That’s always been my trouble. Never knowing my place or being content in it.- Frannie Langston
The Confessions of Frannie Langton is Sara Collins’ debut novel set to be released on May 19th, 2019, I recommend you pre-order now because it is an amazing read!
Frannie Langston is a Jamaican slave brought to London by her Master and is then given as a gift to his research partner. Frannie Langston is being held at Old Bailey for murdering her employers famous scientist George Benham and his dainty but odd French wife Marguerite. Yes, Frannie is in deep and while we are rooting for her, the evidence is not looking favourable for our protagonist.
The book is told from Frannie’s perspective, through a series of confessions as the title suggests that gives us an in-depth look into Frannie’s life leading up to the night of the gruesome murders. Frannie Langston was born and grew up on a plantation in Jamaica during the 18th century when sugar was king. From a young age Frannie- a mulatto was taken to the big house to work with Phibbah looking after the plantation owners Mr. Langton and Miss-Bella. Frannie had a very complex relationship with Phibbah, a lot which she explores in her confession. Phibbah was the mother she never had, her voice of reason and the only person who had her best interest at heart.
Frannie goes from being a house slave to being an apprentice to Mr. Langton- a mad scientist who does experiments that only a white man in Jamaica in the 18th century could get away with. These experiments were inhumane, unethical and evil. The ending of these experiments led to Mr. Langton moving to London with Frannie in tow. Upon arrival in London Frannie was given to George Benham and his wife as a gift, this would change Frannie’s world as we know it.
Sara Collins did an amazing job with this debut novel. This book covers so many different themes in a new and refreshing way and I think that is what I loved most about the book. I have read a lot of books that covers the plantation and slavery experience, but I have never read a book where the main enslaved character was an apprentice to the Master who is a scientist. I specifically loved how Collins addressed the boredom of white women and the impact it had on the lives of those around them.
In the book, Phibbah was quoted as saying, “Not one thing in this World more dangerous than a white woman when she bored.” Those are the truest words Phibbah ever spoke to Frannie. We see how the boredom of white woman impacted Frannie’s life in a major way. From Miss-Bella on the plantation in Jamaica teaching Frannie how to read- #TheHorror to Marguerite in London taking Frannie under her wings. White women being bored may just be the death of Frannie.
The Confessions of Frannie Langston was a page turner for me, I spent one day devouring the entire novel. Sara Collins weaves a murder mystery mixed with historical fiction seamlessly. I loved how the story moved from a plantation in Jamaica to the streets of London but remained fully interesting and engaging. Collins ensured we had a lot of different themes to discuss ranging from slavery, the dynamics of love from an enslaved individual perspective, race, class, wealth, poverty mental illness and oppression.
I highly recommend this spectacular debut novel by Sara Collins. If you are looking for a book that will immerse you, leave you feeling “some type of way” and a character that will no shake, this is the book for you.