Tuesday, 2 April 2019

#BlogTour The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

I am thrilled to be a part of the BlogTour The Confessions of Frannie Langton. This book is going on my best reads of 2019 list. It is an intricate and complex piece of fiction. It's a poignant, multi-faceted and moving story. I absolutely loved it

About the Author
Sara Collins studied law at the London School of Economics and worked as a lawyer for seventeen years.

In 2014 she embarked upon the Creative Writing Masters at Cambridge University, where she won the 2015 Michael Holroyd Prize of Re-creative Writing and was shortlisted for the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Prize for a book inspired by her love of gothic fiction.

This turned into her first novel, The Confessions of Frannie Langton.

Follow Sara Collins aka @mrsjaneymac or @VikingBooksUK on Twitter,
Buy The Confessions of Frannie Langton

About the book
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?

This book is going on my best reads of 2019 list. It is a spectacular, well-written and researched story. There are so many poignant quotes I would love to share, but one of the most important and indeed historically correct is this:'Not one thing in this world more dangerous than a white woman when she bored.'

That sentence just epitomizes colonialism, slavery and the mind-set of men, women and children, who believe themselves to be superior to others because of the colour of their skin. It is also a predictor of how dangerous the white women are in this story. Frannie can be set aside, betrayed, humiliated, used and abused one moment then befriended and used as a confidante in the next minute. She is nothing more than a disposable coffee cup.

Frannie Langton is property. She is a mulatto. Her worth is determined by her owner. Her happiness is determined by the men and women who decide when she is allowed to be happy. She is drawn into the studies her Massa conducts in the privacy of his estate. Terrible experiments that would make Mengele proud. All in the name of proving that black people are inferior to white people.

Part of this story circles around the guilt Frannie has to carry around with her. She feels like a collaborator for helping and colluding with Langton, and more importantly for not trying to stop his inhumane actions.

The story begins with Frannie being tried for the brutal and bloody murder of her master and mistress. She revisits her past in flashbacks as she attempts to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of what really happened, and whether she actually did kill someone she loved.

This might be considered a controversial point of view - the book world and readers need more diversity. It definitely needs more diversity when it comes to authors. Not only does the power base and majority, which is white and predominantly Western world, need to hear and read the voices of other ethnicities, of minorities and in general non-whites. The younger generations need to be able to see themselves reflected in literature, and of course all other media.

Why is that important in this instance? Because Collins comes at the subject matter from a completely different angle, which means you get a different read. You can feel the anger, disbelief and utter disgust at the accepted status quo and the norm at the time. The author doesn't pull any punches whilst describing language, theories and atrocities.

The bizarre theories of eugenics and scientific racism has existed for many centuries. Many people believe the Nazi regime was the start of this belief that there is and should be a superior race. The truth is many well-known, popular and influential people were parading around these pseudo-scientific ideas many years before that. The slave trade and consistent oppression of black people is an excellent example of the result of said beliefs.

I could write about this story for ages. I don't want to go into too many details because the readers should experience it for themselves. It is an intricate and complex piece of fiction. It's a poignant, multi-faceted and moving story. I absolutely loved it and hope this is just the first of many for Collins.

Buy The Confessions of Frannie Langton at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Viking (Penguin). Publication date: 4th April 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

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