Matson Taylor: The Miseducation Of Evie Epworth


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.
Moving, inventive and achingly funny, with an all-star cast of bold-as-brass characters, The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is a perfectly pitched modern fairytale about love, friendship and following your dreams while having a lot of fun along the way.


I’ve had The Miseducation Of Evie Epworth on my shelf for a while, but I have no idea why it took me so long to read it. It’s wonderfully written, full of humour, both subtle and overt, and it’s incredibly uplifting. I’d recommend it to anyone. 

The star of the show is, as the title suggests, Evie Epworth, and she found her way into my heart straight away. I love her boldness, both in her narration and in her dialogue with others, which gives the novel its humour. I think it also stood out to me more as The Miseducation Of Evie Epworth is set mostly in the early 1960s, when it was unusual for young women to be so outspoken. 

However, Evie is surrounded by a brilliant cast of supporting characters who help to shape her into the young woman she wants to be. Mrs Scott-Pym and her dog, Sadie, are always on hand for advice, and despite their significant age difference, their relationship is wonderful. Caroline is confident and outspoken and really helps Evie to come out of her shell. Arthur is kind, although he finds it hard to relate to his daughter now that she is a young woman. The characters of Vera and Christine are also really well constructed, although they’re not always, OK never, likeable. 

As I mentioned before, The Miseducation Of Evie Epworth is set in the early 1960s, and the author has done a brilliant job of bringing this era to life in the reader’s mind. I love the references to the music (I wonder what happened to those four young lads from Liverpool?) and popular famous figures, and it’s interesting to think about the different attitudes in society, particularly around what Evie should do when she has finished school. 

The Miseducation Of Evie Epworth is set in a village in East Yorkshire, whose nearest “big” cities are Leeds and York. I have lived in both these cities, so I loved the references to specific language and it was interesting to picture what it would have looked like in the early 1960s. 

Alongside the humour, Matson Taylor also brings a number of interesting and relevant themes to our attention. At times, this is really subtle, but through the characters, and their actions and attitudes, the reader is given a lot to think about. 

I can’t wait to read the sequel and continue Evie’s story! 

The Miseducation Of Evie Epworth is available from Amazon.

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