Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist, grew up in Raleigh and is a Duke graduate. vinegar-girl Although she has lived in Baltimore for many years, we still claim her as a North Carolina writer.

In this novel, she retells the basic story of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” in a modern-day United States setting.  Since the play involved an arranged marriage, this presents a challenge, but Tyler is up to the task!

Kate is a 29-year-old college dropout living with her father and teenage sister.  Her job as assistant to a pre-school teacher is in jeopardy due to her lack of tact and diplomacy when dealing with parents.  She isn’t sure she ever wants to get married – and no men have shown interest in her since her late teens, when she had some first dates and even a few second dates.

Her father, a scientist, considers his lab assistant, who’s from a foreign country, essential to the success of his research project.  However, this young man has almost come to the end of his three-year visa.  Desperate, Kate’s father tries to persuade her to consider a green card marriage to Pyotr before his visa expires.

You don’t need to read the Shakespeare play to enjoy the eccentric characters and the humor in Vinegar Girl.  As always, Anne Tyler is an author well worth your time – and this book is short enough for the busiest readers!

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)


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