Queenie is a 25 year old South Londoner of Jamaican descent, first in her family to go to university, smart, clever, beautiful, first and funniest of her name, treasure to her family. She has a cool job, and a nice boyfriend, and seems to have it all together. But the book is clear from the very first page; Queenie is all these things. But she is also, very slowly and inwardly, falling apart.
I loved it. I really did. I found Queenie relatable, funny and so incredibly sad. Much of the book is a heart-breaking descent, but this makes the part of the story where she prioritises her mental recovery so rewarding.
The other big plus points are the layered relationships in Queenie. Her familial relationships are complicated, with a lot of things buried and unspoken that should be dug up and said aloud. But their love for each other, for Queenie, is clear, even if it can suffocate her.
Some parts of it felt like finally finding a shoe that fits, her experiences with friends and family so real and representative to being a young black woman who grew up in London. However, Queenie is her own heroine.
Candy, Digital Marketing Officer at Mind