Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
Published by Hogarth in 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Shakespeare Retelling
Verdict: I really enjoyed this, simple as it is.
Another contemporary take on one of Shakespeare’s best comedies, I absolutely loved reading this and couldn’t put it down. It’s light and frothy and sweet and I’m not going to think too hard about how much I relate to Kate, the main character.
The story is told from her perspective, a very forthright woman stuck in a bit of a rut and unsure about where she’s heading in her life. She feels quite invisible apart from her usefulness to her father, taking care of all the tasks he neglects and is very set apart from her peers due to her abrupt and precise nature. So how will Kate react when her father, who expects so much of her already, asks her to marry his favourite colleague at work to prevent him from being deported? She’s furious and hurt, understandably so. But a history of pandering to her father, as well as being able to separate emotion from the logic of the task draws her into the scheme, and we find her slowly melting for this man, the first one to take her seriously and really see her for herself in a long time.
Admittedly, the characters are quite cartoonish and I spent some time trying to disconnect this story from 10 things I hate about you. Regardless, the result is sweet, funny, charming, and I liked it very much. I’m a sucker for slow burn romances apparently. If you’d like a quick, light read then this is something you could consider.