Published July 2020 by Simon & Schuster (Scribner UK)
I received this book to participate in the Kaleidoscopic Tours campaign on Bookstagram. Please hop over there and check it out plus the other reviewers involved!
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.
I read this pretty much in one sitting – right from the opening chapter (hilarious by the way) the reader gets a fantastic sense of Evie Epworth. Told in first person, with dollops of wit, you can really get into her headspace which is: teenager, finishing school, no idea what to do now type worries. School? Librarian? Vet? Evie is a strong willed young woman who knows full well what she doesn’t want to do however which only adds fuel to the fire with her new soon to be stepmother, who just wants Evie out of the way.
Getting pure Cinderella vibes from this (which is acknowledged in the narrative) however I loved how Evie didn’t need a prince to come and save her. Instead she rallies up friends and neighbours to help -I think my favourite character was Evie’s next door neighbour, Mrs Scott-Pym who has all of the secrets and all of the sage-advice that every teenage girl needs in her life. Their relationship was really heartwarming for me and made Evie even more relatable to a lot of readers, the Yorkshire setting really highlighted the rural lifestyle and Evie’s desire to want more especially when she begins learning about her mother’s life.
Evie is the embodiment of a typical teenage girl in my opinion – enjoys cake, biscuits, reading, pop singers – I loved it when The Beatles got involved – what a fabulous soundtrack! I wish I had been a teenager in the 60’s! Evie is headstrong but also clumsy and not afraid to try – a wonderful role model! I was gutted to finish reading this and I really hope that there’s more – even if it’s not Evie – maybe her best friend Margaret who I didn’t feel got enough page time!