Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Vinegar Girl

Vinegar Girl
Anne Tyler

Plot Overview: 

Another modern retelling of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. Kate Battista is nearly thirty, works as a teacher's assistant, runs her father's household and oversees her high-school aged sister, Bunny. Kate's father, Dr. Battista, is a struggling scientist and he tries to arrange a marriage between his immigrant research assistant, Pyotr, and his daughter, Kate.

Favorite Character:

I wasn't really a fan of any of the characters but Kate is my favorite. Through the narrative, I spent the most time with Kate and in the end I did enjoy getting to know her. Although intuitively I wanted her to resist her dad's setup, her reasons for marrying Pyotr were in the end compelling. Kate

Best Takeaway:

The novel really left me thinking about the function of marriage. It raises questions about what makes two people compatible? How do families function? How does love manifest itself in the various relationships in my life?

What I wanted more of:

It is really more about what I wanted less of -- quirkiness. Every single main character had so much personality. For example, Dr. Battista was the absent-minded professor, taken to the extreme. Bunny plays the teenage daughter trying to be vegan, again taken to the extreme. In the end I wanted more time to understand the entire Battista family, and Pyotr. I think Kate learns more about their motivations, but I am not sure it rings through to the reader.

Favorite quotes:

"It really was a beautiful day, she realized. She was still mad as hell at her father, but she took some comfort in telling herself that at least the man he'd tried to palm off on her was not a complete heel." -p98

"But then he saw that they didn't, really. It was true they were standing in a door, but they were both in the one door side by side and very close together, neither one in front or behind, and they were holding hands smiling."     -p235

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars

FYI: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own.