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The Queen of Bloody Everything

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  883 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Have you ever wished for a different mother? Dido has...

Dido Sylvia Jones is six years and twenty-seven days old when she moves from London squat to suburban Essex and promptly falls in love with Tom Trevelyan, the boy next door. It's not just Tom that Dido falls for, though: it's also his precocious sister, Harry, and their fastidious, controlling mother, Angela. Because
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 23rd 2018 by Pan Macmillan (first published February 8th 2018)
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4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  883 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub-reads
An entertaining coming of age story with some terrific one liners that had me laughing out loud. A mother daughter relationship story that was easy reading, funny and at times a little sad, but perhaps just a little too contrived in places as well.

" As Eddie Jones lies in a bed on the 14th floor of a Cambridge hospital, her daughter, Dido tells their story, starting with the day that changed everything."

I really enjoyed the nostalgic references to the 70s 80s 90s in this story as it brought bac
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
British author Joanna Nadin has an impressive back catalogue of work, with plenty of books she has written for children and teenagers. The Queen of Bloody Everything (great title!) is her first work of adult contemporary fiction. It takes a good look at an unconventional relationship between a mother and a daughter.

The Queen of Bloody Everything begins at a turning point in the narrator of the tale, Dido’s life. When Dido was six years old, Dido and her moth
lucky little cat
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anglophile romantics
Recommended to lucky little cat by: from Robyn Hamilton's "Read" list
Irresistible bildungsroman follows outspoken heroine Dido (and her wine-swilling bohemian mother Edie) from a 1970s squat up through

Harry's ice-queen mom Angela, only without her bottle of Jif cleaner

the aughts in London.

Expert chicklet-lit novelist Joanna Nadin cheerfully cadges names and plot elements from her own favorite YA novels to create an adult page-turner for bookish women young and old (but mostly young).

My only complaints are all spoilers, and knock this from a 4-star read to a 3-sta
I loved everything about this book. The writing, the characters, the details through the decades and the story of a girl, Dido, who just wants to fit in.

This was a wonderful book that instantly transported me to Saffron Walden in that scorching hot summer of 1976. I loved meeting Dido, her mother Edie and the Trevelyans, the next door neighbours with their beautiful home and perfect family. Joanna Nadin's writing made it so easy to feel apart of Dido's story through the whole book, making me fee
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Coming-of-rage novel.

This is Joanna Nadin’s first foray into adult fiction in which she writes of a daughter’s love and loathing for her mother in the second person. A difficult feat to pull off over the long haul and one that, for my money, doesn’t entirely succeed.

Louche Edie and her six-year old daughter Dido leave their squalid London squat when they inherit a house in Saffron Walden. Next door, live neat-as-a-pin Angela, her husband David and their two children, beautiful Harry (Harriet) an
Paula Sealey
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An utterly riveting read that I just could not tear myself away from! Delicious writing, superb characters and a story fraught with drama, it's honestly one of my favourite reads of the last few months.

An adult Dido is recounting her childhood and troubled relationship with her mother, Edie. After flitting from squats and communes, they finally move into a home of their own after Edie receives an inheritance from her Aunt. Dido dreams of a normal life in a conventional family set up, but Edie is
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
This book centres around Dido and her eccentric mom Edie. The story that spans about 40 years, is essentially about Dido's dream of having a fairy tale life.

I really enjoyed Nadin's writing which made me feel like a spectator watching the lives of Edie, Dido and the Trevelyans - the perfect family next door Dido desperately wants to be a part of. The transition between the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s also felt effortless and the time weaved itself beautifully in the story.

Nadin also fleshed out all t
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nostalgic, heart-warming and heart-breaking family drama told in such a way that you'll feel as if you become part of the characters lives.

Focusing on mother and daughter relationships, this novel will strike a chord with many people, whether it's the odd sentence or whole passages. At times it's utterly hilarious, at others I was welling up with tears as the story is so beautifully written, and full of so much emotion.

I'm already a huge fan of Joanna Nadin's books for younger readers, but I'm s
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a completely captivating novel. It delves into the relationship between a girl and her dysfunctional mother. Dido longs to be normal and "adopts" the family next door, who she perceives to be the epitome of everything she lacks in her life.

