Book Review: Vinegar Girl: The Taming of the Shrew Retold (Hogarth Shakespeare) by Anne Tyler

I really loved this Anne Tyler’s retelling of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. The story was made exceptional, in my opinion, by Tyler’s depiction of Kate Battista, a loner and contrary young lady who lives with her father and younger sister for whom she keeps house. Her father, Dr Louis Battista is a researcher of autoimmune diseases and his valued assistant, Pyotr, has two months to go until his visa to stay in the U.S. runs out.

Dr Battista in fear of losing a prized scientist from his team decides to lobby a reluctant Kate to consider marrying him to counter his immigration issues. Pyotr is both awkward and invoked much fondness in this story, which is skilfully comical and light-hearted but does not lack emotion and affection in the characters.

Considering how short the book really is, a lot happens and there’s real heart in this retelling. I don’t pick up, “retelling of,” books at all but was pleasantly surprised, amused and touched by this one.

Links To Book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US



  1. Nice review! I just added it to my list. I got into her first with “a spool of blue thread” mainly because she’s from Baltimore (I’ve lived there most of my life). Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m never quite sure if you’re an American or British reviewer AC. On Amazon UK this book has quite ho-hum reviews. Which may be because Anne Tyler is somehow tapping into American culture in a way that British readers don’t relate to so well. I don’t see your enthusiastic review there – which would make a difference to the book, and to British readers who don’t read your excellent blog. Do you x-post to the Amazon sites? I think you do share your blog posts on Goodreads, yes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am British but I think I am easily infatuated by Americana, which I found particularly charming in this book. I haven’t read the reviews on Amazon UK for this one. I find Amazon reviews some what on the negative side and rely more on Goodreads reviews, but usually after I have read the book. I definitely post my reviews on Amazon UK and US so will check to see if it is still in the approval phase, but it should be there posted under Ajoobacats. I actually finish a book and make it as read on Goodreads, where I formulate my review and then post it to Amazon and my blog. I have a process I follow (I attribute this to my OCD) after I finish a book, which rarely varies.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really love the cover on this one, and was tempted to pick it up until I saw that it was a retelling. Like you, I’m not generally a fan. But from your review, it sounds like it might be worth a read!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for reviewing this book. I have been going back and forth on whether or not to read this one because the reviews have been so mixed. Will it matter if I haven’t read Taming of the Shrew? I might have read it in my school days, but don’t remember.

    Liked by 1 person

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