#Article #Interview #Reviews By Lou -Celebrating the Work of Matson Taylor @matson_taylor_ @ScribnerUK @simonschusterUK #TheMiseducationOfEvieEpworth #AllAboutEvie

As part of my blog in 2023 until it reaches 5 years old in September, I will be celebrating an author or publisher every so often. I am beginning with Matson Taylor, a design historian and author with lots of wit and poignancy in his writing. He is also someone I’ve had the joy of doing Zoom with and interviewing. I have included links to previous reviews and an interview at the end of each section.

Matson Taylor burst onto the writing scene with his humorous, contemporary fiction book – The Miseducation of Evie Epworth to much praise, so much so that this debut novel had made it to the BBC Radio Book Club. His books caused quite a stir as they landed on bookshelves. He then followed up with All About Evie, again with more high praise, no mean feat I should think when authors often say that writing a second book is one of the hardest and you can only hope the first lot of readers stay with you and also builds too.
The books, set between parts of Yorkshire, London and parts of Scotland are brilliantly humorous and then catch you with poignancy as you lean about her teenage and adult life. All is well-researched and observed and fit into the eras well. So many people would be able to relate to the universal themes and to the fashions and music at the time, whether they lived through the eras or not and if not, there’s certainly plenty that people can learn from that may pique interest within the entertaining story-telling.

The Books and Interview


The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is set in 1962 and you first join her at 16 1/2. She has her music, literary and actor idols and she’s growing fast with philosophical musings about future jobs. She is also  learning lots from Mrs Pym; which is where the poignancy comes in. 
You can find out more about the book in my review, which also includes a blurb in the link: The Miseducation of Evie Epworth Review

 


All About Evie is about how her life is as an adult in 1972. The setting is between London, various parts of Yorkshire and Scotland. She had a job in London working for the BBC, which turns out disastrous, meaning she needs a different direction in life and even her love-life is poor. The situations she finds herself in brings much humour. Again, there’s poignancy with family matters.
You can find out more about the book in my review, which also includes a blurb in the link: All About Evie


The style and layout of writing is interesting in both books as the poignancy is written within what he calls Interludes. The humour is quick-witted and all of it is highly engaging with universal themes. Matson Taylor is a design historian and his passion comes across well as does his knowledge in the eras of which he writes. He also likes his writing to bring many emotions from happy to sad these two books do it with a plomb. He once said the Evie Epworth books will become a trilogy. You may need to wait because he’s another wonderful sounding book he is writing ahead of that. I once did an interview with Matson Taylor, Find out what he has to say about his books, his future plans in his writing career and how his career as a design historian aids his writing and much more in the link: Interview With Matson Taylor

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#HappyNewYear #2023. Here are a number of #Fiction and #NonFiction Books in many genres I highly #Recommend from #2022 #BookRecommendations #BookReviews #BookWrap

I have reviewed many books in 2022 and what a privilege it has been too. Here are some that I highly recommend out of the many books I have reviewed in 2022. I also have included links to my full no spoiler reviews where you’ll also find the blurbs. The mix of crime fiction, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, memoirs are in no particular order. Please also feel free to explore my blog for other great book reviews, author interviews and talks and theatre reviews.

The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures By Holly Hepburn – An antique shop, antiques, a mysterious puzzle box, a trip to Egypt, a mention of the Canarvon Family (think the real Downton Abbey), all wrapped up in a wonderful book full of splendid characters.
Holly Hepburn has a new book coming this year that I will also be reviewing.

Check out the blurb and my review in the link: The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures

Suicide Thursday By Will Carver explores this and the darker corners of society. It’s a compulsive read with intriguing characters – Mike, Jackie and Eli. Will Eli leave a hated job and get past writing chapter 1 of a novel? What is written in texts? Find out the answers to these and more in Suicide Thursday.

Link to blurb and review –Suicide Thursday

All About Evie By Matson Taylor is a humorous second book to the much talked about The Miseducation of Evie Epworth that was a Radio 2 book club pick. There’s much humour mixed with poignancy and sadness. Find out what happens at a sound check at Broadcasting House, her friend, Caroline and life’s mishaps and incidents. It’s highly engaging. Find the blurb and review in the link: All About Evie

Yes, I Killed Her By Harry Fisher s full of chilling suspense. The question isn’t who, but it is how. How did a murderer commit such a calculated crime. Is it as perfect as he thinks? Here is a link to the blurb and full review. Remember, I’m not going to disclose the answers to those questions. That’s for you to discover yourselves: Yes, I Killed Her

Verity Vanishes By A.B. Morgan is book 3 of The Quirk Files. The books can be read as part of the series or as standalone as the cases each complete by the end of the book. The Quirks are quirky private investigators.

