If you are looking for a light read, this is not the book for you. But, if what want is a book where race, culture, feminism, friendship, and mental health all intersect with a touch of humor, you need Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. Personally, I found that the publisher’s description does not do justice to the multilayered and moving narrative, nor does it adequately portray the significant mental health decline that Queenie endures. 

Queenie is a twenty-five-year-old Jamaican-British woman straddling two cultures. The novel begins with the breakdown of her relationship with her white boyfriend. This sends Queenie on a downward trajectory, part of which includes frequent engagement in potentially harmful sexual encounters. She has the insight to know what she’s doing is dangerous – she just can’t stop herself. Through interactions with her friends (The Corgis), family, and therapist, Queenie slowly reveals the root cause of her low self-worth and begins to make changes in her life. Queenie’s self-destruction is frustrating to witness but you can’t help but root for her!

If you can get the audiobook, do it!

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Hardcover, 330 pages
Published March 19th 2019
Orion Publishing

Topics for Discussion

  • racism
  • feminism
  • friendship
  • mental health
  • cultural differences regarding mental health
  • positive male characters – were there any?
  • mother / daughter relationships
  • effects of abuse
  • first generation of kids bon to immigrant families – straddling cultures

Reading Guide

Book Reviews


Don’t Call Queenie a ‘Black Bridget Jones.’ This Book Is So Much More

The Book Smugglers

Published by Janet