BOOK CLUB: The Queen of Bloody Everything

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Author: Joanna Nadin
ISBN: 9781509853113
RRP: $32.99
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

The Queen of Bloody Everything is a contemporary look at family and relationships.


I am still reading this book, and I haven’t gotten very far yet because life keeps coming knocking at my door. From what I have read so far I am quite enjoying getting inside the mind of our lead character as she tells her story.

Dido Jones is six years old when she moves from a London squat to an inherited cottage in suburban Sussex, and falls in love with the boy next door. It’s not just the boy she falls for, it’s also his younger sister and the family he has that she so desperately wants.

Dido has only ever wanted a normal family, but through the years she discovers that Normal is the one thing that Edie, her mother, can never be.

Edie is in hospital in Cambridge when the story begins, and Dido is by her bedside. The story then peels back to where Dido sees it beginning, in 1976 when they moved to Sussex. The story unfolds as Dido tells it, in her words, to her mother. Taking us from that day in ’76 until they find themselves in the hospital.

The Queen of Bloody Everything is a story of family, in all its shapes and forms. Like families, it is filled with moments of humour, warmth, and heartbreak. There are elements of a love-story but ultimately it’s the story of family and they may come in all shapes and sizes but you can’t change where they start.

The Queen of Bloody Everything is available now through Pan MacMillan, Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Pan MacMillan 15 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading and reviewing The Queen of Bloody Everything so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

10 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Queen of Bloody Everything

  1. 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 in their ‘normal’ lives. I think that a wide range of people could relate to this book, as when you are a growing up your neighbours way of life can be intriguing.

    I felt like the book left me wincing with embarrassment with the words that the young Dido came out with in front of a more conservative family. There was also an element of shock, of the adult world things she had somewhat of an understanding of. It was interesting to see her perspective of the world at such a young age.

    I liked reading about her life as she grew up and how she tried to make sense of the world she was living in. I think that the thing that made the book so great was seeing how different people from different families are brought up and the boundaries, or lack of them, that parents put in place.

    There were various relationships that developed throughout the book that made it more engaging, as I was eager to find out how they would pan out.

    Thank you to Pan Macmillan publishing and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this book.

  2. A beautifully written, poignant, at times bitterly sarcastic and at other times comical book, The Queen of Bloody Everything by Joanna Nadin, @PanMacmillanAustralia, is about mother/daughter relationships, family, teenage angst and ultimately what it means to belong.

    It is at its heart the story of Eddie and Dido, mother and daughter, each seeking to escape their family backgrounds. Eddie is the unorthodox, hippie mother, who uses drugs, alcohol and sex to flee her thoroughly middle class and socially correct upbringing. And then there is Dido, the daughter of one of Eddie’s many flings. She longs for the conventional – to have a ‘normal’ suburban, white picket fence family, complete with a dad, boundaries and rules.

    Dido is the narrator and the story mainly focuses on Dido’s teen and young adult years – a time when many teenagers are at odds with, and are often embarrassed by, their parents… For introverted Dido, having an avant-garde, outspoken and highly irreverent mother like Eddie is the ultimate humiliation. She longs for a family like the ones next door – the Trevelyans, and she quickly adopts them as her own. Harriet ( Harry) becomes her best friend, older brother Tom, her love interest, and parents Angela and David, provide some calm and order to the chaos of her life with Eddie.

    This is a thoroughly enjoyable read, with well rounded characters who you cant help but identify with, and interesting insights into human relationships and family dynamics.

  3. “The Queen of Bloody Everything”: you had me at the title. This book is Joanna Nadin’s first adult novel and it is brilliant
    A coming of age story, revolving around Dido and her eccentric mother Edie. It bounces back and forth between Dido growing up from age 6 to the present age
    I think I loved this as I could relate to Dido. Childhood memories of being the only child at school not in school uniform, secretly longing to be nondescript
    A love story of Dido and the boy next door. Not just the boy but his whole family. A story that deals with family dynamics in a poignant manner
    Thanks so much to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read and review this novel
    Read this book. Read it in public. I guarantee random strangers will start conversations with you after seeing the title. Highly recommended

  4. This book is the best novel I have read for 2018 and I don’t say that lightly.

    It’s a first-person one told from the perspective of Dido and directed at her alcoholic, free-spirited, hippie mother named Edie.

    It’s a book that traverses decades and takes in several cataclysmic events in Dido’s life. Its conversational tone and rich characters like the family next door that she idolises kept me hooked and guessing where author, Joanna Nadin was going with it.

    In all, this was one highly satisfying read.

  5. The Queen of Bloody Everything tells the entangled story of Dido and her mother Edie over a nearly 30 year time period. Initially I found the main characters Dido and her mother Edie difficult to relate to. But the way in which Joanna Nadin slowly but expertly unravelled their unconventional lives, their dreams and their personalities soon had me transfixed. The Queen of Bloody Everything was an enjoyable read. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read this book.

  6. A well written story! Dido writes about her quite dysfunctional life from 6 years of age. Reminiscing her past growing up with her mother Edie, her neighbour and best friend Harry, Tom and their parents Angela and David. Dido falls in love with her neighbours immediately but mostly with Tom. A rather turmoil relationship with her artists mother and her friends. The almost revolving door of Edie’s relationships . Growing up is quite traumatic at times but Dido keeps strong as her. Time tries to heal everything or does it?
    A different read with a few twists!

  7. What a wonderful read “The Queen of bloody everything” was. Dido tells her story to her mother Edie from the age of 6 when they moved to Sussex. Next door live the Trevelyans who have the upbringing that Dido wants, the rules, the perfection the total opposite to what Dido has.
    It was interesting reading about Dido’s life, as she gets older and how she views the world as child being raised by an alcoholic and defiant mother.
    Great read that I thouroughly enjoyed!

  8. The Queen of Bloody Everything by Joanna Nadin follows Dido 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.
    She met Harry and Tom.
    And their mother Angela.
    Angela is everything that Edie is not.
    She is normal.
    Dido falls in love with the whole family and especially Tom.
    Joanna Nadin has written a beautiful story of how life can be so different
    and interesting.
    A love story with quite a large twist.
    Very enjoyable and I will be definatly look for future novels by Joanna Nadin.

  9. The Queen of Bloody Everything by Joanna Nadin.

    The story is told in the first person by Dido and is aimed at her alcoholic, hippie mother Edie. The story goes back and forth between Dido and Edie as she is growing up from the age of 6 to the present.

    The story starts when Dido and her mum move to a new neighbourhood and Dido makes friends with the neighbours and is really interested in the way they live a “Normal Life”. She longs for a family like the neighbours the Trevelyans. Dido and Harry (Harriet) become best friends, her older brother Tom who she falls in love with and parents Angela and David, provide some stability to Dido’s life as there is always something happening with her mum Edie. Unfortunately, Edie has many relationships that add to the turmoil of Dido’s life.

    A story of love, family and many twists.

    I found the story quite different to what I would normally read and didn’t really settle into the story at all, but just because it wasn’t my style, I would still highly recommend to other readers.

  10. To be perfectly honest I found it really hard to get into and finish this book, I thought it was written well but its not my style and I found it hard to identify with any of the characters.

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