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Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams - Review

Monday, July 20, 2020

I bought this book a few weeks ago when I had a bit of a book splurge. I had heard it was really good and wanted to get to it pretty soon. My sister in law had picked it up around the same time I did, and then when I posted the photo on Instagram three other people said they were reading it too!

So it's about Queenie, a twenty-five year old black woman living in London. She's from Brixton, where her grandparents still live. At the beginning of the book she's at the gynaecology unit with her aunt Maggie and is told that she's had a miscarriage. She has been with Tom for three years, and has moved in with him, but then just before her miscarriage, he has asked for a break of three months. Queenie moves into a house share with two other people and, encouraged by her friends, starts dating people she's met on OKCupid. They are all basically terrible men, and she relies heavily on her friends Darcy, Cassandra, and Kyazike to unload what's happened with them.

She works at a newspaper and is desperate to be taken seriously there, but she's distracted by talking to Darcy who also works there, and by flirting with Ted, who works upstairs. She keeps having sex with a Welsh fella and it's always quite rough sex, leaving her bruised.

Queenie is estranged from her mum and has had a traumatic past. She has had to put up with Tom's racist family (and Tom NEVER stood up for her, which was awful). There are little flashbacks in the book which show what she went through previously. She visits her grandparents and is quite close to her younger cousin Diana.

It's obvious for the reader that Queenie is falling apart and will come undone at some point. I really liked her and wanted her to succeed and get better. I loved her family set up and her grandparents in particular. There are a million books about sad white girls so it's really refreshing to read one about a sad black girl. I didn't feel like I was the intended audience for this book - I felt it skewed younger than I am, which made me just not LOVE it. But I did really like it, and I'm glad I read it. I'm giving it four out of five.

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