First of all, I bloody loved this book. Secondly, I absolutely bloody loved this book!
The story follows Queenie, a 26 year old Jamaican British woman living in London. She works as a journalist, has a tight knit circle of friends and a loving, if complicated family. From the first few pages you know that Queenie is someone with a not so straight forward past, someone that puts barriers up, and as you work through the chapters you piece this back story together and see how this impacts on her family and personal life.
When we meet Queenie, she has just broken up with her long-term boyfriend, or on a temporary break as she sees it, moving out of their flat and finding a place of her own. This break puts a huge toll on Queenie's mental health, she struggles to accept it and through random sexual encounters, which are often quite physical, friendship ups and downs and pressures of work you are slowly drawn into this young woman's battle.
Whilst this does paint quite a bleak picture, the author writes in such a way that there are some laugh out loud highlights quickly followed by heart wrenching lows. Queenie is on such a self destructive path that you just want to yell at her, her constant denials that anything is wrong and the frantic way she lives her life at times make her a frustrating heroine but you want her to work through it. There is a slow journey to when Queenie finally hits rock bottom and it is actually a relief as a reader, you're then rooting for her to deal with her issues and move forward.
As I said, I loved this book and it's definitely one of the best I have read for a while. An upputdownable read covering mental health, racism, strong female friendships. If you haven't read it, I urge you to pick up a copy.
Let me know what you think