Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams is Bookish’s spring 2019 Kelly’s Pick and we want any book clubs planning to read it to be prepared with everything they need for a great meeting! This includes snacks, a playlist, further reading, and more. Here, we’ve come up with 12 questions for your book club’s discussion of Queenie.
Reader beware: Spoilers ahead.
1) Queenie opens with our protagonist sending a text from her gynecologist appointment. Were you hooked from the first line, or did it make you uncomfortable?
2) What were your first impressions of Queenie, and did they change as the novel went on?
3) Queenie spends a good portion of the novel in denial about her breakup, how violent her sexual encounters are becoming, and more. Why do you think the author chose to have her react this way? Does her denial make her an unreliable narrator?
4) Queenie’s friends and family love to offer advice. What did you think of the support they gave Queenie throughout the novel? Was Queenie ready to accept help? What advice would you have given Queenie?
5) Queenie pitches articles to her editor about the Black Lives Matter movement and attends a BLM march in the book. She’s passionate about standing up for others, but doesn’t always stand up for herself. Why do you think that is?
6) How do you see Queenie’s experiences reflecting the importance of both the Black Lives Matter and the Me Too movements? Discuss Queenie’s experiences at the intersection of both race and gender, and how they impact her connection to these movements.
7) Queenie’s grandfather encourages her to attend therapy and tells his wife they need to learn from the next generation. How do you see Queenie’s growth throughout the novel impacting other characters’ development?
8) Queenie’s past trauma isn’t revealed until the end of the novel. How did that structure influence your understanding of Queenie as a character?
9) At the end of the book, Queenie has a conversation with her younger cousin about how being a black woman will shape her daily experiences and interactions. How does her relationship with Diana evolve throughout the novel? How do Queenie’s own experiences shape her growing relationship with Diana?
10) Queenie’s relationship with her mother Sylvie is complicated. How do you think their relationship shaped Queenie’s other friendships and relationships?
11) The story of how Queenie received her name wasn’t revealed until near the end of the book. How did it change the way you thought about the book’s title?
12) The final scene takes place in a restaurant where Queenie is surrounded by her friends and family. She’s in therapy, but still unsure about her future. Were you satisfied with the ending? Why do you think the author chose to end the book while Queenie is still healing?
If you’re looking for even more conversation inspiration, check out Gallery/Scout Press’s discussion guide.