Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams
Published by Gallery, 19th March 2019
Genres: Contemporary fiction, mental health, race, feminism, chick lit
Format: Kindle eBook
Queenie is a 25-year-old Jamaican-British woman living in London and working for a newspaper. She struggles with knowing where she fits in with both of these distinct cultures, feeling that she doesn’t fit in with either. Following relationship issues with her boyfriend, she makes one bad decision after another and her life, along with her mental health, spirals out of control.
As a highly-rated and much-praised debut novel, I was really excited to get my hands on this book. But I have to admit that it did not live up to expectations for me. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I am not here to lie to you.
First and foremost, though, there were some aspects of the book which I did like.
The portrayal of Queenie’s female friendships with “The Corgis” I found very relatable and often hilarious. I also loved that the texts and emails from her friends were included in the text.
The way that mental health is addressed in this book is also something that I was very impressed. In this day and age, mental health issues are still surrounded by so much stigma. The notion that it is shameful to even consider seeking help or talking to someone about your mental health problems is very well explored, especially in the context of Queenie’s Jamaican family.
But, as much as I enjoyed certain aspects of the book, I just couldn’t make myself like it. I think that it goes too far with certain stereotypes and the explicit sexual encounters. Queenie is also a very self-destructive person who makes some really serious and frankly quite messed up decisions.
Although I wanted to love it, I just didn’t.
My rating: 3/5