One of my first thoughts when reading this book is that I shouldn’t have requested it – I had no idea how heavily the book was based around issues of race & my copy should have absolutely gone to a black reviewer (if there is anyone reading this who would like my copy let me know).
This book was so emotional & so gripping, & was full of painful history & plenty of lessons. I’m honoured to have received an ARC.
They say I must be put to death for what happened to Madame, and they want me to confess. But how can I confess what I don’t believe I’ve done?
1826, and all of London is in a frenzy. Crowds gather at the gates of the Old Bailey to watch as Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, goes on trial for their murder. The testimonies against her are damning – slave, whore, seductress. And they may be the truth. But they are not the whole truth.
For the first time Frannie must tell her story. It begins with a girl learning to read on a plantation in Jamaica, and it ends in a grand house in London, where a beautiful woman waits to be freed.
But through her fevered confessions, one burning question haunts Frannie Langton: could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?
Normally I would open a review with my own synopsis of a book, but I’ve used the GoodReads one for this book as I wasn’t sure how to describe the book. The Confessions of Frannie Langton was just that – Frannie’s confessions in her own diary, written whilst waiting to be put to death for murder. But did she commit the murder? Now, that would be telling.
As the foundations of this book are based around race I wouldn’t be reviewing it had I bought it, but I was sent a copy of the book to review so review it I must. I don’t want to write too much about the racial aspects of this story because it isn’t my place to, so I think I’ll just talk about why I found the book so engaging, & stuff…
When I first started the book I found it hard to get on with the language, but after a while I got used to it & it just helped to add to the atmosphere of the story. Frances, or Frannie, was really easy to like & I instantly cared for her character; on-the-other-hand, Meg, a primary character in the story, was easy to pity, but I also resented her for her attitude toward her privilege. So much of this book is about privileged & prejudice & it’s an incredibly deep story that I’ll never be able to unpick properly – I also wouldn’t want to either.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book but I know that it’s very much not for me to talk about; this book is about justice & sacrifice for people of colour, & as a white reviewer I can’t even begin to explain this story & the depth behind it. It did make me think though, & the language & treatment that white people felt was okay is sickening & books like this are needed to remind people like me of our ancestors’, & our own, privilege.
My review has been awful, but I hope you’ll understand why… I can’t help but think that this story has come from a very hurt part of Sara Collins’ soul & I can’t even begin to imagine how much this story must mean to her. This is a book that everyone should read – so grab a copy using the links below:
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository | Waterstones | Wordery
Find the emoji-key here.