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Picking our book club reads can sometimes feel like an impossible task. How do we choose just one book out of the hundreds of brilliant ones out there? Choosing October’s read was, however, easier than most. Since October is Black History Month, we wanted this month’s pick to be written by a black author and what better book than the much-loved Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams?
If you haven’t heard of Queenie before then allow us to introduce you to it and some of the prizes it has won. Queenie has been: winner of the British Book Awards Book of the Year & Debut Book of the Year 2020, runner Up in the Comedy Women in Print Prize 2020, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2019, longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020, shortlisted for the The Jhalak Prize 2020 and shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2019.
Queenie Jenkins can't cut a break. Well, apart from the one from her long-term boyfriend, Tom. That's definitely just a break though. Definitely not a breakup. Then there's her boss who doesn't seem to see her and her Caribbean family who don't seem to listen (if it's not Jesus or water rates, they're not interested). She's trying to fit in two worlds that don't really understand her. It's no wonder she's struggling.
She was named to be queen of everything. So why is she finding it so hard to rule her own life?
What We thought:
Senior Press Officer
I found this book inspiring; it tells the story of a young black woman whose world is falling apart but she manages to find the strength to start putting it back together. Her journey towards self-love is a rocky one but it’s full of bravery and honesty which makes you root for Queenie even when you want to scream at the pages over some of the decisions she makes. It’s a great read that explores the effects of everyday racism as well as friendship, forgiveness and family.
Product & Content Marketing Manager
I loved Queenie, I think I read it in a day! Such powerful and effortless writing.
I thought Queenie was so real: a strong, brave and resilient character, that you could really get behind, root for and want to give a big hug too. She made me laugh and cry! Queenie is such a relevant book for millennials. It covers all manner of nuanced topics; friendships, racism, self-destructive behaviours, mental health, forgiveness, romantic interests (desirable and not) workplace drama; the lot!
Marketing Assistant Manager
Compelling, touching and relatable. The story of Queenie is one emotional rollercoaster; a bit like seeing your best friend at her best and then her worst. It’s an honest insight into the struggles of a young woman growing up in the world we live in today. I highly recommend this book to all.
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