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Interview: Listen in as Carty-Williams shares why her funny, buzzy debut novel, Queenie, hits on the importance of female friendships, mental health, learning people’s given names, and staying out of their hair. Literally.

Shvorne just captured [Queenie's] really layered way of looking at the world...
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  • Queenie
  • Shvorne just captured [Queenie's] really layered way of looking at the world...

Publisher's Summary

One of Time’s 100 Best Books of the Year 

One of NPR’s Best Books of 2019 

Named One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2019 by Woman’s Day, Newsday, Publishers Weekly, Bustle, and Book Riot! 

“[B]rilliant, timely, funny, heartbreaking.” (Jojo Moyes, number one New York Times best-selling author of Me Before You

For fans of Luster and I May Destroy You, a disarmingly honest, unapologetically Black, and undeniably witty debut novel that will speak to those who have gone looking for love and found something very different in its place. 

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 White long-term 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. 

With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.

©2019 Candice Carty-Williams (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

Featured Article: The Best Black Audiobook Narrators to Listen to Right Now


A skilled performer has the ability to take the written word to new heights, infusing an author’s work with empathy, warmth, and excitement. And representation matters just as much for audio as it does for any visual medium: listeners should feel and hear themselves in art driven by powerful performers and authentic deliveries. We’ve gathered a few of the best Black audiobook narrators in the business and their can't-miss performances.

Editor's Pick

Modern-day adulting
"Candice Carty-Williams’s Queenie is the epitome of that refreshing new voice reviewers love to rave about. And rave I will. Her title character, a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman in London at the tail end of a longterm relationship, is a bit of a hot mess—but a hot mess in which we can all recognize parts of ourselves. Her motley crew of girlfriends, whom she calls the Corgis, all shore her up in different ways as she navigates the landmines of her life, from racial/cultural expectations to the emotional trauma of her youth. Actress Shvorne Marks brings Queenie’s world to life with an accessible range of British accents, while highlighting the soul searching for peace that belies the breeziness with which Queenie tries to meet the world, and eventually finds that her path forward isn’t based on anyone but herself." —Abby W., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Queenie

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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The Black Womans Burden

Whew Chile......this book was a breath of fresh air. As though being black wasn't enough but being a black jamaican coconut (black shell but white inside) living in London was the topping on the cake. Talking about the taboo of therapy in the black community and how being strong is holding in feelings and keep going. Queenie's life echoes so many black women. Her trauma growing up, her relationship with her mother and grandparents was spot on. Her support system, friends, and coworkers. Her not knowing her worth or not seeing her beauty and settling for ain't shit men, white men because she didn't think she was beautiful enough for a brother to love her. Queenie slept with different men after a miscarriage and a breakup with her boyfriend if 3 years. Racism was visited along with sexual harassment, and sexism.Through therapy she was able to free herself from generational black women issues. Chessca, Darcy, and Cassandra were her real friends, I love their love for her. Friends holding one another accountable and having each other's back. This book is highly recommended for all women of color. #mentalhealthawareness #book24of2019 #bookworm #whatsnext

54 people found this helpful

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Growing up for Grownups

I chose the all star rating because narration, plot, the unfolding of the story, with character development, all flavored with amazing humor, pathos, and the blossoming of the characters, presented in a bird’s eye view of the story, blended together to create an outstanding novel. The theme of interracial relationships between black and white delved into fear, power, and differences between outward appearances of both racial groups. It dismissed stereotypes of racial sexuality. It displayed the folly of misconceptions that humans base relationships on, with a delightful description of the beauty inherent in all humans. PLEASE read it to discover life. Would be a great book for high school students with the psychologies presented regarding motives for sexual activities.

22 people found this helpful

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Don't touch her hair !!!!

Where do i begin with this one?
Queenie, Queenie, Queenie. She sort of reminded me of myself when i was younger. Not the promiscuous parts but the "not having your shit together parts".
I LOLed several times. I enjoyed this audiobook. There were a few shock factor moments but all in all it was a good book. Don't listen with children around though. I was listening while in a fast food drive thru with my window down and had to turn it off until i was able to close my window back.
Reminded me of a Jamaican Bridgette Jones maybe?
The narrator was perfect.
I do recommend it for a little mindless chic-lit.

19 people found this helpful

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Great Read

I thoroughly enjoyed listening. The story is very relatable. I have been Queenie. Totally recommend this book !

11 people found this helpful

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No

I hated this novel. Boring and painful. Queenie had some serious issues. I only finished it because I can't start something and not finish it.

10 people found this helpful

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good performance

this book was more like reality TV then a novel, it was a realism to it I wasn't ready for. Queenie really emotionally drained me because she outlined a real person

10 people found this helpful

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awful

struggled to listen. storylines was confusing . hard to understand. could have been way better

8 people found this helpful

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Best Book I Have Listened to/Read This Year!

This is a real, get your life together in your mid-twenties, kind of story. The main character is frustrating and makes some poor choices but you never stop rooting for her. This is an awesome book for women in college, those in their own quarter-life crisis, or women who have already lived through it.

8 people found this helpful

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Queenie !

Love love loved it!
Queenie is addictive!
Quick read just do it!
You will laugh, cry and pondering the issues Queenie faces.

5 people found this helpful

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Maybe better with a bookclub to discuss it with?

I liked it enough. Think the story could've been more interesting/developed. I spent the whole story wondering what the climax was... I think with a book club it would've been interesting to discuss some of the topics raised throughout the book, but journeying the story individually-- it fell a little short for me. Thought it was a great performance! perfect narrator.

4 people found this helpful