Clarisse recommends:


A French and Politics graduate who spent her university years perusing the Hallward Library and working in Waterstones, Clarisse is the ultimate queen of book recommendations.

This month she brings us 'Queenie' written by the wonderful Carty-Williams who was named as the first black author to win Book of the Year at the British Book Awards.

Be sure to see more of Clarisse's reviews via her Insta page: @atwoolfbooks


Queenie is a South Londoner in her mid twenties and is trying to navigate her career, love, family and friendships along with everyday racism. This is a book for anyone who has who has felt lost at some point in their lives.

I don’t even know where to begin, I loved this book. Whilst I definitely can’t relate to Queenie’s specific experiences as a Black woman, I definitely related to the rest of it, namely being in my mid 20s and endlessly worrying about the future.

I read this book when my mental health wasn’t great and I was in the process of applying for jobs and getting no where. So reading a book where the main protagonist is worrying about her career and is struggling with her own mental health helped me feel less alone. Worrying about jobs, money and where your life is going is so normal but it’s not something I’ve read about very often. The portrayal of depression/anxiety is one of my favourite things about the book, I love seeing therapy being portrayed in such a positive light and following a character’s journey through the process. Again, it’s rare to read about therapy in fiction.

I could say so much more about the book and would gladly write a full 3000 word essay on it. The last thing I’ll say is that I adored how strong the friendships are and that, towards the end, Queenie learns to not define herself by her romantic/sexual relationships but by the strength of her friendships. Friendships are often not seen as being as important as a relationship between a couple. It’s clear in Queenie that friendships are just as if not more important than finding the person who is ‘the one’.

I will read anything Carty-Williams writes and I’m very excited about her TV adaptation of Queenie! If you enjoy Queenie, I think that the Jia Tolentino’s collection of essays Trick Mirror will also be right up your street.