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The Confessions of Frannie Langton

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  10,655 ratings  ·  1,543 reviews
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 remarkable literary debut with echoes of Alias Grace, The Underground Railroad, and The Paying Guests.

All of London is abuzz with the scandalous case of Frannie Langton, a
ebook, 384 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Harper (first published April 4th 2019)
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Glenda Ricord Her defense attorney. He is trying to get her to give him some explanation, in the form of her life story, to get her acquitted. That's the way I unde…moreHer defense attorney. He is trying to get her to give him some explanation, in the form of her life story, to get her acquitted. That's the way I understood it anyway. (less)
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Frances I agreed that it was a good ending, although I too hoped she would get away with it. I felt that the combined effect of the risk that she would be sep…moreI agreed that it was a good ending, although I too hoped she would get away with it. I felt that the combined effect of the risk that she would be separated from Madame if they divorced, anger at the ongoing oppression/abuse, and possibly the effects of opioid use, combined to make it a likely outcome.(less)

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Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Will Byrnes
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 t
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 more 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 quite slow, but I still liked the prose even though the journey moved at a crawling pace. I w ...more
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
'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 unique 'mulatta', and l ...more
Elyse  Walters
Update: this is a steal for $1.99!!!
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’/Secretary
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 liked.

The 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 work.

The characters were not developed adequately enough, and I just didn't care about any o
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
April, 1826. The gallery at the Old Bailey was filled to overflowing with "quality 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 blood.

Frannie had refused or was unable to discuss what
You can never be free of the inner workings of your mind. It travels well within those tiny crevices no matter the miles.

Sara 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
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, historical
I think the premise of the book is brilliant- a former slave girl, educated, brought to London, more 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 more 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, ...more
Roman Clodia
3.5 stars

The 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 s
Mar 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Here we go again with this year’s virtue-signalling themes. Slavery, sexual abuse, gender identity, aren’t men awful, no wonder women are driven to lesbianism and dressing up as men. It wouldn’t be so bad if this kind of loose victim-lit wasn’t quite so incoherent. Is lesbianism really a result of men being horrible, nasty rapists and abusers? I’m guessing if one suggested that outright, one would be shouted down, and rightly so, so surely authors who’re desperately trying to make points, should ...more
Aga Durka
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars rounded up to 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Mulatta Murderess, as people of London call Frannie Langton, is on trial for a murder of Mr. and Mrs. Bunham. The reader gets to know Frannie’s past and the circumstances that led her inside of 1820s England’s courtroom through Frannie’s confessions, which she writes to her lawyer. She leads us on a painful, horrifying, and truly unnerving journey of her life, from living as a house-girl on a Jamaican plantation to her life in London, as a “secretary” to Me
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-author
3.5 stars

Watch my full review:
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in the early nineteenth century, culminating in 1826, this is another in a number of recent novels which take a look at the slave trade. It is certainly gothic and rather bleak. Frances (Frannie) is a slave girl with a black mother and a white father on a plantation in Jamaica. At the start of the book she is in prison in London accused of the murder of Mr and Mrs Benham where she worked as a maid. In the novel she describes the journey from the plantation to London and eventually to prison. ...more
Frannie Langton is a mulatta woman in 19th century England being tried for the murder of her master and his wife. She protests her innocence but gives us Confessions as her accounting. Gothic in style, The Confessions of Frannie Langton turns the typical slave narrative on its head. Although our protagonist makes it a point to say that she does not want to focus on the abomination that is slavery her testimony makes it hard to overlook these atrocities.

I could not help but make comparisons to
Dannii Elle
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damn, Sara Collins can write! For a book that exuded so much sadness this was also imbued with such an overarching beauty that made its parallel stand out, in stark contrast, and made the events that unfurled all the more poignant for it.

This is, as the title suggests, fictional Frannie Langton's autobiography of her life. She begins her tale in sun-ripened Jamaica, as a slave on a sugar plantation, and ends it in rain-soaked London, on trial for the murder of her employers. The reader is invite
Charlotte May
Aug 22, 2019 marked it as library-loans  ·  review of another edition
Next pick from the TBR box.
Excited for this one!
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Collins is my new favourite Author, she really has such an amazing ability to make her characters so powerful in lots of aspects, I really enjoyed all the choices she wrote within this beautiful book!
The book is merged with compulsion, lies and murder. It has a very complexed story that follow Frannie a brave and clever girl which survives lots of awful things, topics that were elaborated in a perfect way!
Sara has written a really powerful debut which describes the story of the slave trade and
Gumble's Yard
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
“But this is a story of love, not just murder, though I know that’s not the kind of story you’re expecting. In truth, no one expected any kind of story from a woman like me. No doubt you’ll think this will be one of those slave histories, all sugared over with misery and despair. But who’s wanting to read one of those. No, this is just my account of myself and my own life and the happiness that came to it, which was not a thing I thought I’d ever be allowed, the happiness or the account.”

