By Candice Carty – Williams
“The road to recovery is not linear. It is not straight; it is a bumpy path with lots of twists and turns. But you are right on track.”
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 break up 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.
Aww! Queenie Jenkins; I have to applaud Candice Carty- Williams for bringing this character to life. Queenie is a 25-year-old British Jamaican woman living in south London with questionable taste in the men and a knack for making terrible life decisions.
She finds herself broke and without a house after a devastating break-up. Queenie moves into the cheapest living conditions she can find in Brixton. In squalor, she desperately seeks to blot out the painful memories of her heart retching break up with her now ex-boyfriend, Tom.
This is where things go downhill. In an attempt to heal her brokenness she embarks on a series of cringe-worthy sexcapades with men who idolize her ‘black lady curves” Her self-esteem hits an all-time low, when she engages in sex with a cab driver that racially stereotypes her body and apparently nicknames his appendage the destroyer*rolls eyes.
She crashes way below rock bottom, losing her job and having to move in with her grandparents, but she is not alone. She is supported by her friends via WhatsApp group chat called the Corgis (Sisters! Sisters! Sisters! ) this comes in handy when she resumes flat hunting she lets her friend Kyazike (*my all-time fav.) tag along to fend off harassment from an estate manager. Here Queenie laments:-
“Is this growing into an adult woman is – having to predict and accordingly arrange for an avoidance of sexual harassment.”
The most important thing is that Queenie finds her footing through it all. She learns to grow and bloom through the pain and tribulation. Honestly reading this book made me so uncomfortable because I felt like I was looking in the mirror. I was so scared because Queenie is so damn relatable. The stress of adulting is tremendous. So reading queenie was like a breath of fresh air. I felt a sense of validation because I felt like I’m not alone in this struggle. It’s okay to be a mess; it’s okay to not have it all together and more importantly, it’s okay to ask for help ( bottom line your human don’t be so hard on yourself, Boo!)
This is a very powerful book and I would definitely recommend it to all my fellow struggling and hustling Millennials.