If you have never met Anne Tyler, you are in for a treat. My first book by Tyler was The Accidental Tourist, later made into a movie with William Hurt, Geena Davis, and Kathleen Turner. The movie was very good, but the book blows it out of the water. In The Accidental Tourist, Macon is an armchair traveler afraid of experiencing life again after the loss of his child. The blend of Macon’s eccentric family, his hurting ex-wife, and the trainer Macon hires to help him with his dog will bring tears to your eyes, and a bit of sunshine to your heart.
Anne Tyler, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, is an amazing writer whom I greatly admire. Some of my favorites of her’s are Digging To America, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, and Saint Maybe. In the pages of her most recent book, I once again fell in love. Vinegar Girl, is a modern-day version of Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew.
Sharp-tongued Kate is 29 going on forty, living at home to care for her father and fifteen year old sister. Kate’s father, an eccentric scientist who rules his home with precision, has discovered that his favorite lab assistant, a great scientist in his own right, is about to be deported. Terrified that all work will cease on his project, Dr. Battista uses guilt to coerce Kate into marrying Pyotr for his green card. Bunny, Kate’s younger sister, is horrified with the arranged marriage, and even more so when her sister agrees.
As her fiancé, Pyotr tries very hard to win Kate’s resistant heart, and when she finds he wants her go back to college and pursue a life of her own, Kate begins to feel that marrying this man could be the beginning of a whole new life.
Vinegar Girl is lighthearted and humorous, and because I listened to the book, I had the added pleasure of a wonderful reader who is truly gifted with voices. Kirsten Potter understands the nuance of humor running through this lovely book and brings Tyler’s characters to life. Ann Tyler’s books are not published nearly as often as so many of the thrillers I usually read, but when they are, I drop everything and read—Vinegar Girl was definitely worth the wait.
Reviewed by Leigh