Through Dido's eyes we learn that "perfect" isn't always perfect, and that sometimes everything you need is a lot closer to home.

I really enjoyed this novel, it was something different and refreshing, and it doesn't try too hard. I would highly recomme
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-best-reads
This is a wonderful coming of age story with a turbulent mother-daughter dynamic at the heart. Dido is a wonderful character, desperate to fit in and live what she perceives as a 'normal' life. Edie is her chaotic, free spirited mother, who refuses to be tied down by convention and loves being the centre of attention. When the pair move to the suburbs of Saffron Waldon Dido falls in love with the strait-laced Angela, her husband David and their children Harry and Tom and their far more conventio ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An evocative, poignant and funny novel that explores a fraught mother/daughter relationship across several decades, The Queen of Bloody Everything is a delight.

As the daughter of an artist mother (though mine, thank goodness, is not the lush that Edie is and is still trucking, if slowly, at 85) who grew up in the 70s, this this struck a chord from the off. Given my brothers work in tv news, I am a writer like Dido (this novel’s protagonist) and have lived with an alcoholic - hell, I’ve even my
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Didn't get on with the first quarter of this book even though I enjoyed the characters and storyline - the cultural references felt a bit laboured - and I thought of putting it aside and starting something else. I decided to persevere another few pages and then started enjoying it more and more until I got to the point I couldn't put it down and cried at the end! Always fun to read of the places you know. I live in a small village outside Saffron Walden and it is always strange to see the places ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly fantastic

Just gorgeous. I was absorbed by the world of Dido, Edie et al from the first page. Would love to see a film version.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved every minute of it. On audible. Amazing!
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book had me from the first page. I loved it. I finished it late last night and have been thinking about it all morning. It is beautifully written. Dido's voice is clear and strong from a child to an adult, and she had me laughing and crying. I thoroughly recommend it. This book will stay with me. Thank you Joanna Nadin.
Ronnie Turner
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dido sits with her mother, Edie, in hospital and begins to tell a story. Her story. Spanning the bright, big-haired, nylon-clothed excitement of the 80s to the clinical walls of the hospital in present day, Dido carries the reader through her life, her voice both bewitching in its happiness and heartrending in its sadness, and it begins with her six-year-old self moving from a squat in London to a quiet estate in Walden. She and Edie have left behind the dirt and drugs and bad memories for a fre ...more
Gem ~ Bee
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it

This tender storm of a book combines the conflicts that families undergo with a raw, engaging and lyrical story told from the perspective of Dido as she addresses her mother, Edie, in recollections from childhood to present day.

I am often left feeling that my family must be a bit odd after reading some books, where everyone muddles along, easygoing and drama-free, hmm, not in this book; YES for a portrayal of families that are complicated, fucked-up, imperfect, fervid, beautiful disasters. Becau
Kathryn Laceby
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes

This book grabbed my attention and my heart not only because of the story but because of the writing. Every word had a purpose and the subtleties of each sentence made me question the undertones.

The novel is a study on relationships, primarily the bond between mother and daughter, and it is written as if the daughter is writing or speaking to her mother from childhood to adulthood. Their lives are difficult but not always due to hardships that are clear. It se
Lisa Bentley
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, let me start off by saying that I absolutely loved The Queen of Bloody Everything. I loved the characters, I loved the dynamics of the cast of characters and I loved the whole coming of age element of the story. However, it did take me a good few chapters to get in to the story.

Set among the backdrop of an ever changing (politically and socially) southern England we meet our protagonist Dido and her hippy-dippy mother Edie as they move to a middle class area where they stick out like a
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Queen of Bloody Everything by Joanna Nadin was an interesting read. The book is a recount of Dido and her mother Edie’s life, starting when Dido is six years old. The book includes tales of their dysfunctional lives and Dido’s hope for a ‘normal’ life.

At first I found the book quite different to read, as it is written as if Dido is talking to her mother as an adult, reflecting on her up bringing.

At the start of the book they moved to a new place and Dido met her neighbours and was interested
Jessica M
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing

The Queen of Bloody Everything by Joanna Nadin is a heartbreaking and heartwarming novel about family, relationships, and what it means to be ‘normal’.

