Queenie is 25 years old and her life is unraveling. Her boyfriend has dumped her and while she continues to ignore that he’s over her, she sleeps with any questionable man who crosses her path. She has a good job, but her employers don’t take her pitches seriously and then pounce when she loses motivation and gets distracted. When it comes to support, her grandparents stifle her, her mother is the source of major trauma, and she doesn’t heed the advice of her friends. Years of repression and coping mechanisms are forcing themselves to the surface and Queenie needs to get her life together, whether she’s ready or not.
This book fully captures what it’s like when you’re floundering. As a [relatively] stable 35 year old with the privilege of hindsight, there was not a moment of this book when I didn’t want to either envelop Queenie in a hug or shake some sense into her. And these men! There were so many men I just wanted to slap. Most importantly, through a balance of comedic and cringe-worthy moments, Carty-Williams expertly demonstrates the weight of feelings that are constantly invalidated. Consistently dealing with White men who fetishize Black women, a family that refuses to accept you’ve grown up between two cultures, and a society that ignores the Black Lives Matter movement is DAMAGING. Be warned: this book is marketed as a Bridget Jones of sorts, where the main character is a hot mess, but a cute one. Rather, Queenie is a mess and the stakes feel higher. In my opinion, that makes her path to self-love and acceptance that much more beautiful.
5 out of 5 stars.
Pair with: Wine in a box, but one of those fancy new brands