Candice Carty-Williams “Queenie” – book review

I picked up a copy of this book, because it’s been on so many “Best Books of the Year” lists last year. Also because I heard someone compare it to Bridget Jones.

Then I opened the first few pages – featuring a scene at the gynecologist – and I was impressed. Women have all been there, but it takes a gutsy author to be able to write about it.

Queenie, our narrator, is a 26-year old black journalist living in London who is on a break. Her boyfriend, Tom, finds her a bit too much to deal with right now.

So, in order to forget him, she needs to start choosing nicer men to meet up with on OKCupid.

She has to start renting a room on her own in London. Moving in with her grandparents definitely isn’t an option.

Somehow, she has to deal with her past. In order to be able to move on and have a future.

This book is both funny and heart-rending. There is a great deal of mental suffering throughout. Many times I could have screamed at the heroine in absolute frustration (“don’t you know that the doctor is trying to take care of you??”), but equally many times I’ve howled with laughter.

But perhaps my favourite aspect of the novel were the female friendships (supportive and not-so-very supportive) that surround Queenie. Her description of a nuclear family also rang very true.

The descriptions of sex were sometimes slightly too much for me ( more Sex and the City than Bridget Jones) – and I found myself googling certain things that I now somewhat regret having in my search history now.

But all in all, this was an absolute page-turner, and I enjoyed reading it. Recommended.

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