Wednesday, July 6, 2016

book review: vinegar girl by anne tyler.

I usually don't stray too far from my favorites: kid lit, fantasy, sci-fi. But I decided I should start diversifying a bit. Enter: Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler! I caught the NPR review and was intrigued, especially by the comparison to Jane Austen. The idea of a fresh take on a Shakespeare classic by an acclaimed author piqued my interest, as well. And the pretty cover didn't hurt, either!

So, basically, Vinegar Girl is a modern take on The Taming of the Shrew. It follows Kate Battista, the April Ludgate-esque daughter of scientist Louis Battista, whose treasured lab assistant Pyotr faces impending deportation. Hijinks ensues, as you might imagine. To go into further detail would spoil the fun of this brief novel, so, go read it yourself!

This one took awhile to win me over, in spite of its brevity. I felt like Kate started out a bit disappointingly two-dimensional, and took awhile to feel like a fleshed-out character. The dialogue was also a bit old-fashioned and off for a modern 29-year-old and those around her. If you took out the cell phones, the novel could've easily taken place in the '60s or '70s. 

All that said...Vinegar Girl took awhile to draw me in, but draw me in it did. I don't know, I guess what seemed like sloppy threads at first sort of sorted themselves out and were woven into a compelling arc that ended up totally hooking me. By the end, my biggest complaint was that the last act ended well, but not in the way I wanted. I wanted a satisfying spelling-out of some of what Tyler employed as negative space instead. She did the less-is-more thing with tying things up, which I can respect, but by then I was emotionally invested enough to want more juicy details! Good problem to have, though, no?

So. This was a good one! Yay for reading a grown up book with no magic or spaceships and liking it! 

For more on Vinegar Girl and Anne Tyler:

**Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, all opinions are my own!

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