Reflections

Queenie: Respect isn’t unreasonable

I hadn’t read a book properly for ages, so quarantine is a perfect reason to cram a lot of imagination into my day. Like a novice I had only just finished Malorie Blackman’s ‘Noughts & Crosses’, so reading a book from an author amongst the new wave of female Black British author’s ( who is also from Jamaican descent wood woop!) was a logical step. Thank you Candice Carty-Williams! I’m very glad I took a chance on the rave reviews, Queenie is a great story and one that needed to be told.

On my first introduction to the title character I found her quite agitating, her neediness and limp rationality of life made me want to shake her. However, like everyone else in the world Queenie is a multi-faceted human. Even though we try to portray ourselves as unproblematic beings with only two sides, strong & strong in vulnerability. But what about those awkward edges and our personal ‘-isims?’ Queenie laid hers shockingly bare and although she didn’t want to it does require more strength and gives power to her name. I suppose that’s why she was easy to pick on- guilty. I also grew annoyed when she insisted on being desperate for her ex-boyfriend Tom. Rejection is a painful lesson and its good that she saw her faults however, he could have done more to stand up for her. Not all of her desires were UNREASONABLE.

One of my preferred elements of the book was how the black female characters were recognisable in my own life. My favourite was Kyazike as she is an amalgamation of myself and other friends. I commended her fierceness, authenticity and loyalty. I was ready to back her beef when she wanted to duppy certain man! To the untrained eye (and in my opinion) she is a caricature of a young black female Londoner, but I saw as a woman who was simply herself and we should not be apprehensive of this quality.

Furthermore I appreciated the growth of Queenie’s grandma. Many old Caribbean’s diminish the woes of our generation as they don’t feel it compares to their own traumas. Therefore I was glad she made the step to even believe in mental illness and that our version of suffering is valid.

Simply put, we as readers are put in the mind of a young woman as she combats and embraces her life. I’d need a podcast to scratch the surface of the book but hopefully you understand the reason this story normalises Black women’s lives and the different shades it comes in.

Reflections

Love actually has NOTHING to do with it

Do you have a song that you can finally relate to? I listened to ‘What’s Love Got to do with It’ recently and it slapped differently. Hot revelation. I wasn’t indulging in the sensational fuzz of affection, it was science haha.

Previously, I felt the lyrics to this iconic ear worm were too harsh to sing with the amount of vigour Ms Tina Turner sings it with. Why croon, without regret, that you don’t love someone or that the relationship was never serious?! Well after landing from a fun time in the clouds I get it. If you really consider the song, the writer urges you to not confuse a hot and fast flutter with the unquenchable fire of love. Love has nothing to do with butterflies but many times we hold on to that cheap emotion, and run till it knocks the wind out of us. A bit of a reality back-hand.

Please don’t be disheartened, use the song as a barometer to test wether you just enjoyed the hot flush or are willing to tread through the cold.