Candice Carty-Williams’s debut novel, Queenie, is wonderful. I’ve actually already written about it, so let me just quote my spring books 2019 preview for Alma: Queenie is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman in London in the midst of a bad break-up with her long-term boyfriend, Tom. She works for a London paper, trying to get them to cover more serious issues, but instead her editor makes her pivot to fluffier coverage. Tom’s white, Queenie’s black, and the book doesn’t shy away from the tricky questions of interracial dating… 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.”
What I also loved about Queenie was that it had such a deep sense of place: this felt like London story. It wasn’t some unidentifiable town or urban metropolis, but it was a story deeply rooted in London and in the black British community there.
Carty-Williams explains that she hopes people take away from Queenie the idea that “finding your true value does not — cannot — come from love, lust, or sex. It might sound corny, but finding your value has to come from within, and not from a partner. I'm not saying 'you need to love yourself in order to love someone else' I'm saying that it's vital that we as women understand our value in order to navigate love and its machinations.”