Book Club- Queenie
Our last book club read was Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. I thought it was an amazing book! Two of the book club ladies agreed with me and the other two didn’t enjoy it. Queenie is the main character in this novel and I really loved that she had a full story arch. She is a Black twenty-something woman in London struggling with her self-worth. Traumas in her past have started to manifest in adulthood and it’s wreaking havoc on her life.
One of the look club ladies gave the perfect description of the book as “rich”. The writing is fantastic, both emotional and humorous and we get to know the characters deeply. I also really appreciated that the story’s main character was Black, but the whole story was not about race. It seems like we still don’t get a ton of stories where the Black character can be a fully developed character with flaws, hopes, and dreams and isn’t just a caricature. The novel didn’t shy away from mentioning micro aggressions that many Black women face, but it was in a very organic way. Race is never something that can be completely ignored with you’re not white.
The book club ladies that didn’t like it had for two main reasons. One felt like the main character just kept making stupid choices and she found that irritating. That’s what I liked about it, since it showed Queenie’s humanity. The other person had a hard time getting through for an almost opposite reason, Queenie’s perception of herself, her self-worth, hit a little close to home. That’s a valid reason that I can understand, but also feel like it is a testament to Carty-Williams’ writing. This member also said that the audio book is read by the author and plays up on Queenie’s sense of humor which helped her get through this book.
I would recommend this to anyone looking for a book with exceptional writing and fully developed characters. I am going to give a trigger warning, though, as there is some sexual violence the book and I think it’s important people be prepared for that.
Our next book is Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. As always, you can check out my Book Club board on Pinterest so see the full list of books we’ve read.