Queenie by Candice Carty – Williams | Book Review

A relatable novel which addresses important and pressing issues in society through the lens of Queenie as she navigates loving herself, race, feminism, work, friendships, family, culture, sexual and mental health all at the same time. A story of highs, lows and growth! 

What’s Queenie all about then?

The novel follows Queenie, a twenty something black woman, living in London and trying to navigate her life one step at a time. This book covers a lot of important themes; self love, race, feminism, sex and mental health in way that is so true to ‘normal’ life that there’s likely an element in the story that will make every reader think ‘oh yeah that happened to me too’ or ‘glad it’s not just me then…’.  

Whether that’s Queenie seeking confidence by snogging idiots on nights out, turning to her friends for guidance or finding comfort in the strict routine of her grandmother’s house – there’s a moment for us all. 

Sarah reading queen in the garden

What is Queenie like to read? 

With elements such as emails and whatsapps, Carty-Williams’ style is a modern version of those diary entries from Georgia in Angus, Thongs & Full Fontal snogging. Whilst the book isn’t written as a diary, Queenie shares her thoughts and feelings with the reader in a candid way, giving you an insight into the workings of her mind. Enough for the story, yet still making you question some of her decisions.

Queenie shares her experiences of racism and how she tackles feminism – essential matters and conversations for everyone, everywhere in some shape or form. I think it’s imperative that we can, at the very least empathise with these situations even if we haven’t had the experiences ourselves. 

I love how this book address these topics PLUS self love, sexual health, relationships, mental health, friendship, family and culture all in one. It took me a while to get into the book, I didn’t devour it like a thriller, but once I was about 30% of the way through I very much enjoyed it.

There was so many moments where I really related to how she felt, especially having lived the single life in London myself.

Sarah reading Queenie in the garden

Queenie review in summary:

A modern account of the challenges women in their twenties, and beyond, face. I loved the candid nature of this novel, addressing these important encounters head on with Queenie at the forefront as she comes to terms with her own way of handling things. Through the highs and the lows, Queenie is strong, independent and on a journey of growth throughout the story and beyond the last page! 

Recommended reading for everyone, especially as an important piece of  educational fiction to understand and support black authors and stories.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Queenie Review -
Queenie Review

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