Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, Queenie by Kimberly Chambers. Anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a huge fan of the authors and I’ve read every book the author has ever written. Was Queenie a hit or a miss? Read on for my thoughts
SHE WAS MADE IN THE EAST END . . .
For young Queenie, life in the backstreets of Whitechapel was a lesson in survival – Hitler’s bombs hit those with nothing the hardest. When danger strikes close to home, Queenie finds an ally in Mrs O’Leary, whose two sons are the kingpins of the East End. But while the O’Learys are the light in Queenie’s life, fate has a different path in store.
AND MEN ARE WHAT THEIR MOTHERS MAKE THEM . . .
Now married to the useless Albie Butler, Queenie is raising her children to fight their own battles. If the O’Learys taught her anything, it was that surviving meant doing whatever you had to, no questions asked, and family always comes first. The Butler boys will make sure their mother’s name becomes East End legend.
THIS IS HER STORY.
The explosive new novel from the No.1 Sunday Times bestseller.
The Queen of gangland thrillers Kimberley Chambers is back! With one of my most anticipated reads of 2020 Queenie. Once again the author has delivered on every level, it’s gritty, wickedly entertaining, and brilliantly written. I’m delighted to say ‘Queenie is one of the best books I’ve had the pleasure to read this year’. For fans of the Butlers series, Queenie takes the reader back to the very beginning, all our favourite characters are here, Queenie, Viv, Albie, Vinnie, Roy and Michael and so many more. We learn how Queenie born into hardship and abuse becomes part of one of the most feared families in the East End, and what a story she has to tell, warts and all!
When I first started reading Queenie it seemed like I was meeting up with old friends but their younger versions. The book begins during the 1930s, Queenie’s early childhood is marred by tragic events, events that shape her into the feisty matriarch we all love. Queenie wants a better life for herself, one where money is no object and people fear her family. When she meets Albie Butler she’s satisfied he can give her the life she craves and deserves, but Albie is weak and has no backbone, so Queenie looks to her three young sons, determined they won’t be weak like their father. By hook or by crook Vinnie, Roy and Michael will rule the East End, making sure The Butlers name becomes an East End Legend.
Kimberly Chambers is one of those rare authors who has a gift for creating colourful characters, that are larger than life, you feel you know them inside out, and despite their flaws (they all have plenty of those), a small part of you can’t help but fall in love with everyone of the Butlers. it’s a testament to the authors writing that she is able to make you laugh and cry at their antics, love and hate them, all in the space of a few minutes!
As you would expect the dialogue between the characters is as usual spot on full of humour, sadness, and sometimes anger, it gives the reader a wonderful insight into the Butler’s life, like many families they are protective of their own (most of the time anyway!) they argue, fall out, make up and fall out again! But it’s this that makes them credible characters. Another thing that’s amazing about this authors writing is her attention to the small details, whatever era she is writing about she brings it to life with descriptions of the fashions and music trends, they transport you bang into the East End.
You may have noticed I have been vague with the plot details, but that’s because I want everyone who reads this book to enjoy every page of this gripping story. Queenie is 512 pages long, but it doesn’t feel like it, there’s so much going on to keep the reader eagerly turning the pages, it’s the type of book you just don’t want to end. Queenie has all the ingredients the authors legion of fans have come to love and I’m sure they won’t be disappointed, it has shocks, tender moments, it’s gritty, and authentic. Kimberly Chambers has yet again written another amazing page turner, and one that will no doubt be hitting the bestseller spot. Highly recommended.
My thanks to Fliss Dunham, and Harper Collins for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (23 Jan. 2020)
Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧
And yes in case you hadn’t already guessed I’m giving Queenie my shiny Book hangover award, It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.
Other books in the Butler series