Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Before I begin, a disclaimer:  I love Anne Tyler’s writing and read everything she writes as soon as it comes out, regardless of plot description and reviews.   How delighted I was when I discovered Vinegar Girl would be in my vacation reading bag!  How disappointed I was when I finished it in one day, almost in one sitting.

In a time of remakes and rewrites of classics, Hogarth Shakespeare and Anne Tyler offer Vinegar Girl, a modern version of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.  The story is about Anne, a single preschool teacher who lives with her eccentric father, who is a biochemist at Johns Hopkins on the verge of an amazing discovery, and her younger sister Bunny, pretty, 15, and many of the things that sensible but outspoken Kate is not.  Louis, Anne’s father, has an assistant named Piotr, upon whom he relies and unfortunately is in danger or being deported.  That is a recipe for an arranged marriage in Shakespeare’s day, and Tyler follows suit.  The tangle the ensues, and the way it is worked out makes for an entertaining and comedic read.  Whether you’ve studied Shakespeare or not, this slim volume is worth the read.  Perhaps it will even inspire a few of us to visit the Bard’s work.

A word about Hogarth Shakespeare, a part of Crown Publishing:

“For more than four hundred years, Shakespeare’s works have been performed, read, and loved throughout the world. They have been reinterpreted for each new generation, whether as teen films, musicals, science-fiction flicks, Japanese warrior tales, or literary transformations.

The Hogarth Press was founded by Virginia and Leonard Woolf in 1917 with a mission to publish the best new writing of the age. In 2012, Hogarth was launched in London and New York to continue the tradition. The Hogarth Shakespeare project sees Shakespeare’s works retold by acclaimed and bestselling novelists of today. The series launches in October 2015 and to date will be published in twenty countries…. Hogarth Shakespeare authors include Jeanette Winterson, Anne Tyler, Gillian Flynn, Margaret Atwood, Jo Nesbø, Edward St. Aubyn, Howard Jacobson, and Tracy Chevalier”

from   Additional details about Hogarth Shakespeare and titles out or soon to be out can be found at