Bookish Discussions

The Confessions of Frannie Langton:

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Well, what a compelling story.

It’s 1826. Crowds gather to watch Frannie Langton, maid to Mr and Mrs Benham, go 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. Could Frannie Langton have murdered the only person she has ever loved?

I have been waiting, ever so patiently, to get my hands on the paperback edition of Sara Collins’ debut novel. I love murder mysteries set in the nineteenth century. There is something so fascinating about them. Despite being a century of progression in terms of detection and policing, there is a darkness that still shrouds the century, making it the perfect atmosphere for a chilling story like this. Collins’ definitely didn’t disappoint. She kept me in suspense the whole way through. Never did it become predictable. Never did it become boring. Never did it falter. It was convincing, emotive and powerful.

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Bookish Discussions

Re-Visiting The Boy Who Lived #1

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Reading slumps rarely hit me but, when they do, they last for months. I, of course, wanted to avoid this like the plague, so I picked up an old favourite: the Harry Potter series. Despite J.K. Rowling’s problematic views and behaviour, both politically and with regards to the wizarding world, I can’t help but love this series. It’s been a constant in my life, beginning with the movie adaptations and then the books (yes, I did it in reverse). I was late to reading the series, starting and finishing them in June to July 2014 but I sped through them in a month, soaking up this remarkable story. Harry Potter is just *very* magical to me.

Although I adore the series, I’m also very vocal about how much I dislike certain parts of the story or how idiotic Rowling’s constant milking of the series is. I can enjoy it but I can also be critical of it too. My biggest issue in The Philosopher’s Stone is Dumbledore. He is a character that perpetually irritates me (you’ll have to wait for reviews of the later books before I start bashing Snape). Dumbledore knew, full well, that Harry, Ron and Hermione would go looking for the stone – he said it himself. Instead of going with them, or, you know, instead of staying at Hogwarts in order to be there just in case, he leaves for a meeting in London.

Let’s unpick this, shall we?

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Bookish Discussions

The Wicked Cometh | A Lesbian Sherlock Holmes

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Rating: 4 stars

Read: 16 February – 18 February 2019


This was a pleasant surprise.

In short, The Wicked Cometh is a lesbian detective story set in early 1830s London. People are randomly disappearing from the grimy streets of London, and no one can provide a rational explanation for it. Hester White, a poor working-class, who somehow finds her way into the middle-class Brock household, and Rebekah Brock decide to set things right, embarking on a quest to stop these murders.

It’s not often that I find a neo-Victorian novel that I genuinely love. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres to read, and I’m very picky about my Victorian settings, as authenticity is key to me, but Laura Carlin got it spot on. She captured everything, from etiquette to fashion, so perfectly. It was not necessarily Victorian in style; Carlin did not intimate Victorian writing, but focused more on characterisation and setting.

She managed to stay true to the Victorians whilst adding her own twist to their perception. That was, of course, the lesbian relationship. We all know how the Victorian felt about homosexuality (actually, as I’ve learnt from Ruth Goodman, lesbians were not even acknowledged by society), but Carlin made it seem so naturalIt wasn’t forced into the narrative. It was slowly introduced and worked so well within the dynamics of the London Carlin created.

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