The Confessions Of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
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Set in the early eighteenth century, The Confessions Of Frannie Langton is the eponymous woeful tale about a Jamaican girl, a so-called ‘mulatta’ who spirals into misfortune. At first a house maid and experimental subject on the plantations of Paradise, she finds herself waiting on the renowned Behams in their London estate, until a tragic event occurs of which Frannie has been accused murderer.
Sara Collins has a style of writing that is distinctive, sporting a tone of wry humour and abounding in visual imagery such as eyes resembling knitting needles, skirts wagging like tails and a throat long and white, as church columns. This memoir-like novel combines different writing styles, such as the macabre of gothic writing to the suspense of thriller to the romanticism of poetry and philosophy.
I loved Frannie Langton’s development as the protagonist. Her character is intriguing, in that she possesses a spirited almost untameable nature despite her lowly rank. She transgresses the norms of her society, through her disdain for religion and the deep affection she has for her mistress. In like fashion, her mistress; Madame Marguerite Benham is also an interesting study into societal oppression, not just of Negro slaves but also the enslavement of women, for all their wealth and consequence during those times.
Collins perfectly balances excellent characterisation with a stirring premise and a driving plot to create a truly mouth-watering story, equally alluring and perverse that I found irresistible.
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