I needed this book!!! Honestly it arrived in my reading life at a time when I was looking for something quirky, fresh and full of humour… And believe me The Miseducation of Evie Epsworth by Matson Taylor ticked all those boxes and more.
Huge thanks to Jess Barratt for my gifted copy and to Matson for my gorgeous sunshine yellow Evie tote bag.
So, what is this delicious debut all about? Because yes, IT IS A DEBUT(!), sorry for the shouty capitals but this still makes me very excited. Because a debut means the tip of the iceberg and more goodies to come…
But I am digressing and rushing ahead, which is what happens when a book makes me EXCITED!!! (Sorry, shouty capitals again)
So, calm, down… What is this book all about?
It is the story of 16 year old Evie, a Yorkshire lass, living on a farm with her Dad Arthur. It’s 1962 and having lost her mother as a baby Evie is close to her Dad, so her world is rocked when the indomitable Christine appears on the scene. With her entirely pink wardrobe, over bearing mother Vera and grand plans for the family – none of which actually involve farming or Evie – Christine is a force to be reckoned with and it seems she has Arthur under her spell.
Evie, however has her doubts and sets about trying to uncover the true Christine. She is skillfully aided and abetted in her mission by her slightly eccentric and very well healed neighbour, Mrs Rosamund Scott-Pym. And when Mrs Scott-Pym is suddenly indisposed reinforcements arrive in the shape of her daughter, the outspoken, modern and throughly charming Caroline.
Caroline is the catalyst in this glorious story. Not only does she fight Evie’s corner with wit and cunning, she opens her eyes to the possibilities of the future. Evie is at a crossroads in her life; O-levels taken and adult hood just around the corner. The problem is she has no idea which path she wants to follow. Plenty of people have their own ideas, but none of them appeal to Evie.
By pushing the boundaries and generally shaking things up Caroline allows Evie to see the world afresh, but also gives her the confidence to make her own decisions based on her own strengths and ambitions.
The whole novel is popping with energy. From the hilarious opening sequence, ( red sports car, milk round,rogue farmer, cow – you join the dots!!), this is a novel brim full with humour. It’s not just mildly funny, it’s flipping hilarious! You won’t just titter, you will roar!
And adding to that energy is the perfect 60’s vibe. It’s 1962, and we know, with the benefit of hindsight, that the decade is about to explode in all kinds of ways. The introduction of the ‘Four boys from Liverpool’ is a tantalising tease of what is to come. As a reader, we know that Evie is about to launch herself into a period of huge social change and liberation, and the anticipation and thrill generated by this bursts from the pages.
Evie’s story is a delight. It’s filled with ups and downs and I am not going to spoil the party by telling you who wins the day, but, flipping heck, I can guarantee you will enjoy the ride!! And as an extra temptation, should you need one, there is quite a lot of cake!
Thank you Matson Taylor for sharing this joy of a book. I hope it enjoys all the glory it deserves, and you need to know, I am sitting here…DESPERATE for a sequel!!