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The Queen of Bloody Everything

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,977 ratings  ·  198 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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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,977 ratings  ·  198 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
Sonja Arlow
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

The book was just too long for the story it wanted to tell.

I need give credit to the audio narrator as she did an excellent job and the first 1/3 set the scene for a great story, but the characters never evolved. The same issues that plagued Dido as a child and teenager followed her in adulthood and that lent a level of frustration to the tale.

The story is told from Dido’s perspective and follows her turbulent upbringing with a bohemian mother in a ramshackle house during the 70’s and
Mel (Epic Reading)
Jun 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF @ 30%
I really forced myself to read to 30% on The Queen of Bloody Everything (Queen). This book appears as though it might be cute, fairly light and fun; which is why I picked it up after some intense reading that had resulted in a book hangover for me. While I realize a hangover may be part of why I didn't get into Queen; I have my doubts. Weeks since putting it down, I still have zero desire to try picking it up again and so I'm calling it as just not for me, and determining that Joanna Na
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a bloody brilliant book!. It made me laugh out loud throughout yet it was also extremely thought provoking and touching and I’m not ashamed to admit that the last line made me shed a tear or two. I loved the main character Dido. I loved how the story followed her from a six year old girl into a middle aged woman. The characters in the book are all strong and full of personality and I just adored the journey in which they all went on throughout the story and by the end I felt as if I knew th ...more
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
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
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
Lydia Bailey
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book from beginning to end & feel really sorry to have finished it & to have left all the characters behind. The journey of life for Dido aged six to thirty six resonated strongly with me on many levels. I particularly loved that I was born only a year before her so I experienced all the big events she mentions (the Queen’s Jubilee, Live Aid, Tony Blair & 9/11,) at the same ages & in similar ways. I also loved all the references to 80’s products, songs & sweets I had forg ...more
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tale of a mother-daughter relationship, this novel piqued my attention for the unique title, unusual cover and then, within the pages, the endearing narrative. Watching the lives unfold within the pages, I was hooked and voyeuristically reading how Di and Edie moved through time.

This is a poignant novel from the beginning as we understand that Di is addressing her mother. We understand at the start that something has happened to Edie, but it is not until the story has moved to the present at t
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Starting the story from the aspect of a six-year old with an unusual family unit was just my cuppa. We are constantly challenged with what is "normal" and what is acceptable. And, then, what is right and what is needed. Dido is certainly one who thinks she needs something else--something other than the mother she's got. A sometimes, pretend (?) artist who says she is avoiding her rich family but who actually lives off the generosity of her great-aunt. Their neighbors couldn't be more ostensibly ...more
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
Karen Foster
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I had a feeling I was going to like this..... And it had me at the title alone! But I wasn’t quite prepared to fall in love with this book as much as I did. I completely adored it.
It’s nostalgic and laugh-out-loud funny, heartbreaking and quirky, sweary and just oh so British. It’s set in suburban Essex, and the timeline for Dido’s coming of age in the 70s, 80s and 90s is close to mine, so every little reference hit the spot.
It’s a story of bohemian alcoholic Edie and her daughter, the lovely b
I was... so torn about this book. I had to get used to the story, but especially the way it was told. Our main character, Dido Jones, is telling this as a story to her mother while she sits next to her bed in a hospital. I wasn't sure how I felt about it at first because I was mostly just feeling sorry for Dido and the way she kept referring to her mother as 'you' was a bit strange. But I got used to it and I started to love these characters. I wanted Dido to have a normal and happy life but I w ...more
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
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 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.
Melanie O'Neill
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once in a while a book comes along for me where I am absorbed totally in the story and this was one of them. I wasn’t expecting much , it came in a bag of other books sent to me by a friend but I loved it! I was fascinated by the main character Dido’s life and I looked forward ti finding out what happened next! It was sad,heartfelt, funny and interesting from page 1. Would recommend!
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
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.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is getting rave reviews so I know I’m in the minority with this review and scoring.

It totally got me at the start and I thought I’d not be able to put it down but my interest wained and it just didn’t hold my attention- I found myself drifting. I felt for Dido she got the shitty end of every situation and I wanted her to have it out with her mum but that never happened
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Might go higher depending on the bookclub discussion, loved the story, adore the audiobook narrator, she did an amazing job.
Lorna Douglas
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-read
This book was bloody marvellous.
Cathy Hemmings
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I bloody loved this book.

This review contains spoilers.

What I loved.
- So well written, real language that flows.
- Characters fleshed out by actions and thoughts rather than descriptions.
- 70s, 80s 90s nostalgia that is not cliched
- Use of swearing that is effective
- References to real literature and characters within.
- Contradictions in the characters’ words/actions depending on circumstances – this twisting is real life.
- Humour – just funny observations, that are like
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.
Wendy Jakob
I loved this book. It's written from Dido's perspective as she talks to her Mother (Edie) who is in hospital. They are in their 40s and 60s respectively but the story charts their relationship from when Dido was a child. It's a difficult relationship - an alcoholic single parent, a child desperate to fit in and feel "normal".

Dido starts the story with the day that changed her life when, aged 6, Dido and Edie moved into an inherited house in Saffron Walden and meet the Trevelyan family. Moving t
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Excellent writing. It is based in my neck of the woods and it referenced every book I've ever loved.

One star is dropped because the main character should have taken control of her life a bit more and overuse of the word avatistic....sorry, pet peeve when author keeps throwing in a big word deliberately /too much. Also the style of writing where she kept referring to her mother as 'you' was a little confusing, I kept thinking she was talking to Harry as it was frequent
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
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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

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