#BookReview by Lou – The Lock In by Phoebe Lockhurst #PhoebeLockhurst @MichaelJBooks #Summer #ContemporaryFiction #Humour #RomanticFiction

The Lock In
By Phoebe Lockhurst
Rated *****

The Lock In is so humourous, so it is one that will lift people’s spirits. 

You’ve heard of a locked room mystery, now get ready for a locked room love story! You can order one of the funniest, most original rom-com of 2021. Thanks to publishers Michael Joseph for gifting me the copy in exchange of an honest review.

About the Author

Phoebe Luckhurst is a journalist and author, who has written for publications including the Evening Standard, ES Magazine, ELLE, Grazia, Sunday Times Style, Guardian, Telegraph and Grazia. The Lock In is her first novel, and she is currently writing her second.

The Lock In
Blurb

Meet housemates Ellen, Alexa and Jack. They’re broke. They’re lonely. They’re hungover. And things are about to go from bad to worse . . .

Whilst nursing The Hangover from Hell, Ellen stumbles downstairs to discover the kitchen slowly filling with water.

Panic quickly sets in, and the three flatmates find themselves in the attic desperately attempting to switch off the water supply. But when Ben, Alexa’s Hinge date from the night before, walks in, the door slams, the handle breaks, and all four of them are trapped.

As the long hours tick by, Ellen nurses her sore head whilst Ben and Alexa really get to know each other, and Jack plans an unorthodox rescue mission.

But soon Ellen wonders if Ben really is a stranger after all. She is sure she knows him from somewhere . . .

Will these housemates ever get out of this attic? Will they survive the wrath of Elias The Evil Landlord? And will Jack please stop live-tweeting this whole fiasco?

Welcome to The Lock In.

This is a hilarious story of housemates and hangovers and friendship and dating as four twenty-somethings discover what The Worst morning-after-the-night-before really looks like . . .

Fans of Dolly Alderton, Beth O’Leary and Mhairi McFarlane will LOVE this oh-so relatable tale of love, landlords and what can happen behind locked doors

Review

A flat and a landlord from hell is a fabulously fresh predicament to find flatmates in, that is full of warmth of friendship and is laugh-out-loud funny!
A dead mouse and flooding flat due to a sink issue is what Ellen, Alexa, Jack and Ben have to deal with in the morning and then matters go from bad to worse and they end up locked in as a door handle falls off. It’s like a comedy of flat errors. One one hand you can’t help but feel sorry for the characters and on the other-hand because of the way it is skillfully written, it’s all rather funny. There’s also a lesson in there to always have your phone on you and with a high amount of battery charge… They find themselves desperate, which makes it more funny as they try to come up with a plan as to how to get out.

The night before the flatmates are locked in, there is romance in the air and all, right down to the furniture, captures 20-somethings flat-sharing very well. The format of each chapter being named after a character is great as readers get to see their point of views and into their lives, before being locked-in together and during that time.
It is by and large a highly entertaining read that, as it goes on, you can’t help but read on and on, quite wide-eyed at some of it, wondering what can possibly be coming next and how on earth they are going to get out and when. The twists and turns and lengths the flatmates go to is laugh out loud funny.
What is also fun is, not just getting to know the characters, but some of the conversations that go on when locked in.

It’s perfect for reading with, perhaps a glass of wine or a cup of tea, curled up on the sofa or in the bath after a busy day and you just need some pure escapism.

#Review by Lou Happy Paperback Publication Day for The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor 5* @matson_taylor_ @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchuster #TheMiseducationOfEvieEpworth #Fiction

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth
By Matson Taylor
Rated: 5 stars *****

Written by Louise Cannon (Lou) – A reblog of my review for the Paperback Publication Day today.

Today I am delighted and excited to present to you my review of the heartwarming and funniest book I’ve read in ages – The Miseducation of Evie Epworth. It’s a book I highly recommend. Find out more about the author, the book and my review below.

