The Confessions of Frannie Langton eBook ☆ The

The Confessions of Frannie Langton [PDF / EPUB] The Confessions of Frannie Langton 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 servant and of Frannie Kindle Ò 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 GuestsAll of London is abuzz with the scandalous case of Frannie Langton The Confessions ePUB Ñ 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 BaileyThe testimonies against Frannie are damning She is a seductress a witch a master manipulator a Confessions of Frannie MOBI í whoreBut 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 relationshipThough her testimony may seal her conviction the truth will unmask the perpetrators of crimes far beyond murder and indict the whole of English society itselfThe Confessions of Frannie Langton is a breathtaking debut a murder mystery that travels across the Atlantic and through the darkest channels of history A brilliant searing depiction of race class and oppression that penetrates the skin and sears the soul it is the story of a woman of her own making in a world that would see her unmade.


About the Author: Sara Collins

Sara Collins is of Frannie Kindle Ò of Jamaican descent She studied law at the London School of Economics and worked as a lawyer for seventeen years before doing a Master of Studies in Creative Writing at Cambridge University where she was the recipient of the Michael Holroyd Prize for Creative Writing She lives in London England The Confessions of Frannie Langton is The Confessions ePUB Ñ her debut novel and was shortlisted for.



10 thoughts on “The Confessions of Frannie Langton

  1. says:

    London circa 1820 and servant Frannie Langton is on trial accused of murdering her Master and Mistress The problem is that she can’t remember anything about that fateful night however she can’t believe that she’d murder her mistress she loved her too much to hurt her didn’t she?Frannie has come a long way since her days as a slave on the sugar plantation in Jamaica not just in terms of geographical distance but in terms of her life’s journey too This complex character wears many labels slave servant Lady’s companion whore addict and now murderess For a former slave Frannie definitely bucks the trend not only being able to read and write but being blessed with a sharp and inuisitive mind tooIncarcerated in Newgate prison awaiting trial Frannie passes the days writing her life story and it’s here that we’re transported back to the sultry heat of Jamaica and the cruelty that is part and parcel of a sugar plantation before the abolition of slavery and it has to be said that Frannie plays her part in this cruelty too What a massive change awaited her in London not only the cold damp weather and notorious fogs that created an ethereal world of murk and mystery but she had to acclimatise to a whole new culture that was literally a world away from her former lifeThis is a well written historical whodunnit that brings early 19th century London deliciously to life The characters were uite complex none so than Frannie She’s many women in one form The narrative though slow at times was compelling playing on one’s curiosity to discover where this journey was going and importantly who was responsible for the murders Murders that place Frannie Langton very much in the frame But did she do it or did she not? My lips are sealedThanks to Netgalley and Penguin books UK Viking for my ARC I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange


  2. says:

