Bridget Jones meet Racism

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marymchase Avatar


I’m so glad I read Queenie even though it wasn’t always an easy book to read. I think that’s important to know going in, because I’d heard it compared to Bridget Jones and while I think the comparison holds (I’ve actually only seen the movie, so I don’t really know what I’m talking about) in terms of the wit in the book, the subject matter is much, much darker.

Queenie is a twenty-five-year-old Jamaican British women who lives in London and works for a newspaper (cue the Bridget Jones comparisons). On a break from her live-in boyfriend, or so she thinks, Queenie bides her time waiting for him to decide he’s ready to try again by having a lot of uncomfortable and unsafe sexual encounters with pretty gross men. She has an eclectic group of three friends she leans on heavily for support in a group chat she calls the corgis. She encounters racism on the dating scene and at work where she tries to pitch Black Lives Matter articles and struggles with an extremely painful past that readers don’t get a full picture of until much later in the book. Queenie is a character you root for even though her decisions make it really hard.

I really enjoyed reading this one as a #diversebuddyreads. The discussion was fascinating and people had very different opinions about different aspects of the book. I wish that Queenie had made some better choices a little more quickly, but I also understand how she didn’t have the tools to do that. I didn’t love how self-centered she seemed in terms of her friendships—specifically with the one friend she worked with, but I wasn’t the best friend in the world in my 20s either when I was in a self-consuming crisis. I was shocked—and again, someone ask me why I’m constantly shocked—by the racism in this book. Some of it was subtle. Some of it wasn’t. I can’t believe it still happens on all of these levels so constantly. Which is why it’s important to read books like these.