'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
WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK AWARDS FIRST NOVEL PRIZE 2019
WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE MONTH
'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
A bold and timely reinvention of the classic gothic novel ( . . .) which, with its tentative exploration of passion and transgression of boundaries, is reminiscent of the best of Sarah Waters
Sara Collins takes the gothic genre by the scruff of the neck...a triumph of powerful characterisation melded with suspenseful plotting while also breaking new ground in subverting a familiar genre
An impressive debut, dazzlingly original
Bold and powerful
With echoes of Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and Sara Waters's The Paying Guests, this is an accomplished debut novel that perfectly captures the atmosphere of Georgian London and gives voice to a singular and unforgettable heroine
Original and evocative . . . vivid characters, lush settings, a captivating heroine and an intelligent, unsentimental analysis of her tragic history
One of those page-turners that require a good long weekend to savour it. It's brilliantly written, very funny in parts, sexy, clever and a book that will keep you guessing until the end
This book is the full package - we all loved it
A fantastically assured piece of historical gothic
Collins has created in her title character a complex, melancholy, and trenchantly observant protagonist; too conflicted in motivation, perhaps, to be considered a heroine but as dynamic and compelling as any character conceived by a Brontë sister. Collins invokes both Voltaire and Defoe here, and she forges an unlikely but sadly harmonic connection with both these enlightenment heroes in her gripping, groundbreaking debut.
We speak to the Costa Book Award-winner about her love of Toni Morrison, the pain of the writing process and her fondness of pistachio gelato.
A passion for Gothic novels led debut author Sara Collins to write her heroine out of slavery and into the heart of Georgian London in The Confessions of Frannie Langton.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton follows the maid of Mr and Mrs Benham, Frannie Langton, as she is put on trial for their murder. But through her fevered confessions, one burning question haunts Frannie Langton: could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?