The Miseducation of Evie Epworth (Scribner 2020) by Matson Taylor is a gloriously amusing, light-hearted and feel-good novel about coming of age, finding (and accepting) your family, friendship across the ages and following your dreams.
Set on an English farm in 1962, the narrative follows 16-year-old Evie as she navigates school, Guides, the fierce competitiveness of village fetes, cows, the fate of lost mothers and evil stepmothers, all while trying to determine what kind of woman she will become. With her famous idols for inspiration and her ragtag group of friends of all ages, Evie comes up with a plan to dethrone the obnoxious pink and over-perfumed Christine whose aim is to secure a ring on her finger from Evie’s father, sell his Yorkshire farmland and make a load of money in the process. This is a magical and feel-good read with a cast of bold and inspired characters. It reminded me a little of RWR MacDonald’s The Nancy’s in terms of writing style, the perspective of an adolescent, and the hilarious adult humour that peppers every chapter. A witty and engaging heartfelt read that feels like the equivalent of a rom-com movie.