It is a 20-something post-breakup solidarity book that's mostly light-hearted. But it's more! It normalizes therapy for mental illness. Queenie puts up with so much. I got so indignant on her behalf that I got indignant for myself, too.
Anyone who loves flawed, kind-hearted protagonists overcoming long odds will fall in love with Queenie.
“Positively brilliant. I was completely blown away by this debut, in which 25-year-old Queenie Jenkins is navigating a lot. She recently went on break from a long-term relationship, she can’t seem to find her stride at her job with a national newspaper, and she’s constantly trying to figure out how to navigate the various components of her identity. The biggest question of all: Can’t she be loved just because, without her blackness being seen as exotic or a caveat? Candice Carty-Williams’ debut is a completely fresh voice that shines light on a literary perspective frequently overlooked — that of young, black women. An absolute must-read.”
— Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019 BY WOMAN’S DAY, NEWSDAY, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, BUSTLE, AND BOOK RIOT!
“[B]rilliant, timely, funny, heartbreaking.” —Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You
Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.
Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.
As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.
With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.
About the Author
Candice Carty-Williams is a senior marketing executive at Vintage. In 2016, she created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, which aims to find, champion, and celebrate underrepresented writers. She contributes regularly to i-D, Refinery29, BEAT Magazine, and more, and her pieces, especially those about blackness, sex, and identity, have been shared globally. Queenie is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @CandiceC_W.
“Brilliant, timely, funny, heartbreaking.” –Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You
"Candice Carty-Williams delivers a hilarious roller coaster of a story." –US Weekly
"[A] brazenly hilarious, tell-it-like-it-is first novel." –O, The Oprah Magazine
"Vibrant, confused and honest, Queenie is a relatable heroine for modern times." –USA Today
"You'll likely feel seen while reading this (yes, it's that relatable), an example of what happens when you go looking for love and find something else instead." –PopSugar
"Candice Carty-Williams, a young Londoner, has a flair for story-telling that appears effortlessly authentic. Her title character is a woman you both know and cannot forget... Carty-Williams has taken a black woman’s story and made it a story of the age." –TIME Magazine
“The vibrant Queenie is a modern-day Bridget Jones's Diary, and so much more... [Carty-Williams’] debut reads a lot like its smart, sensitive protagonist: full of flaws and contradictions, and urgently, refreshingly real.” –Entertainment Weekly
"[A] hilarious, heart-shattering, deeply lovable novel... Debut author Candice Carty-Williams has created a truly one-of-a-kind heroine in Queenie, whose story is universally relatable without ever flinching in the face of challenging subjects that are more important now than ever. All hail Queenie." –Newsday
"You’ll read Queenie, a novel about a young Jamaican British woman trying to find her place in London, in one day. It’s that good." –Hello Giggles
"Meet Queenie Jenkins, a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman who works for a London newspaper, is struggling to fit in, is dealing with a breakup, and is making all kinds of questionable decisions. In other words, she's highly relatable. A must read for '19." –Woman's Day
“My favorite novel this year. Queenie is the sort of novel you just can’t stop talking about and want everyone you know to read. Snort your tea out funny one moment and utterly heart breaking the next, (and with the best cast of characters you’ll read all year), I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to read whatever Candice writes next. If there is anything right in the world, Candice Carty-Williams is going to be a literary superstar.” –AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs. Bird
"Queenie is the best mate we all want—funny, sharp, and more than a little vulnerable. I loved climbing inside her mind and wish I could have stayed longer. I adored this novel." –Stacey Halls, author of The Familiars
"Candice Carty-Williams is a fantastic new writer who has written a deliciously funny, characterful, topical, and thrilling novel for our times." –Bernardine Evaristo, author of Mr. Loverman
"Hilarious and off the wall and tender." –Nikesh Shukla, author of The One Who Wrote Destiny
“I ate up Queenie in one greedy, joyous gulp. What a treat of a book. Lots to enjoy and think about. I loved Queenie and was cheering her on all the way. I thought all the mental health stuff was brilliant and so well done and authentic—it so often isn’t, in novels—and also all the unhappy sex rang so true. Is there a sequel planned? All I wanted to do when I finished was to open book two.” –Cathy Rentzenbrink, bestselling author of The Last Act of Love
