19 comments on “Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams | Book Review

  1. I’ve been thinking about picking this up lately since so many people have recently recommended it to me. Thanks for sharing this review!

  2. Great review; I’m glad you enjoyed this one! The fact that the commentary is bluntly “told” rather than shown seems to be a common critique of this book, so I’ll look out for that. I actually read Queenie a while ago (as one of my read-on-the-commute books), but I wasn’t reading from a literary perspective at all! Planning to re-read this one in the context of the WP longlist soon.

  3. I can’t really figure out where to place this book. On one hand she has been compared to an ethnic Bridget Jones (which is probably highly misleading) and on the other hand – as you mention – the book pops on book prize longlists. I am curious, but not entirely convinced, about this one.

  4. I like how you looked at this from a commercial and literary standpoint, because certainly it’s an important book, but I’m not sure if it’s a literary one. The very heavy-handed commentary put me off as well. Great review!

    • Thank you! Yes, it’s hard not to view a book from a more critical perspective when you know it’s been listed for literary prizes. It’s certainly a decent read with a likeable main character, but I don’t think it offers anything particularly noteworthy in terms of thematic nuance or writerly craft.

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  7. Excellent review! This is exactly how I felt about this book as well, that it’s easy enough to like and agree with but still a bit frustrating not to be given more room to engage with the themes. Sadly I think its place on a prize longlist (and thus readers turning a more literary eye toward it) isn’t doing this book any favors, though it is great to see it have its moment of commercial popularity.

    • Thank you! Yes, exactly! I can admire the intention behind listing this one, but sometimes a decent book can actually suffer beneath the extra weight of expectation that comes with a major literary prize.

  8. I have been meaning to read this book, Candice Carty-Williams has quite a lovely and interesting Twitter presence. Sounds as if I should reign in my expectations a little, but it could be the lighter book I’m after at the moment 🙂

    • It’s definitely a solid read with an endearing protagonist, so there’s lots to enjoy! I think my expectations were simply raised too high by the book’s inclusion on a few prize longlists. I hope you enjoy it!

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