Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler


Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner. 

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

My take: 3 looks

Vinegar girl is entertaining and very easy to read. A re-do of William Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew", it is relatively faithful to the spinster-finds-marriage plot, but that's about it. It is not as experimental as Tyler's other books "Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant", "Breathing Lessons", or the beloved "Accidental Tourist".

The Hogarth Shakespeare series now has four titles, and this is the first I have read. Again, it is easy to read and entertaining, but also just as easily forgettable. Kate, Pyotor, Dr. Battista, and Bunny are all just characters in a story already told several times.

At less than 250 pages, it's not a commitment, and you will have another Anne Tyler title under your belt. Recommended summer supplement book.

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