This book explores the relationship between Dido and her mother Edie. Dido doesn’t know who her father is, and so it’s always been just her and her mother. And even though she loves Edie, even a young Dido knows that there’s something dysfunctional about their family. Edie is a single mother and she’s blunt, brazen, brash a
Sarah Z
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1st-reads
I received an advanced copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

To be honest I don't really know where to start. This was a coming of age tale starring Dido, her dysfunctional mother, Evie, and the side characters of David, Angela, Harry, and Tom. It starts when Dido is 6 and follows her life until she's well into her 30's. It reads like a very long letter to her mother and speaks of their mother/daughter relationship and all of their ups and downs. It's almost like Dido's c
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This starts in 1976 and really captures the feelings and experiences of someone growing up through the 1970s and 1980s in the UK. There are so many familiar cultural references: from Margaret Thatcher to Mivvi ice lollies.
I listened to this through Audible, and I think the narrator was exactly the right choice. Dido, the main character, starts off as a six year old in 1976. We follow her through a difficult childhood with her single, bohemian, hard and fast living mother, Edie, in a very conser
Mike Finn
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The Queen Of Bloody Everything" is an astonishingly good novel that tells the story of Dido Jones and her relationship with Edie, her unconventional mother.

Daughter of a flamboyant, convention-challenging. larger-than-life mother and absent any knowledge of her father, Dido has no greater desire from the age of six to thirteen than to be normal and in a "real" family. She satisfies this desire initially by adopting the family next door, weaving herself into their lives so thoroughly that her pr
Alice Pringle
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is for any girl/woman who's ever thought "Bloody hell Mum, you don't know everything." In some ways completely unrelatable and in some ways it felt like I was reading pages from my own diaries, this book captures the essence of the mother/daughter relationship, from being a young girl and being in awe of your mother, and thinking she is the most wonderful being to exist, to the annoyance at her interference in your own life.
Dodie falling in love with the neighbour boy adds a lovely, r
Anne Peachey
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received The Queen of Bloody Everything by Joanna Nadin
from Beauty and Lace Book Club to read and post an honest review.
Dido Jones is telling her mother Edie their story.
Edie is in Hospital.
Edie lived a free and easy lifestyle and was raising her daughter this way.
Dido remembers living in squats and communes.
Dido was exactly six years and twenty seven days old when her life changed.
Dido and her mother Edie moved into an inherited house from Edie's Great Aunt.
This was the day she met normality.
Mrs DH Parry
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved everything about this book. The charismatic and compelling characters, the plot with all its ups and downs, the humour, the nostalgia and cultural references. It brought back so many memories; the long hot summer of 1976, strawberry mivis, Live Aid, dungarees and spandex boob tubes, all that heady optimism around New Labour in 1997.
Some great references such as Harry being "sexually enlightened by Cosmopolitan" - a line from "Perfect Skin" by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions and also referre
The Bibliotherapist
This is not a bad book, so I do feel bad about the 2 star rating, but it's just all I can offer it, giving up on it quite early on.
That is not really the book/author's fault either and simply a taste preference. I can't get through an adult book written from a child's perspective. However, I did love (initially) how it was written in "you" format, as it's the story of a daughter, telling her mother her perspective of her/their life.
I was absolutely in love with and inspired by the first few pa
Beth Kemp
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read Joanna Nadin's kids and teen books, I was looking forward to her novel for adults and I was not disappointed. Full of her trademark warmth and wit (and free to swear!), I found this trawl through Dido's unusual and difficult relationship with her mother intriguing, occasionally painful and often poignant. As a similar age to Dido, I also enjoyed a lot of the references and memories (the book ranges from her six-year-old memories to her thirties) and found their relationship easy to u ...more
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Joanna Nadin is an English author of juvenile fiction best known for the Rachel Riley series of teenage novels Based on Nadin's own childhood, the series follows the comedic narration of a 13-year-old girl.

Nadin has also written several books of juvenile fiction. These include two books for the Oxford University Press "Project X" series designed to encourage boys to read.

Nadin previously worked as