By Chenai Mugunyani

“The road to recovery is not linear. It’s not straight. It’s a bumpy path, with lots of twists and turns. But you’re on the right track.”

Having just finished reading QUEENIE, by Candice Carty-Williams, I was blown away. I’ll be honest I shed a tear, or two. So, spoiler alert, the first few pages will leave you repulsed and highly tempted to drop the book, I know I was. Queenie, the protagonist, was just grinding me in every wrong way possible.

Queenie is a twenty-five-year-old black girl living in London who works for a national newspaper – but in my opinion, she barely does any work. When Queenie breaks up or rather suggests her and boyfriend of 3 years Tom take a ‘break’, she starts seeking some kind of comfort in all the wrong places and, well for me, that’s when her life took a spiral downhill.

The book takes you through the journey of a woman who becomes sexually liberated and the men she sleeps with leave her with a void.

 “Is this what growing into an adult woman is—having to predict and accordingly arrange for the avoidance of sexual harassment?”

Reasons why you should read:

– It touches on racism

– Revolves around mental health

– It talks about dealing with your past, your childhood.

– Child abuse, trauma and family dynamics.

– It reassures you to self-love.

– It circulates tackling life as a woman in her mid-twenties, dealing with all the spoken and unspoken societal script.

– It talks about healing and finding strength within yourself.

– That we are all perfectly imperfect.

This book made me realise that life comes with no manual and as each day comes, we are all just winging it, hoping for the best. There is only so much we have power over and one of those things is self-preservation. We get hurt mentally, emotionally and physically, and we have to deal with that hurt in different ways.

“We’re different, and they need to accept our difference, I continued, and Diana nodded along. I kept going while I had her, ‘We aren’t here for an easy ride. People are going to try and put you in a mould, they’re going to tell you who you should be and how you should act. You’re going to have to work hard to carve out your identity, but you can do it.”

Happy reading, healing and self-preservation.

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