Vinegar Girl

by Anne Tyler • Adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

“Beware against the sweet person, for sugar has no nutrition,” warns research assistant Pyotr Cherbakov as he woos his “vinegar girl”, Kate Battista. Pyotr is planning to marry Kate so he can earn a green card and stay in America to continue working for her father. If that’s not outrageous enough, it’s Kate’s father, a biochemical researcher into autoimmune diseases, who comes up with the idea in the first place. He’s desperate to keep his prodigious assistant Pyotr, whose visa is about to expire, and is willing to sacrifice his daughter’s future to safeguard his research. Understandably, Kate is not impressed. As Pyotr attempts to woo her, she becomes crosser and crosser. Will she go through with this marriage? Can there possibly be a happy ending to this farce?

What an enjoyable, light-hearted read. I loved the simplicity and humour interspersed in the tale. You don’t need to have read the original to really enjoy this story. In fact you may well be disappointed if you do as the author has departed quite significantly from Shakespeare’s version. Anne Tyler has definitely made this her own story, and what a lovely one it is.

Publisher: Hogarth Press • June 2016 • ISBN: 978-0-8041-4126-0