The next book to be featured on the Jo Whiley Radio 2 Book Club will be The Miseducation of Evie Epworth, the wonderful debut novel by Matson Taylor. The book was released on 14 July and Matson will be on the show on Monday 10 August.
We have the chance for you to win 10 copies of this fantastic novel for your reading group! Please enter by Friday 14 August.
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We have an exclusive extract available for you to read.
The Miseducation of Evie Epworth
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.
Selection panel review
The book was selected with the help of a panel of library staff from across the UK. Our readers loved The Miseducation of Evie Epworth – here are some of their comments:
“It is 1962, Evie is 16 1/2 years old and has just finished her last O Level. Now the exciting part of her life has arrived, what kind of woman will she become? What does she want to be? Evie has absolutely no idea! This is a delightful coming of age novel, full of evocative descriptions of 1960s life, with the author’s sense of humour shining through. Although predominantly set in 1962 and loosely in the form of a diary, there are flashbacks to 1936 onwards where we find out more about Arthur, Evie’s dad and how he met her mother, Diana. Evie lives at home with her dad on a lovely old farm with two posters of Adam Faith on her wall; sophisticated Adam and brooding Adam, waiting to hear her problems and dish out advice. And she needs ‘their’ counsel because ten months ago her dad met Christine, who moved in as the family ‘housekeeper’ whilst Evie was in hospital following an accident and set about destroying Evie’s life as she knows it. Because Christine is a gold digger. And Evie needs to get rid of her. Lots of funny moments, and some sad times although you will need to read the book to find out if everything works out in the end! Just a brilliant book.”
“A great, pacy coming of age novel set in Yorkshire in the early 60s. Brilliant plot charts the ups and downs of the journey of a young girl from childhood to womenhood with a few twists and turns, lots of comedy and a plenty of drama thrown in. A really enjoyable read but also a serious exploration of the role of women in families and the workplace.”
“A hilarious comedy set in Yorkshire following the coming of age of Evie Epworth in the 1960s. The novel follows Evie, a motherless teenager on her journey to adulthood, as she tries to achieve her dreams of a world lived far away from rural East Yorkshire. She has to navigate her way around Christine, her soon to be stepmother, a manipulative, money-grabbing schemer who is lining Evie up for a life of drudgery in the local hair salon. Luckily Evie is not alone and with the help of a few inspirational friends and the wise council of two Adam Faith posters on her bedroom wall, she devises a plan to rescue her father from her evil step-mother-to-be’s clutches and escape to a life in the city.”
About the author
Matson Taylor grew up in Yorkshire but now lives in London. He is a design historian and works at the V&A museum, where he teaches on the History of Design programme and spends a lot of time trying to convince people that the luxury goods industry helped win the Second World War. He wrote a chapter on Edward Molyneux, inventor of the flapper dress, for the V&A’s London Couture book and has helped develop a number of projects for TV and radio. He also works at Imperial College, helping scientists communicate very complicated things in a reasonably simple way.
As well as working at various universities and museums around the world, Matson has worked on Camden Market, appeared in an Italian TV commercial, and been a pronunciation coach for Catalan opera singers. The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is his first novel.
Tune in to Jo Whiley’s show on Monday 10 August to hear a live interview with Matson.
Have you read The Miseducation of Evie Epworth? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #R2BookClub.
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