Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler is a wonderful retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, one of my favorite comedies. Tyler has captured Kate perfectly in this update, and the characters that orbit Kate’s crazy world are quirky but real in true Anne Tyler fashion.
Anne Tyler, you should write more comedy because you’re damned good at it. I sat on the porch of the rented beach house and guffawed aloud more than once, even when my beach companions were quietly reading their own chosen material. (I don’t usually do that as I tend to respect others’ reading space, but damn you, AT, you pushed the laughs right out of me!)
One of the things I love about Anne Tyler is she uses words that need to be used more often, and any book that finds a reason to use the word “rapscallions” is A-OK with me. Page 22.
Ostreperous. Page 24.
Microphylum. Page 30.
Flibbertigibbet. Page 54.
Vertiginous. Page 127.
Anne Tyler is my favorite American author simply because her characters are so ordinary made extraordinary. The things that happen to them are mundane, but for the characters, it’s their world in flames. She writes so cleanly without being antiseptic, and you can’t help but be part of the story. I’m a little behind with her books (I’ve not yet read “Blue Thread” or Noah’s Compass), but she’s my #1.
Read Donna Seaman’s Booklist review here.