“No one knows the worst thing they are capable of until they do it.”
I had been interested in reading this book for quite some time – I love historical fiction, but this had the added promise of a more gruesome/thrilling story. Well, it’s definitely disturbing. But it’s not quite a thriller (at least, not in the traditional sense).
This book is beautifully written, but don’t let it fool you – even in the lovely, “happy” moments, there’s an underlying cruelty and dread that follows Frannie pretty much everywhere. Since the book is told through a series of flashbacks, you somewhat already know what awaits Frannie at the end.
“That’s always been my trouble. Never knowing my place or being content in it.”
After traveling from Jamaica to England, Frannie transitions from slave to servant. However, having been enslaved for her entire life, she struggles to understand the difference. She’s still under the control and authority of someone else, and her life is still difficult regardless of the change in status.
Through Frannie’s letters/journal entries, we learn about a lot of horrific events that she either witnessed or participated in. It never gets too deep – many of the horrors are merely alluded to. That being said, there’s an overall lack of depth throughout the story – I felt that we skimmed the surface on so many topics instead of really digging in to the meat of the story.
There’s a deep sadness here too, and if you’re looking for something with a happy twist or ending, don’t expect to find it here.
I think Sara Collins shows a lot of promise, and i’d be happy to read whatever she decides to write next.
There are multiple trigger/content warnings for this one, so proceed with caution if you’re a sensitive reader.
Thank you Harper Perennial for the free book!