I r
Katie Lumsden
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was fantastic. A really brilliant historical fiction debut - beautifully written, compelling and fascinating. I highly recommend.
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Let's take a look at the good things first: Sara Collins makes the audacious choice to combine a slavery story with a gothic overlay. Her influences - Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights - are never far from the surface as she focuses on Frannie, aka the Mulatta Murderess, who starts her life as a slave on a Jamaican plantation perversely called "Paradise" and ends up in the London home of the Benhams. Quickly, she forms an attachment to the opium-eater Mrs. Benham and when both husband and wife meet t ...more
Carmel Hanes
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This audioboook was a great listen. Part historical fiction, part mystery, and part indictment of some of our more shameful practices.

Frannie awakens next to the dead body of her mistress, with another dead body downstairs. She claims no memory of what's happened. The narrative sounds like listening to a diary being read as we go backwards in time to where things began and how Frannie ends up in a jail cell awaiting trial for the murders. It's a bit of a choppy ride, as we meander with her thou
Monica **can't read fast enough**
THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON features a complicated main character in difficult and unstable circumstances. I enjoyed that Collins created in Frannie a character that I felt I was supposed to side with and cheer on, but who at times was hard to fully get behind despite her abuses. At times Frannie does things that I couldn't truly blame her for but wished that she had done better. Although Collins doesn't have Frannie tell her story in a straight forward way it is laid out in a slow but st ...more
Martie Nees Record
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Pub. Date:  May 21, 2019
Martie's Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

This novel is good, unusual, but not unusually good, although it could have been.  There may be too much going on, which I will get to, but at its center is a gripping narrative about a female servant in England who was a former Jamaican slave.  In 1826, she is accused of the brutal double murder of her employer and his wife, George and Marguerite Benham.   The first half of the tale is written
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
This book took me 2 weeks to read... I kept putting it down for something else. It picked up the last 50 pages or so, but overall it was pretty slow. The author kept alluding to things, I'm guessing to stir up the suspense, but it really just left me kind of confused. ...more
Jessica Woodbury
The modern revamp of the slave narrative continues in fine form with THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON. Like Colson Whitehead and Esi Edugyan, Collins is able to examine very modern issues of race through a historical lens. This is also a successful and suspenseful crime novel complete with a protagonist who has blocked out her most important memories and a murder trial at the famous Old Bailey.

Sometimes I struggle with historical fiction when the prose is a bit more dense, and that was the ca
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, riveting, dark, and haunting. This is the story of Frannie Langton.... 1820s London Frannie has relocated to London from the sugar plantations of Jamaica. No longer a slave she’s now working for a British couple of privilege. Soon Franny finds out there are some similarities between slavery and being an English wife in the 1820s. She also soon finds her self in a forbidden and intimate relationship with Marguerite the lady of the house. When Marguerite and her husband George are found ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
4 stars

Through the written confession of a slave, a maid, we find out whether or not she committed the murder that she is being tried and convicted of. Frannie Langton has been accused of killing the woman she loves - a wealthy woman whose illness puts her in frail state. Not to mention her addiction to opiates.

Educated by her Jamaican 'Massa' so that she could help with his experiments on his slave population, he then 'gifted' her to his London scientific-writing partner in crime. Once she bec
Updated July 23, 2019
The Confessions of Frannie Langton is the BookOfCinz Book Club pick for July. I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading this novel and I highly suggest you give this stunning debut a read.

First Read March 2019

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
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Frannie Langton is on trial for the murders of George and Marguerite Bentham. She doesn’t remember what happened that horrific night. She doesn’t know why she was found covered in blood and found asleep in her Madam’s bed. She could not have done what they say she did because she loved her mistress very much and would not have harmed her. So what really happened?
We learn of Frannie’s life back to the sugar plantation in Jamaica. Frannie’s life was not a pleasant one and was grossly mistreated. T
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Sara Collins is 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 2015 Michael Holroyd Prize for Creative Writing. She lives in London, England. The Confessions of Frannie Langton is her debut novel, and was shortlisted for

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“A man writes to separate himself from the common history. A woman writes to try to join it.” 29 likes
“She had the knowledge from her mother, old knowledge. So long as you carried it in your head they couldn't take it away, she used to say. Not like weapons, or food, or clothes.” 7 likes
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