QUEENIE - CANDICE CARTY-WILLIAMS
Author: Candice Carty-Williams
Published: March 2019
Genres: Fiction, Mental Health
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.
NICKY'S REVIEW ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Oh Queenie, my dear girl. I loved you, I loathed you and most of all, I felt for you. More than I have felt for many characters before you. Centring around her experience as a black, female millennial, who is scarcely navigating personal blind sides, soul destroying decisions, and fading friendships, this novel was a unique encounter. Overall however, I felt the racial tensions, issues and associated discrimination lacked depth and I found myself wanting more from Candice Carty – Williams. I felt that it was quite contradictory, in the sense that it speaks of the racism Queenie faces, but it seems to be quickly dismissed and does not integrate it so far as to it shaping the overall narrative. I felt there was so much more potential there that fell by the wayside. Ps. The modern day Bridget Jones comparison is a very long bow to draw, and I respectfully regret the notion that they are comparable.
Shoutout to @bookswithleesh, @lys_reads, @stephaniesbookclub and @abookandaglass for buddy reading this with me and being my support group xoxo
TAY'S REVIEW ⭐️
Personally, the fulfilment I’m able to draw from a book relies heavily on the takeaways it affords, and in the case of Queenie they were dangerously low. I felt Carty-Williams had a prime opportunity to make an impact with this story, but the lack of nuance and finesse that enveloped her writing gave way to the cracks that opportunity inevitably slipped through. Each chapter felt like a puzzle piece, though not from the same box. The rotation of male characters were ascribed dialogue and behaviours that were so far from believable my eyes hurt from all the rolling. I felt constantly frustrated not only with the characters themselves, but with Carty-Williams for compromising her writing for a convenient narrative.
Sexual violence (dubious consent), racism, child abuse.