Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Confessions Of Frannie Langton, the debut novel by Sara Collins which is published this week! I was very excited to have the chance to read this book ahead of publication having heard it is inspired by the authors love of gothic literature, and in particular Jane Eyre which is an all time favourite of mine.
This story begins in London in 1826, where we first meet Frannie Langton. Frannie is currently incarcerated, awaiting trial for the murder of her employers, Mr and Mrs George Benham to whom she served as a maid. The grisly circumstances surrounding the Benham’s deaths have caused quite a stir, and Frannie is victim to much speculation, as many wonder why she ended up at the heart of such a hideous crime. The only person who is able to answer these questions is Frannie herself, and over the course of this novel she recounts her story, from her early years in Jamaica, to her new life in London, and the events leading up to the Benham’s untimely deaths. I was immediately drawn to Frannie who I found to be a fascinating character, one who came from a difficult background, and had to acclimatise to an entirely different culture on her move to London. Her story begins with her working as a slave in a sugar plantation in Jamaica, in a place called Paradise in which events take place that are not befitting its name. Working as a lab assistant for a scientist who involves her in some disturbing experiments, we see how Frannie is no stranger to adversity, having already bearing witness to something grotesque, long before the sinister events that unfold in the grand house that has become her new home.
The premise of this book was one that really interested me, and it was a story that captured my attention from the start. It is clear that this is a book that is well researched, drawing inspiration from some of my favourite gothic literature novels. I can see elements of Jane Eyre and the opening pages in which we see Frannie awaiting trial and retelling her story reminded me of Alias Grace which is another book I really enjoyed. As Frannie’s trial approaches we gradually piece together the events leading up to the Benham’s deaths, and there is plenty of intrigue as we meet various characters along the way and build a picture of this home and who may have something to hide. Along the way Frannie’s account is interspersed with extracts from the trial and local newspapers which helped build different perspectives of the trial whilst also highlighting the views people had towards Frannie. And as we meet a young woman recounting her own life, and her own take on the tragedy, we also see a woman who has adapted to life in a strange place, and the relationships she builds along the way, as she along with the reader has questions to be answered.
The Confessions Of Frannie Langton is an impressive debut novel which is a refreshing take on the gothic literature genre. It was published on 4th April 2019 by Penguin Viking with thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
This review was written as part of The Confessions Of Frannie Langton blog tour. You can check out the other stops on the tour on the dates and blogs below: