Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Review: The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

Sara Collins' debut novel is a wonderfully gothic mystery and Kerry Hammond is here with her review.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins was published on May 21, in Hardcover, by Harper. I set out to read an historical murder mystery, but what I found was so much more. This book is the author’s debut novel and I have no doubt that there will be more to come from this new writer.

Frannie Langton is on trial for the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Benham. She worked at their home in London as a housemaid, but to say they were her employers would leave out such an important and tragic part of her story. For Frannie was given to them by her former slave owner, a man who made her do unspeakable things on the plantation where she grew up in Jamaica.

Frannie cannot remember the murders of which she is accused. She cannot remember if she did, in fact, commit them. But she is a black woman, a Jamaican slave in London, and in 1826, society is not on her side. Awaiting her judgment, she decides to tell us her story, the whole story. Her childhood on the plantation, the cruelty she suffered at the hands of her master, and the events that brought her to London, to the home of the Benhams, where her entire life changed.

Frannie’s story is as tragic as it is compelling and I couldn’t put this book down. Her story drew me into its dark depths and I devoured each page in order to know the whole truth. Frannie is a character like no other and the author's descriptive prose gives life to her suffering. Collins is a master storyteller. She worked as a lawyer for 17 years before deciding to put pen to paper, and as a reader I am glad she found her true calling.

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

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