There are secrets to uncover, including who was Verity, why has she vanished and why is a tv station so interested in this particular case? It’s intriguing with wit. See blurb and review in the link –Verity Vanishes

Touching, haunting and a darn good unputdownable read. It takes place between Glasgow and H.M. Polmont Prison in Central Scotland. It’s gripping getting to know about what revelations unfold in Ginger and Wendy’s personalities and what happens to them. It’s a book of obsession and friendship and more in this contemporary fictional book… Find out more in the link to the blurb and my full review: Ginger And Me

The Homes By J.B. Mylet is set in an orphanage village in Scotland. Follow the lives of Lesley, Jonesy and Eadie, all from their points of views. How safe is The Homes? Murder strikes and everything changes in this fast-paced, immersive page-turner. It’s fiction based on a true story. Find out more in the link: The Homes

Remember Me by Charity Norman is gripping and addictive as the layers build up to discover what has happened to Leah, who has disappeared.

The book also follows Felix, who has Alzheimer’s. It’s authentically and sensitively written. Discover the blurb and the rest of my thoughts in the link: Remember Me

Should I Tell You By Jill Mansell is enthralling in both setting and the relationships between all the characters. Meet Lachlan, a chef in high demand and Peggy, a formidable, yet fun woman who puts up a credible argument as to why he should follow her to Cornwall to cook his amazing food. Also meet Amber, Lachlan, Rafaelle and Vee as you step into idyllic scenery. Is all well though? What would you make of the mysterious letter? Find out more in my link about this beautiful, compelling book that perfectly captures the lives of its characters, who are concealing truths. Should I Tell You

White Christmas on Winter Street has all the festive feel-good vibes you can want. Unearth the treasures in Corner House in Middledip. It’s a rather moving book as Heather returns to discover new friends and old. Find out more in the link: White Christmas on Winter Street

The Little Wartime Library By Kate Thompson is about a courageous librarian who took Bethnal Green Library underground during World War 2. It is fascinating and is fiction based on fact. Lots of research was done, including asking librarians, including me, many questions that then formed the basis of the central character. The Little Wartime Library

The Locked Away Life by Drew Davies is about 2 people who are seemingly poles apart. 1 is becoming practically a recluse and increasingly elderly, the other, much younger in need of a job, which is how they meet. Little do they know they need each other more than they thought they would. It’s a heartwarming story. Find out more in the link: The Locked AwayLife

Love Untold by Ruth Jones is uplifting, emotional and endearing, It crosses the generations from a teenager right up to a 90 year old. It’s well observed in all the complexities of life and interactions.
Discover more such as the blurb and my review in the link. Love Untold

The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre puts readers on an island. There’s a hen party set on a Scottish island. In some ways it’s a bit like And Then There We’re None by Agatha Christie, but there are also many differences.

There are frictions amongst the guests and things take a sinister turn. It’s a well-observed book in the way relationships are between the characters and what happens when people are on a remote island. Everyone has a secret and no one is safe. Find out more in the blurb and the rest of my thoughts in the review: The Cliff House

Cat Lady By Dawn O’Porter is very humorous but also very poignant and thought provoking. Within the book, wrapped in the cuteness of a cat, there is a great human story too and both together makes this quite different and compelling. There are 5 parts to Cat Lady – Mother, Career Woman, Animal, Wife, Cat Lady. Follow Mia and Tristan through the ups and downs of life. Mia is especially more than you would perhaps assume she is… Here is the link to the blurb and full review: Cat Lady

Thrown is a debut novel by Sara Cox. It’s heartwarming and uplifting at a pottery class. It’s about community pulling together and friendships forming. There are elements that may well tug at your heartstrings. Here is the link to the blurb and review: Thrown

The Cruise by Catherine Cooper takes place on the most luxurious cruise-liner. The type that would be a holiday of a lifetime. Something mysterious happens and it is compelling to travel around to try to fit together all the pieces to discover how they all fit together and some truths. Here is the link to the blurb and full review. The Cruise

