Tuesday 15 September 2020

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth - Matson Taylor

July, 1962
Sixteen year-old Evie Epworth stands on the cusp of womanhood. But what kind of a woman will she become?
The fastest milk bottle-delivery girl in East Yorkshire, Evie is tall as a tree and hot as the desert sand. She dreams of an independent life lived under the bright lights of London (or Leeds). The two posters of Adam Faith on her bedroom wall (‘brooding Adam’ and ‘sophisticated Adam’) offer wise counsel about a future beyond rural East Yorkshire. Her role models are Charlotte Bronte, Shirley MacLaine and the Queen. But, before she can decide on a career, she must first deal with the malign presence of her future step-mother, the manipulative and money-grubbing Christine.
If Evie can rescue her bereaved father, Arthur, from Christine’s pink and over-perfumed clutches, and save the farmhouse from being sold off then maybe she can move on with her own life and finally work out exactly who it is she is meant to be.  
Moving, inventive and richly comic, The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is the most joyful debut novel of the year and the best thing to have come out of Yorkshire since Wensleydale cheese.  

What did I think?

What a fantastic debut!  Oh I have my fingers crossed that this is the start of a new series starring 16 year old, tall as a tree Yorkshire lass, Evie Epworth.  I just knew that I was going to love Evie from the very first page when she is flying (literally) on her milk delivery round.  What caused her to fly nearly made me choke on my tea, it is SO funny.

The wit just keeps on coming as we find out more about Evie's life.  Her quiet dad, Arthur, who is a widower has been caught in the net of the creature from the pink lagoon, aka Christine.  Christine and Evie don't get on at all so Evie spends a lot of time with her neighbour, Mrs Scott-Pym who was friends with Evie's mother, Diana.

It must've been so hard for Evie growing up without her mother and Arthur doesn't talk about her very often.  Any time Diana is mentioned by someone, Evie's whole world lights up and the way Matson Taylor depicts this really made my heart sing.  In between each chapter there are little interludes of Arthur and Diana's life and I absolutely loved the way this 'past' storyline was set out.

The characters in The Miseducation of Evie Epworth are more colourful than a rainbow.  I loved straight talking Mrs Swithenbank and fabulous Mrs Scott-Pym as much as I detested gold-digger Christine and her long-suffering mother, Vera.  Of course, it is Evie who is the star of the show and you can't help but love her.  I loved the 1960's setting, I loved the characters, I loved the whole book!  It is just the tonic I needed to be able to leave 2020 behind for a few hours and be transported to 1960's Yorkshire.

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is tea-splutteringly hilarious; obviously a strong cup of tea is the best accompaniment for a book set in Yorkshire but don't read and drink at the same time as your tea is liable to come whooshing out of your nose at Evie's exploits.  I may or may not have learnt this the hard way...

Laugh out loud hilarious, charming and heartwarming, The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is a superb debut from Matson Taylor.  It's hugely entertaining from beginning to end; I can't imagine anyone not loving this book.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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