the early 1800s. Frannie Langton lives as John Langton’s slave in Jamaica from 1812 until 1825. When the harvest burns, ownership of the land reverts to Langton’s wife and her brother, and Langton returns to London with Frannie. Once in London, he gives Frannie as a servant to fellow scientist George Benham and his wife, Meg, a woman intrigued by Frannie and the breadth of her education. Benham asks Frannie to spy on Meg, whom he thinks might do something to embarrass him socially; meanwhile, Frannie and Meg become lovers. But when Benham and Meg are murdered, Frannie is arrested. She claims no memory of the crime, and a good defense seems unlikely both because of her race and her spotty memory. Frannie’s dislike of Benham, her jealousy of his relationship with Meg, and memory gaps caused by Frannie’s use of laudanum add to the reader’s uncertainty of her involvement. This is both a highly suspenseful murder mystery and a vivid historical novel, but best of all is the depiction of Frannie, a complex and unforgettable protagonist. This is a great book sure to find a wide—and deserved—audience.

  • AudioFile Magazine This fictional but plausible memoir features a lesbian mulatto servant who is accused of killing her master and mistress in 1825 London. Sara Collins narrates her own novel in a voice filled with resignation; her voice sounds upper-class English with Caribbean intonations. Frannie's terrible suffering is clear--she was once a slave on a Jamaican sugar plantation who was forced participant in grisly pseudoscientific experiments and then was given to another degenerate scientist. Collins makes us care about Frannie. Narrator Roy McMillan's role is to read official documents and newspaper accounts. This story is slow at times and overcrowded with similes, but the narrative will move the listener, as will the hopeless, desolate voice of Frannie. D.L.G. � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine
  • Red Magazine With echoes of Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and Sara Waters's The Paying Guests, this is an accomplished debut novel that perfectly captures the atmosphere of Georgian London and gives voice to a singular and unforgettable heroine
  • Irish Times Original and evocative . . . vivid characters, lush settings, a captivating heroine and an intelligent, unsentimental analysis of her tragic history
  • The Guardian Best Fiction of 2019 A fantastically assured piece of historical gothic
  • New Scientist A powerful meditation on slavery, racism and autonomy
  • The Sunday Times Bold and powerful
  • Kit de Waal One of those page-turners that require a good long weekend to savour it. It's brilliantly written, very funny in parts, sexy, clever and a book that will keep you guessing until the end
  • Bernadine Evaristo Sara Collins takes the gothic genre by the scruff of the neck...a triumph of powerful characterisation melded with suspenseful plotting while also breaking new ground in subverting a familiar genre
  • Costa Judges This book is the full package - we all loved it
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    Penguin Books Ltd
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Costa Book Awards First Novel Winner 2019
Sara Collins
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