“Queenie” by Candice Carty-Williams is a novel about a young Black woman in her mid-20s who was born and raised in London. The story follows her through the ups and downs of a year of her life, much of it spurred on by her relationship drama and personal issues.
“When No One Is Watching” by Alyssa Cole is a thriller and romance that makes for an entertaining and somewhat lighter summer time read. The book centers on, Sydney, a young Black woman who decides to create a history tour to tell the story of her rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn, New York neighborhood. A troubling series of events leads to Sydney and other neighbors feeling unsafe and questioning their own sanity.
Black Love Matters is an anthology of essays about Black readers, writers, characters, and stories as they relate to the romance genre of books. Edited by Jessica P. Pryde, the book discusses the history of Black people within the romance genre as both the creators and subjects of stories. Each essay offers a different perspective on what has taken place within the genre so far and/or what needs to be done to ensure greater participation and representation of Black people. It’s worth noting that while there is some discussion of specific books and characters much of the book’s focus is on the genre and book publishing industry.
A review of “The Darkest Child” by Delores Phillips, a novel about a preteen coming of age in a dysfunctional home and community with dreams of escaping both by obtaining an education.
“The True History of Paradise” by Margaret Cezair-Thompson in a sense tells the history of Jamaica through the lives and experiences of a fictional character and her family. The book opens in 1981 when political violence tore Jamaica apart and created a state of emergency that resulted in many people fleeing the country. Jean Landing is a young woman of mixed heritage from a financially comfortable and politically connected family. Devastated by the violence that now plagues the country, Jean plans to emigrate to America. When her sister dies right as she prepares to leave, the loss of her family member and beloved country causes her to look back over her life and we also get some insight into the lives of her ancestors.