    No one knows the worst thing they’re capable of until they do it I never would have done what they say I’ve done to Madame because I loved her Yet they say I must be put to death for it and they want me to confess But how can I confess what I don’t believe I’ve done? London 1826 We know that George and Marguerite Benham are dead We know that their mulatta Jamaica servant Frannie Langton has been charged with two counts of murder and is facing trial at the Old Bailey We know that Frannie was reputed to have had a particularly intimate relationship with the Missus And we know that Frannie was found asleep in Mrs Benham’s bed when her mistress’s bloody body was found We know that Frannie has refused to speak in her own defense What we do not know is what really happened Frannie herself can only recall parts of it From her cell she writes her story for her barrister her confession I really wanted to write a gothic novel because I feel that the gothic is an amazing form for writing about the hidden darkness beneath the surface of things and all the terrors that we’d rather not speak about from the Foyles video“I wanted a Jamaican woman in Jane Austen territory” she says “I wanted to see what would happen to someone like Frannie making her presence felt in these sophisticated Georgian drawing rooms” from the Guardian interview Sara Collins image from HarperThis is not the sort of Gothic novel that deals in things supernatural although it does deal in unspeakable abominations There is of course darkness aplenty solely in the consideration of the degradation of slavery unadorned The depths to which some might go to rationalize their positions in this peculiar institution adds a level of awfulness There is no need for spectres or phantasms when the realities are so grim But there is plenty of mystery and suspense Overwrought emotion is also on full display with Frannie having plenty of reasons to be concerned about her safety and Marguerite adding a similar set of worries Distress? Persistent And you have your choice of powerful tyrannical males making life miserable with Langton in Jamaica and Benham in London No secret passageways sorry Frannie recalls her days as a slave in Jamaica her upbringing under the guidance of the maternal Phibbah a source of wisdom and advice and a nifty substitute for the usual gothic omens and portents When young Frannie shows an interest in books Mis bella the lady of the house or cane plantation teaches her to read When his usual set of extra hands becomes unavailable Langton uses her as an assistant for his work in The Coach House Cue thunder and lightning The building is shrouded in mystery We know only that Langton is engaged in scientific well probably not as his work involved at least phrenology experiments there and Frannie helps with record keeping and we know not what else We know that the experiments have to do with race and that whatever he is up to Langton has lost the support of his main sponsor So nicely ticking most of the gothic boxes I saw things in that coach house that I can’t stop seeing now But worse than the things I saw are the things I didTwo women face the bindings of different forms of subjugation the placing of heavy weights on their spirits until it is expected all hope will be crushed But is it not wonderful thing for a Jamaican slave to be brought to London where she becomes a lady’s maid? And is it not a boon for a young high spirited French emigre of modest means to be married to one of the shining scientific lights of the age? Well maybe not if either wants to retain dominion over her own thoughts and interests One of the great strengths of this novel is how powerfully it portrays the parallels between slavery and women’s role in marriage in the Georgian era Where I come from there’s than one way a man gives you his name He marries you or he buys you In some places that is the same thing and they call it a dowry Frannie and Marguerite’s relationship offers the romantic element of the novel It is riveting while not particularly graphic and is effective for thatCollins makes regular use of literary references particularly Gothic litrefs to underscore the themes of the book The Castle of Otranto widely recognized as the first gothic novel is mentioned highlighting Frannie’s perilous state Frankenstein comes in for a mention as well What did you make of me? A patchwork monster A thing sewn from Langton’s parts Will Frannie like Frankenstein’s monster turn on her maker? Her interest in reading certainly parallels the big guy’s as does her loneliness Like him she wants to learn grow intellectually be accepted Non gothic writings are referenced as well Repeated mentions of Moll Flanders alert us to the fact that sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to stay alive in this world Newgate Prison offering another link between Frannie and Moll Voltaire’s Candide comes in for multiple mentions as well no doubt a reminder to keep unwarranted optimism at bay Particular attention is paid to memory and the uestion of what lies beneath the surface the mind is its own place as Milton said it can make a Hell of Heaven and a Heaven of Hell How does it do that? By remembering or forgetting The only tricks a mind can play I expect the mind can manage a wider range but Frannie’s memory is definitely fragile as to the events leading up to her employers’ deaths Dying men don’t just dwell on the past they invent it Langton seeking to justify his slave holding has a particular concern with race skin color and where the outward appearances may or may not manifest below the skin It is eminently clear that the respectability worn on the outside by many bears little resemblance to the corruption beneath Frannie’s education and intelligence are invisible to any who see only her professions and outward appearanceAll is craft alone however magnificently written in the absence of characters we can care about and in some instances boo and hiss at Fear not You will love Frannie She is as lovingly developed a lead as you could possibly hope for rich with history introspection courage smarts and passion You may find yourself over the course of the book thinking “If this girl killed those people they surely must have had it coming” Marguerite is also beautifully drawn Although a much less appealing person than Frannie she is a bright light in a dark place also attempting to find her way through a life in which she is not allowed be her true self This is one of the best novels I have read this year Not only does it address the timeless subject of slavery it does so in a way that points out that it was not only black people who were treated as objects The parallel between Frannie and Marguerite is magnificently realized making us see the chains that hold them both and see how they struggle or succumb pointing both to a common fate Not having been around in 1826 I just seem that old I could not say if the presentation of the time was real or not but it certainly felt real from this perch in the 21st C Collins has a remarkable gift for language that is as sweet as the subject matter is sour I was wearing out my ancient fingers transcribing uotes from the book only a few of which have found their way into this review It is entertaining and riveting The reveals are satisfying the twists effective The Confessions of Frannie Langton one of the best books of 2019 is a magnificent achievement YOU MUST READ THISReview first posted – May 17 2019Publication date May 21 2019 Hardcover May 26 2020 Trade PaperbackNovember 29 2019 The Confessions of Frannie Langton is short listed for the Costa Book Awards Best First Novel Award EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s Instagram Twitter and GR pagesItems of Interest Harper Books Sara Collins on her debut novel THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON Collins talks about loving period fiction and wanting to see a black character in a gothic romance Foyles The Confessions of Frannie Langton Sara Collins on researching her debut novelI really wanted to write a gothic novel because I feel that the gothic is an amazing form for writing about the hidden darkness beneath the surface of things and all the terrors that we’d rather not speak about I found in the course of researching it there were all these sinister experiments that had been taking place since the early seventeenth century starting with skin but through the centuries moving to measuring skulls and brains and intelligence which seemed to me to reflect a lot of obsession of other races and so I wanted to explore that but I also wanted to look at the ways in which many of the upper class women in Georgian society were oppressed as well and marriage was one of the key tools for that Shelfie with Sara Collins On books that inspired her Lithub Gothic Themes Bring Us Together by Catherine Cavendish A fun piece for fans of gothic literature with excellent recommendationsBooks mentioned in the novel on Gutenberg The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole Mathilda by Mary Shelley – on Gutenberg – This novella is mentioned in the book but it was not actually published until 1959 so the characters are unlikely to have had access to it Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe Candide by Voltaire


