Friday, July 15, 2016

'Vinegar Girl' by Anne Tyler

15 July 2016

Anne Tyler said that 'A Spool of Blue Thread' (reviewed here in March 2015) was to be her last novel, so it was great to be able to discover a new Anne Tyler book in the form of 'Vinegar Girl: The Taming of the Shrew Retold', which I have just read as an unabridged audio book, narrated by Kirsten Potter. 'Vinegar Girl' is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series in which contemporary novelists are invited to re-imagine Shakespeare plays. This being Anne Tyler, her 'Taming of the Shrew' is set in modern-day Baltimore and focusses, like most Anne Tyler novels, on the slightly quirky domestic life of a relatively normal family. In the manner of most Anne Tyler protagonists, Kate Battista contemplates a radical step that would change her comfortable, familiar life for ever. 'Vinegar Girl' is a fairly short novel which succeeds by concentrating on character development rather than slavishly following Shakespeare's plot. It's a gentle and very enjoyable book – an unexpected treat for Anne Tyler fans who feared there was no more to come.



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