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Publisher's Summary

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS

SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD

Longlisted for The Women's Prize for Fiction

Queenie is a 25-year-old Black woman living in south London, straddling Jamaican and British culture whilst slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper where she's constantly forced to compare herself to her white, middle-class peers and beg to write about Black Lives Matter. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie finds herself seeking comfort in all the wrong places.

As Queenie veers from one regrettable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be? - the questions that every woman today must face in a world that keeps trying to provide the answers for them.

A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on life, love, race and family, Queenie will have you nodding in recognition, crying in solidarity and rooting for this unforgettable character every step of the way. A disarmingly honest, boldly political and truly inclusive tale that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and acceptance and found something very different in its place.

©2019 Candice Carty-Williams (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Inspirational, funny and wise." (Kit de Waal, author of My Name Is Leon)

What listeners say about Queenie

Average Customer Ratings
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I loved it

This was on my reading list for awhile and it didn’t disappoint. It’s such a relatable and eye-opening story, and I’m so glad I got the audiobook because Shvorne really brought it to life.

2 people found this helpful

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Moving, poignant and great fun!

Moving, poignant and great fun. I've laughed out loud listening to this and been heart broken too.
Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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So engaging!

Loved every second. All of the characters were so well developed and the narration was excellent.

1 person found this helpful

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I loved this book!

Great character development. Interesting story with many layers. Highly recommend! x x x x x

1 person found this helpful

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Slow start but great payoff

I didn't really know where it was going at first, but once I got into it, I was totally immersed and couldn't stop listening. Queenie is frustrating, but so real, and that's part of what makes this such a compelling read. I loved going on this journey with her. Shvorne nailed the narration, I'm glad I listened to the audiobook!

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A joy to read

Wonderful, eye opening and a must read for the modern woman. Such a great representation

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really great audio book

Great story, well narrated, really engaging. Everything you want from an audio book. I highly recommend downloading this one.

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Queenie is a crazy ride

This one took me a while to get into. It was hard to listen to Queenie basically self destruct. But i gotta admit she got me in the end. I ended up really enjoying it.

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What a magnificent read! Init? 😉

This is a loveable, heartbreaking, frustrating, funny, insightful story of one woman's battle with mental illness (although it is never said, I think it might be PTSD) and racism. Now if I had read that in a review I probably wouldn't have picked up this title - ignore the impulse to move on - this book is a must-read!

This is such a good book. At first, I was unsure if this was for me, but after listening to it twice, I am convinced that you won't regret a listen too. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end, through and through!

The narrator nails the various accents and different characters' personalities like a pro. She brings life to the veritable feast of characters and a beautiful story to boot!

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Brilliant

This is a great book and a great listen! Loved it. Much more than a Bridget Jones diary read. It touches on so much.

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  • MsHolistic
  • 02-06-2019

Could relate to so much

the narration is amazing. i feel that people would have a completely different connection with this book if read. would recommend although this heartfelt story can get a bit emotionally heavy in the middle. loved it though.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amyn Bawa-allah
  • 05-07-2020

I need more complicated Black women stories

I enjoyed this book so much and I really enjoyed the narration because it helped me with a lot of the pronunciation. I especially loved the character development of Queenie.

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  • Natalie
  • 21-05-2019

I ended up quite liking it

After my mishap with trying to get a print copy of this book. I decided to do the audible trial and listen to this book for free. Now this is the first time I've listened to a novel in audible form so  this review is a mix of what I think of the book as well as the audible experience.


When I started listening I was just excited to experience something different so I was listening every chance I got. I loved that I had some entertainment in traffic as well as being able to listen on my blue tooth while doing housework. However after a while I did get tired of  hearing the narration. 


The book itself started off a bit shaky for me because it was beginning to feel like a depressing story of one young woman's poor sexual choices and boyfriend drama.


However it turned out to be more than that.This book touched on friendship, mother -daughter and familial relationships, battling anxiety and other complex themes. As I read on I grew to appreciate the backstory of the character and what led up to her decisions. I enjoyed reading about the counselling sessions and I was happy with how the book came together in the end. Not cliched and not depressing.

I got lost a couple of times because the author had some flash backs and I couldn't tell right away sometimes what was happening. I think it was mainly because I was listening to the audio version. I still wonder if I had read the book instead of listen to it if that would have affected my degree of enjoyment.

Overall I give this book three stars. As for the audible experience, I still have mixed feelings about it but I give it three stars as well. 



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  • Taneshia Deckon
  • 24-04-2020

Disappointing, had potential

The reading was good to some extent although some of the accents were more stereotypical than realistic.

The overall story line had something there but was kind of lost with unnecessary texting dialogue, slang and random encounters that were not detailed enough.

There was no real character growth or development for instance just skimming over her therapy sessions which could of gone into a lot more detail than her just being full of self-hate and the victim at every encounter.

Things such as Brexit, BLM, gentrification and urban dictionary where dashed in to make it seem more up to date and relevant but didn’t really add anything to the story. The racism of the white men throughout the story were cliche and there was an odd moment with the whole story line of “ted” which made no sense.

