Review: Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Posted April 3, 2020 by Charlotte in Reviews / 0 Comments

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Review: Queenie by Candice Carty-WilliamsQueenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Published by Orion on March 19, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 330
Format: E-Arc
Source: Netgalley
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Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.
Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.
As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her..

Having read Queenie a little while ago, I am struggling to write my review. At the time of reading I struggled because what I wrote at the time did not do the book justice nor could I fully convey my feelings. That is still the case now. I was moved and at times overwhelmed by emotion while reading.

Despite this I am glad to have read it. At the start, it feels very innocent. Very Bridget Jones, as Queenie has fun with her girlfriends, whom she calls the Corgis. And it feels very much like a feel good read.

But then things begin to change when she breaks up with her longterm boyfriend Tom. Through flashbacks we learn that this was not a healthy relationship and that he does nothing to protect Queenie from his family’s causal racism. But for Queenie, this break up hits her, hard.

She responds by hooking up with random men, having unprotected sex, all while dealing with anxiety.

The fact there are so many light moments throughout the book, makes those darker moments all the more dark and hard-hitting. Occasionally it is hard to read. But you want Queenie to survive, to win. Even when she is making those inappropriate choices, even when you are screaming at her to stay home. You are there with her, waiting for her. To make the right choice, to say she needs help. To start again.

Queenie is only one part of the journey that Queenie needs to take. One part of multiple life journeys. But that part will end and soon that light at the end of the tunnel will get bigger. This is a book that I struggled to read, and one that I may not read again. But it is one that I would put on my classics list.

 

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