When I first read the reviews of Queenie online, I felt Queenie was going to be like every other overhyped book. Naturally, I would have dismissed it because I don’t like to read overhyped books by the way. But it was recommended so I took a deep breath and dived in.
Here goes nothing!
At the end, I’ve come to realize that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Queenie was AMAZING!
It was a bit awkward starting out at the examination room with all those doctors probing. I was trying to figure out who was who and what was going on, but as soon as I settled into the story, I just powered on and I can’t believe I finished it so fast. (I’m a naturally slow reader.)
Queenie is a perfectly relatable character. Though a guy, I am able to empathize with her.
Women go through a lot, honestly. It’s bad if you’re black living amidst a sea of different people. I guess it’s even worse when you’re not just black but mixed. It’s a great struggle to belong. It made me remember Trevor Noah’s book, “Born A Crime”. How Trevor had no clique in school because of his skin tone. Perhaps at some point Queenie must have felt that way as well. Stuck. Not white enough to be accepted as white. Not black enough to be accepted as black.
My closest experience to this was the time I used to sing in our church choir and the choirmaster told me my voice was too deep for tenor but too light for bass. No matter where I was slotted, I didn’t quite feel among. I think that’s how Queenie would have felt everyday. It’s a lot to deal with.
I found myself arching my brows at some of the things that Queenie did. I think I understood why she did some of those things later though.
She made a lot of bad decisions but that only made her more human. I guess that’s one of the things I like about a character myself: those flaws, those little imperfections, those habits that define them and make them fully round and three-dimensional.
Sometimes, some things happen and I don’t necessarily make the best decisions. Some times, duress drives me to do some things I shouldn’t do. I’m disturbed so much I can’t think straight.
My point is, it’s what real people do and this can be someone’s story. Someone might be facing all those issues at work. Someone might be trying so hard to set their love life right. Someone might be torn between two cultures trying to figure out who they are.
If you feel like you’re in any of those places, then, you’ll be able to relate with Queenie. You’ll make the book your own and read it over and over again.
Personally, I might not be reading Queenie again anytime soon because there are so many books on my reading list right now, but I’ll surely be recommending it to all of my female friends.
God bless Candice Carty-Williams for writing that book.