Pre-Pub Pick: Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (Expected publication: March 19, 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press).
Carty-Williams debut novel, Queenie, will be one of the top picks of 2019. Queenie is a professional 25 year old British Jamaican woman working at one of London's national newspapers, who is blindsighted by her breakup with Tom, her white boyfriend of three years. While trying to gain control of her life, Queenie is forced to confront the ugliness in her life: the racism (casual and overt), her anxiety and depression that is worsening at an alarming rate, and past trauma that is impacting all of her relationships. Queenie must both accept the things she cannot change, but also take responsibility for how the rest of her life will go.
Cart-Williams writing is animated and intimate- this is a fast and entertaining read, but the racism, sexism and mental health are featured with the full weight of their impact- no false bravado and no glossing over.
Queenie is an important novel because this is a story that shows how the fetishization of black women impacts everyday lives. This book also does a good job describing how ineffective good intentions are when there is an assumption of understanding, where one can never truly understand. An important and highly recommended read. *Thanks to Edelweiss and Gallery/Scout Press for providing an e-galley for an unbiased review.*