מאת Sara Collins
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- 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.
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.
- 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
מו"לPenguin Books Ltd
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