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The Confessions of Frannie Langton: The Costa Book Awards First Novel Winner 2019 by [Sara Collins]
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The Confessions of Frannie Langton: The Costa Book Awards First Novel Winner 2019 Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 182 ratings

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Length: 371 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

A bold and timely reinvention of the classic gothic novel ( . . .) which, with its tentative exploration of passion and transgression of boundaries, is reminiscent of the best of Sarah Waters (Observer)

Wide Sargasso Sea meets Beloved meets Alias Grace . . . deep-diving, elegant

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 (Bernadine Evaristo The Guardian Best Books of 2019)

Frannie Langton is an unforgettable heroine, one who boldly reclaims her narrative within the context of a history that seeks to silence her. The Confessions of Fannie Langton is gorgeous-Gothic writing at its very best

A seductive and entrancing read, with captivating historical detail...The Confessions of Frannie Langton is an extremely powerful book that resonates long after the final page has been turned.

An impressive debut, dazzlingly original (The Times)

Bold and powerful (The Sunday Times)

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 (Red Magazine)

'I usually pick proofs up, read the blurb, maybe read a few pages... and that is usually that. This time, I started reading it - and then I couldn't stop. Sara Collins has created a tough, fiery, vividly alive character. Beautifully written, in crisp and careful prose; but more than that, it comes across as a story that's been waiting to be written for a very long time...[Collins] has picked up the tradition of gothic fiction and made it brand new.'

By turns lush, gritty, wry, gothic and compulsive, The Confessions of Frannie Langton is a dazzling page turner. With as much psychological savvy as righteous wrath, Sara Collins twists together the slave narrative, bildungsroman, love story and crime novel to make something new.'

From the Back Cover

No one knows the worst thing they’re capable of until they do it. . . .

All of London is abuzz with the scandalous case of Frannie Langton, who is 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. Frannie claims she cannot recall what happened that fateful evening, or how she came to be covered in the victims’ blood, even if remembering could save her life.

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.

The 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.

From the Publisher


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Reviewed in Australia on 23 July 2019

Top international reviews

elliemay
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a book I would recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 April 2019
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Louise Mullins
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 April 2019
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Gemma - Read A Book Gem
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and exciting debut novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 May 2019
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Bookliterati
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction at it's best
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 September 2019
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Granny Mac
5.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 September 2019
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Nicmac
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous. Haunting and horrifying in equal measure.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 April 2019
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JA
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 April 2019
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tabby
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious read and terrible plot. Disappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 September 2019
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sarahboz
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and overreaching .
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 January 2020
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Frankie10
3.0 out of 5 stars Dull and Overwrought
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 January 2020
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Jacqueline
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 19th Century Historical Novel!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 November 2019
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nyonya
3.0 out of 5 stars Good at the beginning
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 January 2020
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Erssie
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 May 2019
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C. Billingham
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Slow To Hold The Attention
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 October 2019
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BAZZ
2.0 out of 5 stars SOME MAY LIKE IT
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 August 2019
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