THE QUEEN OF BLOODY EVERYTHING, by Joanna Nadin, Pan Macmillan

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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.

DUE OUT: MARCH 23, 2018

MY THOUGHTS:

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Mother/daughter relationship so beautifully written where you’ll experience the engagement of all emotions from laughter to tears (have tissue handy).

Time-line transitioned well moving through the years effortlessly and smoothly. Pace was interesting and never dull. Premise grabbed me and was fulfilled as I read the book.

The character, Dido, wants to belong and fit in somewhere and she has her eyes on the neighbors thinking them perfect. This character is fully fleshed out and developed throughout the story, warts and all.  In fact, all the characters are done well and supportive of the MC’s goals in one way or another.

This book is beautifully written with particular attention to details and wrapping the entire story up by connecting all the dots effortlessly and expertly.

You will become engaged with the characters, feel part of the story as it develops experiencing everything along with them and wanting to stick around to see how they resolve their issues. All the characters are written realistically and flawed, their personalities credible and perfect.

If you love stories fraught with drama, especially family drama that is propelled by laughter, anger, frustration, and other emotions, then this book is for you.   As an older Dido remembers her child-hood and the various relationships with people along the way, she also recounts the trials and tribulations she had with her mother, Edie, with nostalgic evocativeness. The author writes so well that you are traveling down memory lane with the MC, sharing all the emotions imagery conjures up.  You may even find yourself relating to many historical references and emotional growth points, the author did that well with the writing.

I would caution about the form of writing where at times, Dido is directly addressing Edie and it seems like she is actually there talking, when she’s obviously not. Although Dido is addressing her mother, she is doing it as one would when talking out loud remembering a memory and Edie, for reasons you’ll discover, cannot respond.  Something like when you look at a photo of a loved one and talk to them about something you remember.  Keep this in mind, and you’ll have no issue understanding what is going on.

This is a story mostly that shows a strange, yet incredibly endurable relationship a girl has with her mother over the years. The girl often looks next door and wishes for what’s over there, but in the end, she grows and discovers that what she actually does have isn’t all that bad. Two people who had made life-changing choices, been through drugs and violence and survived are bonded by more than just blood.  The saying: “The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side of the Fence,” comes to mind when reading this book, and the actual meaning of said statement explains a lot about Dido’s character and her thinking.  Sometimes, until you really take a good , hard look at what you really have, you won’t realize just exactly what you have and should appreciate.

I highly recommend this book to everyone.  It would make a good summer read!

I gave this book:

5-star

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