"Queenie has all the things you want in a debut novel—a startlingly fresh voice, characters you fall in love with from the very first page, and a joyous turn of phrase that makes this book almost impossible to put down. In turns hilariously funny and quietly devastating, Queenie is an important, timely story." –Louise O'Neill, bestselling author of Asking for It
"A really special book with much to say about black female identity, sexual politics, group chats, emotional becoming in a way that feels totally unforced. Filthy, funny, and profound." –Sharlene Teo, award-winning author of Ponti
“This book isn't even out yet and people are talking about it. Written by a new and exciting young woman, it's articulate, brave and, in the new parlance, 'woke.' Funny, wise, and of the moment, this book and this writer are the ones to watch.” –Kit de Waal, author of My Name is Leon
“Candice gives so generously with her joy, pain and humour that we cannot help but become fully immersed in the life of Queenie—a beautiful and compelling book.” –Afua Hirsch, author of Brit(ish)
"So raw and well-written and painfully relatable. It's also clever and funny and has the most glorious cover." –Ruth Ware, #1New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10
"The protagonist of this debut novel has been dubbed the 'black Bridget Jones' and comes from England buoyed by praise from Jojo Moyes. Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican-British woman, a newspaper reporter in London, forced to re-evaluate her life choices after a bad breakup with her white boyfriend. A trio of girlfriends offers support via text messages; we can’t wait to meet them all." –Newsday
“Adorable, funny, heartbreaking. People are going to love it.” –Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina
"An irresistible portrait of a young Jamaican-British woman living in London that grows deeper as it goes." —Entertainment Weekly (ew.com)
"Sometimes achingly sad, at other times laugh-out-loud funny, Queenie is a welcome debut from a seriously talented author." –The New York Post
"Carty-Williams creates an utterly knowable character in Queenie, who's as dimensional and relatable as they come as she tries to balance her own desires with what everyone else seems to want for her... This smart, funny, and tender debut embraces a modern woman's messiness." –Booklist (starred review)
“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.” –Bookpage (starred review)
“[A] smart, fearless debut… This is an essential depiction of life as a black woman in the modern world, told in a way that makes Queenie dynamic and memorable.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A black Bridget Jones, perfectly of the moment." –Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A charming read for fans of women's fiction; Carty-Williams sets herself apart with her relatable and poignant writing." –Library Journal
"What Carty-Williams also adeptly deals with is the role of technology in our modern lives. Which sounds so serious, but the way she weaves in text messages, e-mails, and more makes Queenie’s world feel so real. Basically, the second the book opened with Queenie in stirrups at her gynecologist’s office, I knew I was sold. Kirkus calls Queenie, “A black Bridget Jones, perfectly of the moment,” and I am deeply inclined to agree." –Hey Alma
"Carty-Williams adds her voice to a timely conversation about mental health, sex and womanhood." –Time.com
"Queenie is the book for anyone who has ever asked: who am I? And how do I get there?" –PopSugar
"Already referred to as the black Bridget Jones, Queenie is the literary heroine readers seek in 2019." –AM New York
"They say Queenie is Black Bridget Jones meets Americanah. But she stands in her own right—nothing can and will compare. I can't articulate how completely and utterly blown away I am." –Black Girls Book Club
"In this Bridget Jones-esque story, a Jamaican British woman working at a London newspaper seeks comfort in the wrong places after a messy breakup from her white boyfriend." –PureWow
"This bloody brilliant novel is heralded as 'Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah,' and you’ll be sold from page one." –Hello Giggles
"[A] wry, candid novel... Reading about 25-year-old Queenie as she navigates romantic entanglements, a frustrating job at a local newspaper, the ongoing tension among her and her white, middle-class peers, and pressure from her Jamaican British family, feels like listening to a good friend's woes and wins — and cheering her on along the way." –BuzzFeed
"The story of how 25-year-old Queenie Jenkins balances her Jamaican and British heritages while navigating professional inequalities and romantic dilemmas is Black and brilliant all on its own." –Essence
"Queenie is, quite simply, the best novel I’ve read this year so far... Queenie is an incredibly well-written, compelling novel about life in a modern London for young black women." –All About Romance
"I'm reading Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. It's very funny... I'm loving it." –Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six
"Queenie goes on heartbreaking, hopeful, sometimes funny, and always relatable journey." –REFINERY 29