Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams
For some reason I kept trying and failing to get past the first five pages of Queenie, one of the most popular and talked about books of 2019. I wondered if it wasn’t the sort of book for me – a zeitgeisty romantic comedy with a disaster-prone heroine which would leave no trace on my future self – but I knew that everyone else had loved it, and persevered.
And once I got past those few pages, I got everything I wanted and more. Queenie is a classic anti-heroine, working her socks off on a newspaper and trying to sort out a messed-up relationship. She is also black, as is debut author Candice Carty-Williams, so she delivers editors the diverse voice they say they’re looking for, and gives readers a genuinely fresh look at how life is for Queenie. It’s not a hard-boiled tale of structural racism and lack of opportunity but a very funny, friendly and honest romp through….structural racism and lack of opportunity. No spoilers, but some of the shit that Queenie goes through and almost puts up with is impossible for a white woman to imagine ever happening to her.
A Channel 4 series is on its way. Hurry up!