Sara Collins

It was announced tonight that Penguin General author Sara Collins has won the annual Costa Book of the Year Award with her debut novel The Confessions of Frannie LangtonInspired by Sara's’ own love of gothic fiction, it is a tale about one woman’s fight to tell her story and save herself from being sentenced to death: it's 1826, and crowds have gathered 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 Times hailed it as 'an impressive debut, dazzlingly original'.

The £30,000 winning book was chosen from five categories: Best Novel – Middle England by Penguin General author Jonathan Coe, Biography – The Volunteer by Ebury author Jack Fairweather, Poetry – Fleche by Mary Jean Chan and Children's book – Asha & The Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan.

  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton

  • 'Deep-diving and elegant . . . Wide Sargasso Sea meets Beloved meets Alias Grace' Margaret Atwood

    'Takes the gothic genre by the scruff of the neck...a triumph of powerful characterisation melded with suspenseful plotting' Bernadine Evaristo



    '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?

    A haunting tale about one woman's fight to tell her story, The Confessions of Frannie Langton leads you through laudanum-laced dressing rooms and dark-as-night alleys, into the heart of Georgian London.

    'A dazzling page-turner'
    Emma Donoghue

    'A star in the making' Sunday Times

    'Gothic fiction made brand new' Stef Penney

    'Dazzlingly original' The Times

    'A heroine for our times' Elizabeth Day

  • Buy the book

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