The story ended quite abruptly with no clear indication of what Queenie has learnt through all of it as she was going to revert back to her old ways if it wasn’t for Darcy telling her not to.

All the women seem to have men problems and all the men seem to be problems in someway which gave nothing to their characters as they were all just brushed aside in the end.

I just felt the whole thing quite juvenile, which was really disappointing as there were so many 5 star reviews. The cover was beautiful and the story line and concept itself was good if it had been more detailed, written and portrayed better. There was no accountability from Queenie and instead she made it about race all the time. She accounted her job problems to race when in reality she didn’t do anything but gossip and bunk most of the time.


As a black female I didn’t feel represented or seen but more stereotyped and cliched with no true resolution. There were just too many points the books was trying to touch on but not enough detail about them to really understand them. For instance, not one person who made racist remarks was called out acknowledged and learnt e,g Tom, Tom’s uncle, Courtney etc, she doesn’t like black men from one bad encounter which wasn’t really delved into, no real growth from Queenie herself, except getting her life back on track, and therefore I just couldn’t connect with it as well as I should and made it difficult to enjoy. It is disappointing because I really like the author and I had high hopes for this.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Rossanna Carter
  • 24-05-2019

Queenie

This is my first review. I’ve been compelled to write it having enjoyed the book so much.

Queenie, whilst predictable, has the quintessential coming of age (in your twenties/thirties) that captures superbly the essence of what it feels to be a woman who has gone through anything that makes you feel like you don’t belong.

It balances the need to feel accepted and what makes being a black woman so difficult. For me, I laughed and I felt immensely sad as the parallels with my own life were bought to life by the writer. In so many ways, the feeling that you are not alone is so important.

It was refreshing to listen to a story with a black protagonist and was narrated perfectly. There were so many things throughout the story that I found myself laughing aloud to, or predicting coming from a West Indian family which didn’t ever feel cliché. Empowering women is not a phrase I am fully a fan of, but the book does just that. It articulated the things which we go through as women and more specifically as black women without lowering the value of other ethnicities, the labels which are applied to us throughout our lives. I always thought it was just me - until recently and this just reinforces that actually, the things that aren’t spoken about are just hushed by shame. This book opens a discussion on the factors that affect us, both as black women and as women in general. The moments of hope, despair and solitude, that we try so hard not to let others see.

It is only as I have reached my thirties that I have come to realise that things are different for black women and the connection that I made made me root even more for our heroine. There’s a Queenie in us all, regardless of colour.

Solid 7/7.

I look forward to more books by Candice and plan on purchasing a paper copy for my little sister.

11 people found this helpful

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  • 匿名
  • 12-04-2019

Yess

amazing, a lovely depiction of humour and a black protagonist portrayed as endearing . really recommend this.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 10-05-2019

Refreshingly Riveting

Narrator is incredible!
I inhaled this book in a couple of days.
It made me laugh and it made me want to cry.
Queenie is relatable, raw, and human! She makes mistakes like the rest of us but didn’t fail to give me a warm dewy feeling when I finished!

7 people found this helpful

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  • A Smithy
  • 22-09-2019

Positive mental health

The exploration of mental health and how issues can spiral is a real positive for the novel. It feels very real, while the writing and the voice is top notch. But things do get a touch repetitive in the middle section and a few areas I feel could have been delved into further. I would still recommend as the topics are vitally important to discuss, and I do think Candice is a good writer.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Miss Unique
  • 17-05-2020

Tediously Tiresome Traits

The protagonist Queenie is unrelatable and boring. Her best friends seem like more interesting characters...It has a good starting point but then goes downhill. I’m slightly annoyed as I had seen so many 5 star reviews and I wonder, which aspect was 5 star?

4 people found this helpful

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  • 匿名
  • 08-05-2019

Great Book for Young Black Women

Realistic glimpse into the life of a modern young black woman. Loved This Book ❤️

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ms. SD Hoskins
  • 03-05-2019

Honest and real

Loved this book. I think many women would relate to it in this modern day world, regardless of your race. I really enjoyed it and the voice actor was good and gave a good feel for thr characters cultural backgrounds.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs U
  • 01-02-2020

Mixed up mess

I was really looking forward to this but found it hard going and ended up forcing myself to finish it. The main character suffers from relationship and anxiety issues - the result of her as a child witnessing the abuse her mother suffered at the hand of her partner - and her also being target of his verbal abuse. But she does so many stupid things and her friends are awful, her boss and work colleagues are horrible, her ex boyfriend is terrible, all the men she meets are horrendous..... They're all completely vacuous people and for someone with a great journalism job she just doesn't seem very interested in anything. She's got an amazing job but spends her time emailing or on her phone to her friends or chatting. No-one picks her up on this for ages?! Bonkers. She finally signs up for counselling. Unfortunately the reader has already worked out why she is messed up, so waiting while Queenie slowly works out the reasons for her behaviour in her counselling is just stating the obvious. It does pick up slightly towards the end - but that was maybe just because it was the end.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Spidra
  • 08-05-2019

Great! Listened twice!

Shvon's voices brought characters to life. Its lighthearted, relatable and easy read ! I listened twice on Audible and I'm sure I'll listen again

3 people found this helpful

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