Thank you to Matson and Simon and Schuster for my paperback copy of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth as part of the #Squadpod #CakeBlast (happening on Saturday over on Twitter!)
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.
The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is a funny, interesting debut with a host of fabulous characters and a great story.
The novel is told entirely through the first-person perspective of Evie. Evie is a character who felt extremely realistic. Despite her only being 16 (and a half) she is charming, funny and a delight to be alongside for the duration of the novel. Her insights into family life, her father and Christine most specifically, are enjoyable and also partly relatable – remembering that weird stage when you’re not really a child any longer but not yet an adult and still trying to figure out your place in the world.
Evie includes an array of longer, sometimes obscure, words throughout the book with their definition which I found quirky and enjoyed. As someone with an English literature degree, words interest me and most of Evie’s defined words I have to say I’d never heard (or read) before! She (and Matson Taylor) definitely opened my eyes to some new vocabulary.
The interlude short chapters are a really interesting way of sharing more of the past and some of the other characters and their history. It’s a nice way to break up the first person perspective and inject some more interest into more of the characters. Gaining a sense of Evie’s Father Arthur and her Mother Diana’s relationship and how it came to be was fascinating. Equally Diana and Rosamund Scott-Pym, the neighbour, and their relationship was lovely to read about, particularly their unexpected friendship and bond.
Matson Taylor is a fantastic writer and evidently has the ability to make you love, and also despise, characters. There are such a combination of wonderful, warming characters who you really grow to love within the novel. Well, there are two exceptions to that… Christine really was a piece of work and combined with her mother Vera, they were like Cinderella’s stepmother and ugly sisters!
Evie’s adventures are interesting, exciting and full of the naivety of a sixteen year old. Seeing things through her eyes and experiencing things for the first time, trying that olive for example, was brilliant and refreshing. Showing a lesser written about perspective was enjoyable and Evie will definitely stay with me for some time!
A wonderful, warming novel filled with an honest, messy portrayal of life, The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is out today (April 29th) in paperback from Scribner UK. You can purchase using the link below, and also help support independent bookstores.
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Until next time,