Vinegar Girl, The Taming of the Shrew Retold, (Hogarth Shakespeare), Anne Tyler

Vinegar Girl, The Taming of the Shrew Retold, (Hogarth Shakespeare), Anne Tyler

Vinegar Girl: The Taming of the Shrew Retold (Hogarth Shakespeare) by [Tyler, Anne]

click image for amazon link

Genre:  Literary Fiction


I remember reading some Shakespeare plays at school – but that’s a long time ago….and of course with Him Indoors being a TV and Film fanatic I’ve seen bits of McClintock many, many times. I’m usually reading but it kind of seeps into you after the 4th or 5th time…a kind of TV by Osmosis practice!

Anne Tyler is an author whose works I’ve never read either, so I went in to this blind, not really knowing what to expect. How would a Pulitzer Prize winning author take on Shakespeare? Actually this  whole Hogarth series sounds intriguing, different authors retelling different plays.

Its a slow starting novel, Waspish Kate looking after her family, working at a job which I don’t really feel she loves, or even really likes, it’s just one that’s a way of passing time, earning money to her. She ruins the home according to her scientist fathers strange rules, everything worked out for optimum efficiency – the meat mash – eurghh – sounds awful. There’s no real joy in her life, younger sister Bunny has fun but for Kate this just feels like a hamster wheel day-after-day with nothing changing. Then her father drops his bombshell plan!

It was an interesting read, but for me just too slow, too bland and not really an engaging one. I kept reading as I wanted to see how Anne would make things work, but I can’t say I was gripped, didn’t have that must keep reading feel for me.

Its well written, and is an easy book to read but I was left feeling a bit empty by it, as though I really wanted something more to happen, more emotion, more angst, more anything but the eternal plodding life poor Kate lead. She didn’t really help herself either though and at 29 I felt she would have put her foot down by now over at least some of the things that irritated her.

Stars: Three, well written, gentle humour but overall one that didn’t spark anything special in me.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher


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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

3 responses to “Vinegar Girl, The Taming of the Shrew Retold, (Hogarth Shakespeare), Anne Tyler”

  1. Mary Smith says :

    I’ve been wondering about this book and have read some other reviews, none of which have been particularly enthusiastic. I have enjoyed a few Anne Tyler books. They are very much character rather than plot driven. Maybe Vinegar Girl will be in my local library.

    • jeanniezelos says :

      I’d not read any of her work before Mary, so don’t know what kind of style she had. there’s a couple of reviewers over on GR that didn’t really like this and say its way off her normal style.
      I use my kindle exclusively for reading now due to eye issues, but used to spend hours in the library choosing books when my kids were young. They all had tickets too but only the eldest has inherited my love of reading.

      • Mary Smith says :

        It’s quite a brave thing for an author to do because it’s inevitable some fans will not be happy with a change of style.

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