About the Author

Matson Taylor Author PicMatson Taylor grew up in Yorkshire but now lives in London. He is a design historian and academicwriting tutor and has worked at various universities and museums around the world; he currently teaches at the V&A, Imperial College, and the RCA. He has also worked on Camden Market, appeared in an Italian TV commercial, and been a pronunciation coach for Catalan opera singers.

Miseducation of Evie Epworth Cover

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth pb

Blurb

Cold Comfort Farm meets Adrian Mole in the funniest debut novel of the year.
Yorkshire, the summer of 1962. Sixteen year-old Evie Epworth stands on the cusp of womanhood. But what kind of a woman will she become?
Up until now, Evie’s life has been nothing special: a patchwork of school, Girl Guides, cows, milk deliveries, lost mothers and village fetes. But, inspired by her idols (Charlotte Bronte, Shirley MacLaine and 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 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 bereaved father, Arthur, from Christine’s pink and over-perfumed clutches, and save their beloved farmhouse from being sold off. 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 she is meant to be.

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth pb

Review

I love this book from the very first page. It is full of so much good humour. Humour, like writing and even my review, is subjective, but it takes skill to get humour down on a page well. Matson Taylor does this very well. What I really like is that it isn’t too silly and yet it is laugh out loud humour. It’s a hearwarming, cheery book with artistic placement of some words, which I enjoyed.

The pages are filled with so much energy, fun. Evie is 16 1/2, milk delivering teenager in 1960s, East of Yorkshire and is full of life. She also has an MG, her dad’s car that is, which she crashed, but is still good humoured. Evie loves the celebrities like Grace Kelly, who she tries to emulate in fashion, but her favourites are Adam Faith (who she wrote 3 times to and sadly he didn’t have the decency to write back. So sad), Shirley MacLaine and Charlotte Bronte. Then there’s The Queen, who she also idolises. She also seems to like Norse mythology and having fun with them. Who she doesn’t like too much and can be a bit scathing of is Christine, her soon to be step-mother and for good reason.

The book is set in Yorkshire. An area of the country I have explored some of and have loved. Evie’s dad has booked a trip to York to visit York Castle Museum ( which I recommend. It’s a place I’ve been to a few times and it never disappoints with its olde streets and ye olde shops inside it and fashions and more) and  Betty’s Tearooms (which I recommend you visit. It has a list of teas as long as your arm, perhaps longer and lovely cakes).

In her head she thinks about jobs she might do and can’t decide, but really all she wants is to be an assistant to Adam Faith. Evie is a character you would want to get to know. If she wasn’t a character in a book, you’d want to be friends with her. Her imagination is fabulously fun and pretty accurate for a creative, daydreaming, book reading 16 1/2 year old…

There are some philosophical musings around here and there about life.

The other people readers meet via Evie are amusing in the way that she sees them. There is however a kindness about her too. She has an interest in people who she can actually meet too, such as Mr and Mrs Scott-Pym and how Mr Pym was involved in the Spanish Civil War and was a journalist and realises she knows very little about them. It’s a thought isn’t it? How much do we really know the people in our neighbourhood? Evie learns a lot from her about her family. It’s an emotional tale. The emotions of cheerfulness and sadness are skillfully written by Matson Taylor.

There are sections of just a couple of pages or so called “Interludes” throughout the book, which is an original way of telling other character’s stories. They give little insights of life of Arthur and Mrs Scott-Pym before the 1960s. It works very well because readers then get to see Arthur before having a child and when he met his first wife, Diana. It’s tenderly written. It gives insight into Rosamund Scott-Pym’s life when Caroline, her daughter, was younger, which is interesting.

There’s a triple celebration and what better than to celebrate with cake. Not just any cake though, it may contain some Yorkshire magic and a real need for Christine to eat some, to the point I was hoping she would take a bite. I found myself very firmly on Evie’s side early on.

The village fete is full of fun, cakes and cattle. Matson Taylor pulls off a joyful atmosphere very well.

Evie’s first day of work in a hairdressing salon is when the real world really hits home, it’s funny between her client and herself as there’s plans of subterfuge. Find out what else happens in this amazingly funny book that I highly recommend and if Evie leaves home for London or Leeds.