Your life hasn’t even begun

I read Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams back in 2020 when I was 26, the same age as the main character in the book. The pandemic was already a turbulent time for most, but I felt an acute sense of regret about some of my personal and professional choices at that point in my life. At the end of the novel, Queenie says to her mum ‘I am pretty sure I have thrown my whole life away’, to which she replies ‘You’ve just turned twenty-six, your life hasn’t even begun.’

I will never forget reading that line and feeling so incredibly comforted by it. At the 2022 Book Festival, I got to attend Candice’s event where she talked about the TV adaptation of Queenie, as well as her new novel People Person. After the event, I waited in line to have my books signed and meet her. I shared how much that line in Queenie had meant to me and she was so, so sweet; she said that in her novels she often writes what she thinks people need to hear. When I left the signing tent I looked down at my copy of Queenie and practically burst into (happy) tears when I saw what she had written:

Dear Bety, Life is always just beginning! Take your time! – CCW


Bety Tellez Mora