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 Angela is everything that Edie—Dido’s own mother—is not. And the Trevelyans are exactly the kind of family Dido dreams of: Normal.
Dido wants to be normal more than anything else in the world. But it’s the very thing that Edie can never be, as Dido—and the Trevelyans, including Dido’s beloved Tom—will eventually learn the hard way.
Like the very best families, Joanna Nadin’s The Queen of Bloody Everything is funny, warm, tender and heartbreaking in equal measure. Part love story, it’s ultimately about mothers and daughters: about realizing, however long it takes, that family might be what you make it, but you can’t change where you come from.
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 feel like I was an old friend watching from the wings.
Everyone felt so real as I saw them in my mind’s eye, as the story continued through the 80s, 90s and 00s. There was lots of laughter, heartache, embarrassment, shock and anger, everything you’d expect from real family life.
I can’t recommend this enough especially if you’d like a trip down memory lane that include mivi ice lollies, sixth form common rooms, Live Aid and more. I think it would make a fabulous book club read and will definitely be recommending this to family and friends. I’m so glad I got a chance to read this, a new favourite for me, and I can’t wait to read the author’s next book.
Thanks so much to NetGalley and Mantle books for my digital copy.
The Queen of Bloody Everything by Joanna Nadin is available now.