  3. says:

    I appreciated the dark gothic tone of this story and there were so many lines I wrote down because they were beautifully written Here's one of my favorites I think the point of reading is not to feel of a part of the world but less To take oneself out of it On paper everything can be hammered into shape though the world is shapeless This book definitely isn’t for everyone since it can be uite slow but I still liked the prose even though the journey moved at a crawling pace I wish the ending had been emotionally satisfying or at least give a punch in the gut


  4. says:

    'The Confessions of Frannie Langton' is an unusual book some critics call it even a true gothic novel and it is all due to the protagonist Frannie and the fate that led her to the gallows Her life is brutal cruel and tragic beginning on a plantation called Paradise in the West Indies where she experiences most horrid treatment and is a witness and a forced party to the cruellest experiments by Paradise owner but where she is taught to read which makes her a most uniue 'mulatta' and later in London where she is given as a servant slavery was illegal by then in Great Britain to a fashionable Georgian couple in London who are not what they seem to be Regarding Frannie she is one of the most disturbing characters I have met recently which is due to the way she was shaped by her childhood and adolecent years on the plantation however I did relate to her through her suffering and dark experience to which she had no say Her life in London and the spirit of independence and even arrogance is portrayed brilliantly The novel is written in a form of a confession which is a deliberate bow towards Rousseau's 'Confessions' which Frannie stumbles upon at the plantation owner’s house and they are told at a slow pace at the moment when Frannie is already a prisoner and gradually reveal what she would probably like to keep just to herself This types of narration does generate suspense throughout the whole novel Apart from the narration vivid descriptions of the Georgian times including the trial proceedings the fate of former slaves daily drugery of the lowly and even the houses of the ill repute are exuisite It was a truly unputdownable read for meA big thank you to Sara Collins Harper Collins Publisher and Netgalley for granting my wish in exchange for my honest review


  5. says:

