I had seen a lot of great reviews for this novel before I read it, so when I saw that it was Waterstone’s book of the month earlier this year, I had to pick it up.
Overall, I thought there was a lot that was great about this novel. It deals with some really important issues such as race, relationships and mental and physical health. I think that this is an important read, especially as many of us are becoming more conscious of diversifying our reading and reading narratives that are not exactly like our own.
In a way, it feels as though there are too many issues being dealt with in this novel because we are following one protagonist, but that is the way life is; we cannot always deal with one issue at a time and sometimes everything seems to happen at once.
However, there were also some aspects of the novel that I did not like so much. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I will say that one plot point at the end of the novel annoyed me, and I was unsure about the overall representation of relationships and men given by the novel.
Queenie was definitely a complex character and I like the depth that was presented and explored. The other characters in the novel also gave a lot to think about and although I’m not sure there are many characters in this novel that I really like, each character was important to the plot and gave something.
I have to admit that I was a bit unsure of the character of Queenie at the beginning, but I slowly understood more about her character and warmed to her. As we went through the novel, I also disagreed with some of her decisions and so I found it hard in that sense too.
Although it took me a while to get to know and understand Queenie, I found it tough to read about her difficulties from the beginning. I’ve spoken to a few people who have struggled reading this novel, and I think that is because it is marketed as a kind of rom-com and is likened to Bridget Jones. Although I saw elements of that, I do not think that was the right marketing. This novel deals with some serious issues and it was not a light read at all (at least, I didn’t think so). However, I do think that we can all learn a lot from the novel about ourselves and others, so although it was deeper than I expected, I am glad that I read it.
I went into this novel not sure what to expect, and as I progressed through it I was still unsure as to what would happen. As I neared the end, I began to guess, but overall I liked the ending and I think it was fitting for this novel.
I encourage you to give Queenie a go because it covers really important topics and although it is not the ‘Bridget Jones’ comedy it is said to be, it is worthwhile in so many other ways.
There’s a lot of discussion to be had with this novel, so if you have read it, I’d love to chat about it.