Keeping A Christmas Promise By Jo Thomas is about 4 friends who have known each other for 25 years. Tragedy happens to one of them, meaning it is up to 3 of them to keep their bucketlist promise- to see the northern lights at Christmas. With themes of friendship, mortality and strength to carry on in the face of adversity and community, it’s an entertaining, heartwarming book. Here is the link to the blurb and full review. Keeping A Christmas Promise

The Echoes of Love By Jenny Ashcroft transports readers to the 1930’s to the 1940’s and then to 1970’s. It takes readers into the depths of love and war and how it reverberates years later. The book is set between Portsmouth in the UK and Crete. It is a story of war and love. A story unfolding at the BBC Broadcasting House. It is fascinating, poignant and beautifully written. Here is the link to my original review and the blurb. The Echoes of Love

Cooking the Book by various authors published by Hobeck Books also raised money for the Trussell Trust. It’s various short stories, each taking on a different sub-genres of crime fiction. Each also has a recipe you can create by each author. Here is the link to all the details Cooking The Books

The Language of Food is fiction based on fact. It takes reader into the life of a little known woman, by many, called Eliza Acton. She changed the course of cookery forever and when today’s cooks come across her, they are inspired by her story and style and have been influenced greatly by her. Annabel Abbs now opens up her life in this very interesting book. Here is the link to discover more: The Language of Food

Create Your Own Indoor Green by Joe Swift who is also an expert gardener on Gardeners World and various other programmes. The book is an easy step by step guide to indoor plants. It quite literally has everything you need to know, whether you’re getting started or already have indoor plants as there’s always more knowledge to be gained. There are handy hints and tips as well as growing and caring for them. I actually bought this for a friend after reviewing it and she is delighted. Find out the blurb and review in the link: Joe’s Create Your Own Indoor Green

Women Like Us By Amanda Prowse, is a memoir where she sheds light and insight into her life, which many women will be able to relate to or understand, perhaps more than they may first expect. It’s a highly interesting read.
Women Like Us

One Night on The Island introduces readers to Cleo. She works for the magazine – Women Today and has an unusual assignment to do. Directed by her boss, Ali, the assignment is to marry herself (or self-coupling or sologamy) on a remote island. She has a few reservations to say the least. It’s an entertaining story with lots of heart and warmth. One Night On the Island

Mothers and Daughters By Erica James is a compelling story of family life and revelations. Families can be more complex than what they may first appear to be in this sweeping family drama. Mothers and Daughters

Marion Crawford, a bright, ambitious young teacher, is ready to make her mark on the world. Until a twist of fate changes the course of her life forever…
This mixes fact and fiction with Marion and the UK Royal Family in a fascinating way, about a woman not everyone knows much about. The Good Servant

Wolf Pack By Will Dean is a Scandi-Noir.

Tuva Moodyson has a case on her hands to solve with Thord and Chief Björn.
Elsa Nyberg is reported as being missing and chillingly, Rose Farm has quite the history of deadly things happening there, involving a family. It’s a gripping page-turner. Here is the link to the full review and blurb. Wolf Pack

The Empire By Michael Ball is exquisitely theatrical, after all, that is his background. It takes readers back in time to the glitz and glamour of 1922, where you’ll meet Jack Tredwell and a whole host of other cast. There are secrets and the future of the theatre itself is in jeopardy. It’s a page turner! Here’s my link to the blurb and rest of the review The Empire

#Interview By Lou with Matson Taylor – author of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth and All About Evie @matson_taylor_ @ScribnerUK @simonschusterUK #EvieEpworth #TheMiseducationOfEvieEpworth #AllAboutEvie #1960s #1970s

Interview with Author – Matson Taylor
Conducted By Louise Cannon (Lou)

Thanks very much to author of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth and All About Evie – Matson Taylor for agreeing to being interviewed. Within the interview , discover who inspires him to write and why he chose a particular timeline, his other job and what he is writing next and more…

 

 

 


The Miseducation of Evie Epworth was bestselling in both the Radio 2 Book Club and  Richard And Judy Book Club. 

Set in Yorkshire and London between the 1960’s and 1970’s. There is humour and poignancy to be had in both books. 

