Queenie

By Candice Carty-Williams

Published: March 19 2019
Publisher: Orion Publishing
Genre: Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Source: Personal Purchase
Add to Goodreads

Rating: 4 stars
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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.

With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.

The Review
Queenie is a novel about a funny and loving character who sometimes makes bad life choices. This is a book that is bold, hilarious, and gives feminist vibes. Queenie, yes that’s her real name is a very complex and flawed character. Her behavior can throw readers of guard sometimes, but it shows that she is relatable and she makes mistakes. At times, I was frustrated with her behavior too. This novel is Queenie’s journey from female friendships, her work life, sexual harassment, depression, and online dating. The book goes from past to present and we are shown flashbacks. The very first chapter of the book is intriguing, I was hooked from the very beginning.

I also liked how “casual racism” is explored in the novel. Queenie’s former boyfriend Tom doesn’t defend Queenie. Tom is white, and Queenie is black. They used to be an interracial couple, and in the past, Tom didn’t defend Queenie against his family who casually joke about black people. For example, casual racism can be, “Black people always like fried chicken.” It might seem like a harmless thing to say, but it is offensive. It was fascinating to read about Queenie’s experiences as a black minority. The book tackles sensitive issues and makes people think. It tackles also on the topic how black people’s skin color is used as a fetish and it’s considered “exotic” as if they’re a zoo animal. The book also celebrates female friendships which is always a hit. This is more of a narrative, literary fiction than plot driven book which I personally liked. 

“I wished that well-meaning white liberals would think before they said things that they thought were perfectly innocent.” 

“Is this what growing into an adult woman is—having to predict and accordingly arrange for the avoidance of sexual harassment?”

Recommended for fans of Bridget Jones Diary and Americanah.

Candice Carty-Williams

Candice Carty-Williams is a writer and author of the Sunday Times bestselling QueenieQueenie has been described as ‘vital’,’disarmingly honest’, and ‘boldly political’, and has been shortlisted for the Waterstones, Foyles and Goodreads Book of 2019, as well as selected as the Blackwell’s Debut of the Year. In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, the first inclusive initiative of its kind in book publishing. Candice has written for Guardian, i-D, Vogue International, every iteration of the Sunday Times, BEAT Magazine, Black Ballad and more. 

Updates From Beena

1) I finished my Masters Degree of Developmental Psychology last semester, and I’m waiting on my degree to finally come so I can plaster it on my living room wall.
2) I’m actually publishing a my debut literary fiction novel this upcoming mid-May. I’m in the process of beta reading and revising, then I can submit it to an editor. #exciting. I began writing it in February, and I am close to finishing it.
302267233) Covid: I’m still working, my hours are less than before. I work three out of five days now. I’m considered an essential care worker, I’m part of a multi-medical clinic that needs to stay open. I actually recently closed the outside entrance I’m constantly wearing a mask, gloves, and maintaining a six feet distance at all times. When I’m home, I always wear gloves and mask, even to bed. I quarantine from my family as well. I’m actually from New York so it’s best if I do, because we have the highest death toll in all of America. It actually upsets me when I see people outside walking their pets. What part of quarantine and lockdown do you not understand??
4) I’m reading King’s Cage lately by Victoria Aveyard . I’m behind on the series, I’m not the biggest fan of it, but the writing is addicting so I have to finish the series. I used to read a book everyday before, I still try to read atleast two books per week, but it’s harder because I’m focusing  on writing my novel. I write atleast ten hours per day now.

Here are some good Amazon Freebies I found 🙂 Check them out. The picture takes you to the link.