Good friends, bad breakups, and life as a Jamaican-British millennial.
Good to know
Jojo Moyes is the author of Still Me.
Why I love it
Author, Still Me
I have to confess I have a prior interest in Queenie’s author, Candice Carty-Williams. A few years ago, I created a competition offering up my cottage to an aspiring writer in need of time and space to complete their project. Candice was the first winner, chosen from more than 600 applicants. She had never driven outside London before, and it took her six hours to make a two hour journey (the kind of thing that would happen to her character, Queenie!), but when she arrived she declined a cup of tea and went straight to work—she was that determined to make the most out of the opportunity.
Fast forward two and a half years; Queenie is one of the most anticipated books of the year. It grabbed me from the opening chapter because it did something that happens far too seldom—it took me into a world I didn’t know: that of a 25 year-old black woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. Queenie is fresh and flawed and she made me wince and made me laugh and made me think.
Candice is a unique writer. Even that 500-word contest entry told me there was something special about her. After re-reading the finished work I knew I had been right. I’m excited to see Queenie meet a wider audience, and to see Candice’s star really shine. We need more voices like hers.
Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle-class peers. After a messy breakup from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places ... including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.
As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.