Matson Taylor and his creation of Evie Epworth hit the bookshelves and caused quite a stir with witty and charming writing in both books

So, without further ado, here is the interview:

1. What or who inspired you to write?

Many things! I’ve always been a reader and just about every book I’ve ever read has fed into me wanting to be a writer. I think reading Kate Atkinson’s books, in particular, drew me to writing – I love the way she writes – there’s a real sense of fun but at the same time every sentence is beautiful – tuned and balanced to perfection. I wanted to see if I could write a book that combines humour with moments of restrained lyricism just like Kate Atkinson’s. Other authors who inspire me and push me to write better include Virginia Woolf, Sue Townsend, Alan Bennett, and Sarah Winman.


2. The Miseducation of Evie Epworth is set in the 1960s and All About Evie, in the 1970s, what inspired this to be your timeline?

I’m a design historian and -like all historians- talk a lot about decades. I realised that quite a few of my students see decades as monolithic blocks of 10 years with everything staying the same until, on the 1st of January at the start of the next decade, everything changed. It’s not like this of course! Decades take a few years to ‘grow up’ – they need time to shake off the previous decade and develop a character of their own. So I thought I’d write a novel about the ‘coming of age’ of a decade and combine it with the coming of age of a young woman (Evie). I chose the 1960s because everyone feels like they know the 60s – we’re all children of the 60s and very aware of the all the music, fashion, films etc of the decade. And then in the second book I wanted to look at the the end of the 60s and the start of what comes next – and 1972 is really when the sixties ended! It’s the death of the idealism of the 1960s – quite a sad messy time… The new decade wasn’t quite sure where it wanted to go and it’s only really when the new generation came of age that the seventies arrived in all its glam, colourful, glittery glory.

3. The series could have gone either way – humorous as it is now or focusing on the more serious with Mrs Pym, was the humour and balance between the two intentional?

I wanted to write a funny book about serious things and combining the humour with emotional heft was always my intention for both books. I think books need both in order to make them balanced and enjoyable. I’ve had lots of wonderful compliments about how funny the books are but there’s also some pretty dark themes in there too: grief, death, guilt, the importance of liberalism and tolerance… People often tell me they laughed out loud AND cried when reading the books – and that’s just what I want!

4. All About Evie is still as humorous as the first, but shows a bit more fashion of the 1970s. How much did your job as a design historian at the V&A influence you in your writing of this?

It’s a huge influence. My job as a design historian has given me the tools to research material culture – when I started writing the first novel I was very confident writing about ’things’  (the fashion, food, interiors etc) because it’s my day job – I was much less confident about making up a story! The museum’s a great resource too – in fact, in the final chapter of the 1st book, Evie is wearing a Mary Quant dress – initially it was a generic 60s dress but, while I was writing, the V&A had a Mary Quant exhibition so Evie ended up wearing one of the 1962 dresses from the exhibition.

5. You’ve written about the 60s and 70s, so can readers expect more of Evie Epworth to be written, perhaps in the 80s and beyond?

Absolutely! I always planned the Evie story as a trilogy so there’s a final Evie book set in 1982. But before I get to that, I’m writing a stand-alone book (ie non Evie) – it’s set in the mid-to-late 70s in Rome and is the story of two broken people brought together by the universe to fix each other…
 

#BookReview By Lou of All About Evie By Matson Taylor – Out Now! @matson_taylor_ @ScribnerUK @simonschusterUK #EvieEpworth #1972 #AllAboutEvie #BookTwt #MustRead

All About Evie
By Matson Taylor

Rating: 5 out of 5.

All About Evie - Matson Taylor

All About Evie is uplifting, incredibly humorous, poignant and a must read for anyone’s tbr list!
This is the second installment from the author who brought us the wonderfully funny and poignant book – The MisEducation Of Evie Epworth 
Check out more in the blurb and then find out about the rest of my review below.
Thanks first to Matson Taylor for arranging a copy to be given to me to review and for 

Blurb

All About Evie CoverTen years on from the events of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth, Evie is settled in London and working as a production assistant for the BBC. She has everything she ever dreamed of (a career, a leatherette briefcase, an Ossie Clark poncho) but, following an unfortunate incident involving a Hornsea Pottery mug and Princess Anne, she finds herself having to rethink her future. What can she do? Is she too old to do it? And will it involve cork-soled sandals? 