    Update this is a steal for 199 Terrific well written thought provoking novel It’s a fairy new release great kindle price “Noir fiction is a literary genre closely related to hardboiled genre with distinction that the protagonist is not a detective but instead either a victim a suspect or a perpetrator Other common characteristics include a self destructive protagonist” Frannie Langton mulatta house girl on a sugar plantation in Jamaica to a bought slave ‘Abigail’Secretaryin 1820’s Londonfits the noir’ description to a ‘t’ She’s accused of murdering her employers George Benham and his wife Margueritea victim a suspect a perpetratorand at times is self destructive We love the many layers of Frannie Langton literate strong like bull courageous doubtful angry wittybut cards are stacked against her Frannie was a a slave She was blackmulatta She was a woman She loved a privileged white woman She was accused of a double murderLIFE COULD NOT BE MORE IMPOSSIBLY DEVASTATINGFreedom power and dignity stripped away from birth An unfathomable horrific life aheadFrannie’s salvation to suffering was reading and love Seriously if there was ever an antidote to suffering‘love reading’ was the best ‘soul surviving’ way to uietly experience joy within bleak circumstancesReading and then love was Frannie’s greatest self medicating gift Sara Collins packs a punchNoir historical fiction gothic murder thriller mystery horrific science inuiry experiment to examine black inferiority slavery race class women drug addiction prejudice arrogance righteousness sadness grief frustration confusion anger guilt injustice intrigue courage lies forbidden relations romance passion love desire adultery sex a courtroom trial in London with journal entries testimonies from witnesses and a gripping ‘life’ confession not just what happened the night of the brutal murders but a full life story fromFrannie Langton written to her lawyer representative I meanWOW This is a debut?Captivated from the start to the end a few sluggish challenges for me in the middle section slowed down my reading butI’ve been obsessively thinking about this novel for a couple of days had several conversations with my husbandI’ve only read one other review of this novel so farAll I remember was that Bonnie was blown awayWell me tooThe WRITING is gorgeous thought provoking fascinating with good and evil characters Frannie writes “My mind races It’s my own self I’m trying to outrun When I reach inside there’s nothing That trick somewhere between remembering and forgetting the only refuge I have left” Frannie writes about Meg MargueriteMadame of the house in London“We were happy no matter what is said about it now no matter that they’re saying it was me who broke her happiness and broke her As soon as I write that as soon as I even think it my hand trembles I must stop here I fear I’ll dig this nib through that paper to keep from turning it on myself” In the 1820’s“Every black in London was either a maid or a whore or a prizefighter” George Benham speaking“Women focus on what they lack men and what they want In all those Bible stories it’s always the women who look back who eat the forbidden fruit who weep over hollow wombs and fruitful ones Yearning is always a woman’s sin” The men never turn around nor ever think twice about taking a knife or a cross to their own longed for sons” It was men like George that had Frannie’s anger rise We can feel the gut wrenching hostility Frannie feels for that wicked mansomething she shares in common with Meg Behamhis wife “I was angry yes”“The real madness would have been if I had not been angry” Great descriptions“Flashes of silk among the black suits like oil on water Ladies in their dresses gentlemen in their tails Here were people the world tells us to admire I pictured their tinkling laughter choked off by the fear of being whipped like dogs Standing in the kind of heat that closes your throat glancing up at a sun that might kill” Books were Frannie’s companion She was grateful she could learn ‘something’ no matter how she came to do so “It was a way to know that lives could ‘change’ that they could be filled with adventures There were times I pretended I was a lady in a novel or a romance myself It might sound foolish But it made me feel a part of a world that otherwise I can never belong to” Guilt feelings of unworthiness and anger were ‘tied emotions’ Frannie lived with At times she was her own worse enemy “I felt myself tipping forward my throat clogged with anger thick and dry as cotton I let it swell inside I welcomed it Into the silence tipped the truth my anger was aimed at ‘myself’”Atmospheric novelMonster Slave ownersA very different kind of slavery storyFirst person narrativeThrilling mysteryFrannie is a character worth remembering Fact is she is hard to forget 45 stars


  6. says:

    April 1826 The gallery at the Old Bailey was filled to overflowing with uality folk and ordinary folk there to witness the trial of Frances Langton indicted for the willful murder of George and Marguerite Benham Frannie's owner George was found stabbed to death in the library while wife Marguerite was discovered in her bedchamber Frannie was soundly asleep next to Madame's body Frannie's hands and shirt sleeves were covered in bloodFrannie had refused or was unable to discuss what happened that night Defense lawyer John Pettigrew suggested that she explain herself using paper and uill My intentions in writing my jailhouse musings it's my life I want to assemble the pieces of it myself For every crime there are two stories and that an Old Bailey trial is the story of the crime not the story of the prisoner That story is the one only I can tell Frances Langton was born in Paradise Jamaica She worked in the lower field throwing dung into cane holes until age seven when she became a house girl for Miss bella Langton Sitting by the water one day Frannie accidently knocked Miss bella's book into the water The punishment the book must be dry before she would be allowed to come indoors At first she thought the letters in the book were trapped each shackled to the next one but reading would become her salvation There were those who believed that slaves as property should not be exposed to new ideasMaster Langton manipulated Frannie's love of reading for his own means Langton and Benham were rivals studying anatomy but both proposed to compile a survey of the natural mental endowments of each race of men As a reader and writer Frannie scribed for Langton and was eventually forced to start participating in the performance of other dutiesOne day Langton took Frannie to Levenhall the London residence of George Benham She was given as a gift to Benham Under maid Prudence feared I'd howl bare my teethit's all savagery where you come from Housekeeper Mrs Linux resenting Frannie's presence told her to be uiet no shirking and no thieving In Levenhall Frannie experienced intense love and raging hate A good servant must know her place but book learning created a modicum of freedom for herThe Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins displayed the haunting devastating life of Frances Langton as written by Frannie herself in Newgate Prison awaiting trial in Old Bailey Through Frannie's account we learn of the ghastly experiments performed to determine the intellect of slaves assuming their inability to learn We learn of the co dependency of Frannie and Marguerite Benham Court testimony conjures up a snapshot of how the prosecution viewed the suspect Is Frannie aka the Mulatta Murderess so named by the press guilty of a double murder? Read it and find out I highly recommend this debut historical mystery by Sara CollinsThank you HarperCollins Publishers and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review The Confessions of Frannie Langton


