On the Bookshelf...

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth

Matson Taylor

It is the summer of 1962 and sixteen-year-old Evie Epworth stands on the cusp of womanhood. But what kind of a woman will she be? Up until now, Evie’s life has been nothing special: a patchwork of school, Guides, cows, lost mothers, lacrosse and village fetes. But, inspired by her idols (Charlotte Brontë, Shirley MacLaine, the Queen), she dreams of a world far away from rural East Yorkshire, a world of glamour lived under the bright lights of London (or Leeds). Standing in the way of these dreams, though, is Christine, Evie’s soon-to-be stepmother, a manipulative and money-grubbing schemer who is lining Evie up for a life of shampoo-and-set drudgery at the stinky local salon. Luckily Evie is not alone. With the help of a few friends, and the wise counsel of the two Adam Faith posters on her bedroom wall (‘brooding Adam’ and ‘sophisticated Adam’), Evie comes up with a plan to rescue her future from Christine’s pink and over-perfumed clutches. She will need a little luck, a dash of charm and a big dollop of Yorkshire magic if she is to succeed, but in the process she may just discover who exactly it is she is meant to be.

I love it when you're surprised with a book. I didn't know what to expect from The Miseducation of Evie Epworth when I first picked it up. I didn't have high expectations, but when I started reading, I couldn't stop. Not only that, but I could be found in the corner, reading closely, laughing out loud at some of the antics that Evie and her family got up to. The beginning was so good I read it in a single sitting. If ever a book could make you laugh and cry at the same time, it's this one. Well done Matson.

The story follows the summer of 1962 through the eyes of sixteen year old Evie Epworth. She lives in rural Yorkshire with her father and 'live in' housekeeper Christine. Now she has to decide what to do now her exams are finished. Her life is very sheltered, confined to a small village. Yet the tales she tells are so brilliant. She hates Christine, a girl not much older than herself who has latched onto her father. It's when the exotic, well for Yorkshire, Caroline comes to pay a visit that the world turns upside down.

I loved this book, the writing flows so easily. It's almost as if the story was being told to you by a chatty friend. The stories are not farfetched, the trip to Beverly to a posh restaurant, you can visualise as if it happened to you. The characters are fantastic, each adding to the storyline. There's no trough in the middle, you ride the wave of Evies life from beginning to end.

Please don't read this book if you're afraid of laughing. You won't get past the first page before you're cracking up. A very high five star read.

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Review by
AJ Steel
September 11, 2023

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