Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review: Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Vinegar GirlTitle: Vinegar Girl
Author: Anne Tyler
Publisher/Publication Date: Hogarth; June 21, 2016
Genre: Contemporary; Chick-lit; Retelling
Source/Format: Blogging for Books; Hardcover 

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

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 Thoughts:

I want to make three things clear. First, Vinegar Girl was a light read, not necessarily very romantic, but still entertaining. It wasn’t a bad novel considering how short it was. Next, I knew nothing about The Taming of The Shrew—the inspiration for the novel. And finally, this was the first book I’ve read by Anne Tyler.

I read Vinegar Girl before I actually checked to see what The Taming of the Shrew was about. And now I can say that I can see some of the inspiration Tyler pulled from the original; although, it was modernized to fit the retelling. The Taming of the Shrew didn’t really seem like something I would enjoy—go-figure that the title would be too literal for my liking—which is why I’m glad that I read Vinegar Girl before going back to see what the original was about.

Vinegar Girl was about Kate, who let her family use her for what she was worth. She did everything for them—from cooking, to filing taxes for her father, and even doing the laundry. I spent half the book waiting for Kate to do or say something against her family, to stick up for herself. Ultimately she gets caught up in her father’s scheme to keep his lab assistant in the country. That was the core issue of the book, which was introduced early on. There was nothing wrong with that. In fact, there was nothing really wrong with Vinegar Girl. Sure, I did get a little bored while reading some of the scenes. However, the ending was nice enough, and I felt that it neatly concluded the story. My favorite part of Vinegar Girl was definitely the 
writing. I really liked Tyler’s style. As such, I would consider the possibility of picking up another one of her novels.

Overall, Vinegar Girl wasn’t a bad read. It was quick to get through and entertaining enough to make me stick around until the end.

Rating 3/5

This copy of the book was provided by Blogging for Books (Publisher) for this review, thank you! 

About the Author...

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. The Beginner's Goodbye is Anne Tyler's nineteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons , was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters...

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