Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Vinegar Girl; Anne Tyler

Vinegar Girl; Anne Tyler
Random House Audio - 2016
(Kirsten Potter - narrator - very good)

Anne Tyler's, Vinegar Girl is a retelling of sorts on Shakespeare's, Taming of the Shrew.

Kate Battista is a single, 29 year old preschool teacher's assistant in Baltimore.  She loves her kids but, their parents have had  heir share of complaints about Kate.  Yes, she's quirky and a bit antisocial but, she's also not very satisfied with the trajectory of her life. Kate lives at home with eccentric father, Louis, a scientist and her ditzy 15 year old sister, Bunny.  Her mom died shortly after Bunny was born and had suffered from mental illness prior to that.  Kate's responsible for keeping the home running smoothly, which it does most of the time. 

One day Kate's father makes an unusual request.  Her father''s brilliant research assistant, Pyotr, is in the US on a 3 year visa which is about to expire,  he comes up with a plan for Kate and Pyotr to marry so that his cutting edge autoimmune research project can continue, and Pyotr can remain in the US legally.

This is a relatively short audiobook, which was fun to listen to.  The characters could have been a bit more developed. I felt Kate came across as somewhat acidic yet she failed to stick up for herself, allowing herself to often be taken advantage of.  The father was eccentric, brilliant but just so self absorbed and selfish. Pyotr was like Dr. Jekyll  and Mr. Hyde oftentimes.  Overall, although funny at times, this book was not up to the high standards I've come to expect on Anne Tyler's work, but still a fun summer read.

3.5/5 stars
(audio download from publisher)

18 comments:

  1. I'm not crazy about re-tellings like this so I'll probably skip this.

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    1. It's short kathy so you still may want to try this one.

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  2. I love Anne Tyler and her quirky characters, although I am usually raging at those who take advantage of other characters. But then again, those characters "allow" it, don't they? When I read that this was a retelling, I decided I wanted to read it anyway, since it's Anne Tyler.

    Sorry you were underwhelmed.

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    1. It does have funny moments and it's short so try it Laurel.

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  3. I like Tyler but haven't read her stuff in a really long time. This one sounds so-so.

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    1. I like her as well so naturally a tad disappointed. I LOVED Noah's Compass and several other of her books.

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  4. I felt exactly the same way. I was expecting more from Anne Tyler and was disappointed with this one.

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    1. Glad to hear I was not alone as sometimes it could be just - bad timing, I'm a mood reader.

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  5. Well, I had this on my list to read, but now I'm on the fence.

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    1. As I told Kathy, it's short and parts are fun so you might want to still try it.

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  6. Hmmm... I haven't read Tyler in awhile and have been wanting to get back to her books. This sounds like it might be an entertaining one to start with but I will lower my expectations from what I usually expect from Tyler.

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  7. Acidic vinegar doesn't sound that tasty!

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  8. I'm on the fence about this one. Thanks for the review.

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  9. I finished this over the weekend. First I read Taming of the Shrew and that was a challenge! But I liked what Tyler did with the characters and the story. In fact, I found Vinegar Girl hilarious. My review is coming soon!

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  10. I had this on my Audible wish list, but took it off after reading you review. If the characters aren't well developed, it doesn't work for me either.

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  11. I'm reading a lot of reviews like yours - just not up to Tyler's standard. Bummer.

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