As if this isn’t complicated enough, her disastrous love life leaves her worrying that she may be destined for eternal spinsterdom, concerned, as she is, that ‘even Paul had married Linda by the time he was 26’. Through it all, Evie is left wondering whether a 60s miseducation really is the best preparation to glide into womanhood and face the new challenges (strikes, power cuts, Edward Heath’s teeth) thrown up by the growing pains of the 70s.

With the help of friends, both old and new, she might just find a way through her messy 20s and finally discover who exactly she is meant to be…

Review

Evie is now 26 1/2 years old and now living in London, and if there’s something the author – Matson Taylor does well, it is uplifting opening paragraphs and then sustaining that throughout the rest of a book.

Readers – Get re-acquainted with Evie Epworth! This time, the year is 1972 and she is at work doing a sound check at Broadcasting House in the Women’s Hour studio for a special broadcast of Princess Anne doing an interview.
Her best friend is Caroline, who brought her to London as they’re like sisters. She needs that kind of loving after still having her sparkley career in the morning and it vanishing by the afternoon… Then there’s the matter of her love-life and time is moving on and lots of guys are being picked off the shelf and coupled up, as her internal clock is also ticking away. It has a very entertaining, humorous Bridget Jones vibe, right down to a certain list, that fits well and seems a nice nod to those books/films. It’s a vibe that not everyone pulls off well, but Taylor does in this series and yet keeping originality in the characters and narrative.

Nestled amongst the hilarity, there are moments of poignancy and sadness in family matters, but not deeply depressingly sad, it’s another side of grief and dealing with the deceased belongings, a tender, bittersweet moment that is realistically captured, before moving back to Evie working on a plan of action for her next stage in life (sort of).

There are interesting interludes throughout the book, much like there were in the first book – The Miseducation of Evie Epworth. This time it is like a bit of a tour around different parts of Scotland and Yorkshire, giving insights into what happened for a person to get to where they are now. It may not sound like this works on paper like this, but in the book it does and flows naturally. The fact there are interludes sort of reminds me of a style in a drama I used to watch. The interludes in this book add much depth and poignancy.

I am absolutely hooked on reading about Evie Epworth and I am sure others will be too. I can’t wait to see what Matson Taylor writes next!

I highly recommend this book.

 

My Top Book Choices of 2020 by Lou #2020Reads #AdultFiction #CrimeFiction #Fiction #Thrillers #RomanticFiction #ContemporaryFiction #Uplit

My Top Book Choices of 2020
Various Authors

I have read and reviewed a huge amount of very good books. It has taken a lot of time and consideration to whittle them down to create the Top Book Choices List. All those that did not make this particular list, were incredibly close. I have added links so you can easily see what the books are about. The books are in no particular order. Look out for my top Adult Non-Fiction List and my top Children’s Fiction List, both are in separate posts.

Top Adult Fiction Books

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman Click Here for More Info

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor Click Here for More Info

Killing Rock by Robert Daws Click Here for More Info

Daughters of Cornwall by Fern Britton Click Here for More Info

What Lies Beneath by Adam Croft Click Here for More Info

Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris Click Here for More Info

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver Click Here for More Info

Us Three by Ruth Jones Click Here for More Info

Perfume Paradiso by Janey Jones Click Here for More Info

The Things I Want To Say but Can’t by Carla Christian Click Here for More Info

The House of Correction by Nicci French Click Here for More Info

Tell  Me How It Ends by Isabelle Grey Click Here for More Info

The Colours by Juliet Bates Click Here for More Info

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce Click Here for More Info

Letters From the Past by Erica James Click Here for More Info

One Step Behind by Lauren North Click Here for More Info

The Unravelling by Liz Treacher Click Here for More Info

Christmas With the Bobby Girls by Johanna Bell Click Here for More Info

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman Click Here for More Info

The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce by Tom Gillespie Click Here for More Info

Butterflies by D.E. McCluskey Click Here for More Info

Contacts by Mark Watson Click Here for More Info

The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henley Click Here for More Info

The Guest List by Lucy Foley Click Here for More Info

Summer on A Sunny Island by Sue Moorcroft Click Here for More Info

The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths Click Here for More Info

The Garden of Forgotten Wishes by Trisha Ashley Click Here for More Info

Lion Heart by Ben Kane Click Here for More Info

Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb Click Here for More Info

With Or Without You by Drew Davies Click Here for More Info