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!

I’m not the biggest fan of audiobooks but this one was fantastic. If you can get the audiobook, do it!

This book would be well suited for a book club because of the following topics:

  • racism
  • feminism
  • friendship
  • mental health and cultural differences
  • mother / daughter relationships
  • effects of abuse
  • straddling cultures

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

Reading Guide

Book Reviews


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

The Book Smugglers

Book Review: Queenie

Published by Janet