Title: The Queen of Bloody Everything
Author: Joanna Nadin
Pages: 416 Pages
And in that instant I fall in love. Not just with him, though he is the better part of it, but with them both, with the whole scene: the house, the garden, the magazine perfection of it. And I want very badly to be in this picture.
As Edie Jones lies in a bed on the fourteenth floor of a Cambridge hospital, her adult daughter Dido tells their story, starting with the day that changed everything.
That was the day when Dido – aged exactly six years and twenty-seven days old – met the handsome Tom Trevelyan, his precocious sister, Harry, and their parents, Angela and David.
The day Dido fell in love with a family completely different from her own.
Because the Trevelyans were exactly the kind of family six year-old Dido dreamed of.
And Dido’s mother, Edie, doesn’t do normal.
In fact, as Dido has learnt the hard way, normal is the one thing Edie can never be . . .
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 sore thumb. Whilst Edie feels stifled by the twitchy curtains and affluent values of the area, Dido loves the stability that if offers; even more so with the conservative nature of her next door neighbours.
We watch as Dido tries wonderfully to fit in paralleling her mother’s need to be different. This juxtaposition is allegorical of the fraught nature of their relationship. We watch Dido grow up and act as her own guardian along with becoming a mother figure to her own mother.
The Queen of Bloody Everything can be a bit of a difficult read at times. You want to shake Edie into action and get her to be a mum rather than desperately trying to be a friend to her daughter, be wild and stay young. Equally, you want Dido to finally stand up to Edie and give her a piece of her mind. Essentially it becomes a book you want to yell at.
Nadin has captured the 70s, 80s and 90s changing face of Britain. You feel like you are in a time warp as you are reading. Not a lot of writers can do this so seamlessly but Nadin has managed this perfectly.
The Queen of Bloody Everything by Joanna Nadin is available now.
For more information regarding Joanna Nadin (@joannanadin) please visit www.joannanadin.com.
For more information regarding Mantle Books (@MantleBooks) please visit www.mantle.panmacmillan.com.