Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins: Review

THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON features a complicated main character in difficult and unstable circumstances. I enjoyed that Collins created in Frannie a character that I felt I was supposed to side with and cheer on, but who at times was hard to fully get behind despite her abuses. At times Frannie does things that I couldn't truly blame her for but wished that she had done better. Although Collins doesn't have Frannie tell her story in a straight forward way it is laid out in a slow but steady manner. 

In THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON Collins tackles slavery, condescension, the experimentation, fascination, and fear of the black body by white men, the need for self identity independent of how others see you, and the all encompassing racism, bigotry, and sense of entitlement and superiority of whites over any other race-but especially people of African descent in a way that is sadly still relatable. 

**I was lucky and found this ARC at my local Goodwill. It was not sent to me by the publisher or the author.**

A servant and former slave is accused of murdering her employer and his wife in this astonishing historical thriller that moves from a Jamaican sugar plantation to the fetid streets of Georgian London—a remarkable literary debut with echoes of Alias Grace, The Underground Railroad, and The Paying Guests.

All of London is abuzz with the scandalous case of Frannie Langton, accused of the brutal double murder of her employers, renowned scientist George Benham and his eccentric French wife, Marguerite. Crowds pack the courtroom, eagerly following every twist, while the newspapers print lurid theories about the killings and the mysterious woman being held in the Old Bailey.

The testimonies against Frannie are damning. She is a seductress, a witch, a master manipulator, a whore.

But Frannie claims she cannot recall what happened that fateful evening, even if remembering could save her life. She doesn’t know how she came to be covered in the victims’ blood. But she does have a tale to tell: a story of her childhood on a Jamaican plantation, her apprenticeship under a debauched scientist who stretched all bounds of ethics, and the events that brought her into the Benhams’ London home—and into a passionate and forbidden relationship.

Though her testimony may seal her conviction, the truth will unmask the perpetrators of crimes far beyond murder and indict the whole of English society itself.

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