  7. says:

    You can never be free of the inner workings of your mind It travels well within those tiny crevices no matter the milesSara Collins sets her story down among the fields of Plantation Paradise in Jamaica in 1825 Don't be misled This is hardly a paradise The owners see to that at every turn John Langton and his wife Miss Bella run their plantation with an iron fist Miss Bella is ill suited for life in Jamaica The intense heat the random storms and the complete isolation will spark her temper and shorten her patience Nothing seems to be worthy of her time Not even her husbandBut John Langton bides his time in unseemly endeavors How unseemly? You're about to find outWe will meet Frannie a young mulatto girl who will soon leave the hard work of the sugar cane fields to enter into the inner workings of the household It's here that Frannie will be enlightened by Phibbah who cautions her into following the set rules Frannie has no idea of how demanding her new position will be Out of curiosity and boredom Miss Bella will teach Frannie how to read even though it is against the law Frannie begins to stitch small stolen books into the hem of her dresses Reading becomes a form of escapeAfter a fire badly burns the sugar cane fields John Langton decides to take Frannie to London with him She follows behind him in the crowded streets imagining how easily she could get lost among the people and never be seen again Langton takes her to the home of a scientific writer George Benham and his young wife Marguerite Langton makes a uick exit leaving Frannie in the hands of the tight lipped housekeeper She's to become the property of Benham Shocked and disillusioned Frannie must face her fateSara Collins will switch gears with a trial taking place involving Frannie The bodies of George and Marguerite Benham have been found stabbed to death in their home Frannie has been arrested and sent to prison waiting for the eventual outcome of the trial Is she capable of such a heinous act? How does this young woman from Jamaica prove her innocence? The Confessions of Frannie Langton contains some heavy duty subject matter But then life on a plantation was also brutal in its nature Frannie finds that life in civilized London is not so civilized either The writing is detailed and well researched Collins gives nothing away until the last pages Frannie will be a character that you won't soon forgetI received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to Harper Collins and to Sara Collins for the opportunity


  8. says:

    Well Frannie Langton I too have a confession to make I thought this book was incredibly bland and it was certainly nothing special I felt like the plot had been written before and apart from the beautiful cover there wasn't much that I actually likedThe plot was confusing as well as disjointed I felt like Collins didn't know where exactly she wanted to take this story and for me it just didn't workThe characters were not developed adeuately enough and I just didn't care about any of their fates The lesbian affair was way too predicable and there wasn't anything exciting about it I usually love historical fiction but for a debut book I am left pretty disappointed


  9. says:

    I think the premise of the book is brilliant a former slave girl educated brought to London intellectual than the free white folk determined not bent headstrong And I was so excited when I read in the beginning of the novel that this will not be a slave's story which we have read many times but it will be a black Jane Eyre a Jamaican girl's own gothic romance I was a bit disappointed that it took 15% of the book to go to London and it did take long to open up the plot but I loved the ending I was in between 3 and 4 but settling in 4 stars


  10. says:

    35 starsThe good stuff Collins shows tremendous skill in giving her characters voices Phibbah with her Jamaican accent sounds completely different from Frannie who teaches herself to speak 'proper' English and whose speech is peppered with similes that actually work Also the first part of the narrative set on a slave plantation in Jamaica manages to disrupt the story we've heard many times before yes slavery is horrific but the literary representation of it can get repetitive I had such high hopes of where this book might take us But then we get to London and Frannie is 'given' to an Englishman and falls into another modern convention of neo Victorian fictionview spoilershe falls in love with her new master's wife and the book goes all Sarah Waters on us Even hints of asylums and the framing narrative of Frannie being on trial for murdering master and mistress feels very done before hide spoiler


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