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The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

When I posted a picture of my summer holiday book haul, I had a flurry of excited messages about one book, The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins. People were raving about how brilliant it is and telling me I had to pick it up straight away and so I did.

The story starts in The Old Bailey, London 1826. Frannie Langton is on trial for the murders of Mr And Mrs Benham. The testimonies against her are damning - slave, whore, seductress. Frannie is haunted by a burning question, could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?

Frannie tells her story for the first time, beginning with a little girl learning to read on a plantation in Jamaica, and ending in a grand house in London, where a beautiful woman waits to be freed.

Ok so you were right to insist I read this one, what a brilliant and haunting debut. Frannie is a very intense character, she is an incredibly strong and intelligent young woman whom I admired greatly. A mixed-race slave who carves her own way, I found myself wincing at the appalling and inhumane way in which she is treated.

A bold and timely gothic murder mystery, comparable to Alias Grace and Sarah Waters, but brilliant in its own right. At times it is a difficult and upsetting read, in fact it took me quite a while to get through this one, I wanted to go back re-read several parts. The writing is beautiful, powerful and deeply moving. It’s a story about love and survival that stays with you long after turning the last page.

Sara Collins is definitely one to watch, I fell in love with her rich and eloquent style and I cannot wait to see what she will write next.

Absolutely one I would recommend, it’s the perfect book to pick up as the seasons change and it’s time to start snuggling up on the sofa. The Confessions of Frannie Langton is out now in paperback.

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