Does it ever annoy you when you expect something from a book because it was marketed so but then it turns out entirely different? I picked Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams because it had great reviews and it said it was ‘Bridget Jones meets Americanah’. But it turned out to be something different. Let us find out how Queenie was for me, shall we?
About the book
Book Name: Queenie
Author: Candice Carty-Williams
Genre: Fiction – Drama
Characters: Queenie, Tom, Diana, Darcy, Kyazike, Cassandra
Queenie is a 25 year old Jamaican British woman, a typical millennial living in the pricey London and working for a newspaper. She has a close friend’s circle and a long term Caucasian boyfriend. Her family consists of overbearing grandparents, a religious maternal aunt and an estranged mother – you know the typical Jamaican family.
Things spiral down fast when her boyfriend proposes a long break from their relationship. Her performance at work suffers and finally she gets fired. Her social life derails when she starts hooking up with men who have no time or interest in her personality.
How Queenie deals with it and gets out of the mess that is her life now with the help of her family and friends forms the rest of the story.
My initial thoughts
Queenie is a tale of a young woman who tries to find her identity between the two cultures. It is less of a love story but more about strong female characters and their friendship and family ties. The characters are flawed but they are relatable and their problems are real. Though set in the UK, their story is from everywhere.
I agree that the Jamaican culture took little back seat among the other themes but from what was described I found it was similar to the Asians. Especially the importance given to family and religious sentiment. I loved how Queenie spoke about the stigma around the mental health and that is something really close to my heart. If only more people get off that mentality soon.
Also when I picked Queenie looking for a cheesy love story but instead found an intense book that spoke about several themes like sexism, feminism, sexual harassment at work and fetishising of Black women’s body. Though they were touched lightly, I am glad Queenie opened the topic at the least.
Things that worked for me
- I loved the flawed characters and the pains were real.
- Queenie talks about the importance of female friendship that sees through every up and down of her life.
- It opens up the topic about the stigma around mental health and taking steps to improve it.
Things that didn’t work for me
- I wish Queenie had spoken more about the racial and other issues.
- I was totally misled by the genre classification and the summary.
If you loved dry British humor like Chewing Gum (Netflix) or Fleabag, you will love Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. It totally surprised me and I think it is one of my best reads of 2019, as of now.
Let us chat
Have you read Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams? Do you get irked by the misleading marketing? What was the last book that surprised or shocked you by such issues? Let us talk.