Vinegar Girl: a Review

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

240 pages

Hogarth Publishers, June 2016

Retelling. Contemporary.

In a modern day retelling of Shakespeare ‘s Taming of the Shrew, Anne Tyler creates a family and a story that is, in my opinion, wonderful.  Kate lives with her sister and her scientist father, and is the sole person responsible for the house. She makes sure food is prepared, house clean and her 15 year old sister, Bunny, is staying out of mischief all after her days working as a preschool assistant.  Kate’s father has who he believes to be THE. BEST. lab assistant and they are close to completing a big project.  Only problem is, Pyotr is about to be deported.  Pyotr and Kate’s father come up with a plan to solve their problem.  But is Kate agree with it?
This was a great modern retelling of Taming of the Shrew.  It’s hard to modernize, and make you own when it comes to something such as Shakespeare’s work.  Anne Tyler did a fabulous job of doing so.  It’s very different from her typical work, but I think she aced the job of the retelling.

I could connect with Kate on a lot of levels.  I was a preschool teacher in a place that sounded a lot like where she was, so those scenes all made me smile.  As an older sister, I totally got her struggles with Bunny.

**minor spoiler alert** While I personally am not for any type of arranged marriage, I see why this idea came about and how it tied into the concept of Taming of the Shrew.

I read Taming of the Shrew in high school, but of course cannot remember much of the book.  I’m thinking some Shakespeare retreads are in order after this!  I’m also very interested in looking into the other retellings by Hogarth publishers.  Other books in the Shakespeare modernization series are: Shylock is My Name, The Gap of Time and Hag-Seed (out this fall).


Thank you to Penguin Random House and blogging for books for sending me a copy of Vinegar Girl in exchange for honest review.


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