book blog · Book Review

Book Review | Queenie by Candice Canty-Williams


Released: May 2019
Publisher: Orion
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 330 Pages
Source: Library Book
My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Hi Readers

Women’s ‘literary fiction’ is largely dominated by stories about white women. Candice’s debut novel is a breath of fresh with it’s portrayal of a black woman with Jamaican heritage trying to find her place in modern day London. I loved Queenies perspective and the honest portrayal of what young black women face at work and in the dating scene.

Queenie is a black millenial living in London who has so far had her life on track. Until she and her boyfriend take a Ross & Rachel style ‘break’ and her life starts to spiral out of control from there.

People have been dubbing this as the ‘black Bridget Jones’ and I definitely do see the similarities as there are a lot of corralations between Bridget and Queenie. Both are single, both are having work based relationships, and both are under pressure from their family to be settling down.

But Queenie definitely delves deeper into the darker parts of life. Because the main character is black she has to deal with racisim from all sorts of sides; her white boyfriends family, her workplace and from the men she’s sleeping with.

Queenie is really the only stand-out character of this book. She’s a very complex person whose constantly making such bad decisions for herself and not recognising that her mental health and self-worth are spiralling out of control. I always think it’s important to not judge a character on their decisions but there were some points where I wanted to reach into the book and give Queenie a good shake.

She’s also funny though. Which is needed because this book definitely takes Queenie down some dark roads.

Favourite Quote

My eyes must spend at least fifty per cent of any given day rolled to the back of my head.

– Queenie

Would I Read Again? Yes
Would I Recommend? Yes

Thanks For Reading
Jess X