At the start of Candice Carty-Williams’ debut novel, Queenie Jenkins has just endured a messy breakup with her longtime boyfriend. A 25-year-old Jamaican-British woman living in London, Queenie is funny, clever and curvaceous. First to finish college in her family, she has landed a respected job with the local newspaper, where she hopes to do big things. But when her white boyfriend, Tom, unexpectedly ends their relationship, Queenie spirals through a series of self-destructive decisions until her self-worth is down in the dumps.
Helping her navigate the doldrums—as well as a series of terrible choices in men from online dating apps—are perhaps some of the best girlfriends a person could ask for. Queenie is lucky to be surrounded by caring friends, family and boss. But that doesn’t stop her from constantly questioning how her race, the color of her skin and the size of her body will ever be good enough. Queenie, in essence, is every modern black woman who has ever questioned her abilities and her place in this world.
With resonant reflections on race, relationships, sex and friendships, Queenie is a terrific debut that’s delivered with a touch of British humor and plenty of feel-good moments.