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Vinegar Girl

(Hogarth Shakespeare project)

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  35,455 ratings  ·  5,930 reviews
‘You can’t get around Kate Battista as easily as all that’

Kate Battista is feeling stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but the adults don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

Dr Battista
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 16th 2016 by Hogarth (first published June 2016)
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Elizabeth Bridcut She tells him there's a phrase 'you catch more flies with honey than vinegar' (he's not a native English speaker) and he says 'why would you want to c…moreShe tells him there's a phrase 'you catch more flies with honey than vinegar' (he's not a native English speaker) and he says 'why would you want to catch flies vinegar girl?' - those might not be exact quotes but you get the drift...(less)

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Average rating 3.39  · 
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 ·  35,455 ratings  ·  5,930 reviews

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Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3+ stars. The problem with Vinegar Girl is that it was written by Anne Tyler. This means that my expectations were really high because Tyler is such a lovely nuanced writer of contemporary American middle class family life. The other problem with Vinegar Girl is that it is part of a project to render contemporary versions of Shakespeare's plays, and this story is based on The Taming of the Shrew. And, really, how do you credibly construct a work of contemporary American fiction around the story ...more
Elyse Walters
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Ever notice a common theme in 'back-to-back' books you've read?
Then wonder if there is a reason these books are in your space at the moment?

I had recently read "Stolen Innocence", by Elissa Wall, a memoir, about her growing years as a member of the Utah's FLDS polygamist sect...becoming a teenage bride against her desires---the story about how she broke free. Elissa became known for her captivating testimony in the courtroom which helped send a man practicing abusive behavior to prison.

This is the first Anne Tyler book that I have read and a little way in I was thinking that this novel is not for me. However, I persisted and almost without me being aware of it, I was being charmed and drawn into the story. Kate runs the family household, and looks after her absent minded scientist father, Dr Battista, and her volatile younger sister, Bunny.

Kate is taken for granted and has put her life on hold for her family. She is taken aback and furious when her father suggests that she ma
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, audio, 2017
As a retelling of Taming of the Shrew - 1 star
As a stand alone story regardless of the source material - 2.5 stars

Saying that this is a retelling of Taming of the Shrew is like saying The Shining is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk because the main characters are both named Jack. I have read Taming of the Shrew and seen it performed several times and this was so far from anything I have seen that I didn't even recognize the story. They had a few key lines and some similar names, but it woul
Julie Ehlers
Jul 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
I admit that I've never read The Taming of the Shrew. I couldn't even make it all the way through the Wikipedia synopsis before I had to give up in confusion--all those Shakespearean concealed identities may work on the stage, but not in summary. So perhaps I'm not the best person to review this book; there are probably callbacks to the play that I'm completely missing. On the other hand, I firmly believe that these novelistic "reimaginings" should work as novels all on their own. You may get mo ...more
Angela M (On a little break)

I love The Taming of the Shrew and this was by acclaimed author Anne Tyler whose novels I have so enjoyed, so of course I was thrilled to acquire an advanced copy of this book , but I must admit I just wasn't as taken with it as I hoped I would be . Sure it was witty and even funny , but it didn't really connect me to the play as I was expecting. While I appreciate the intent of the Hogarth Shakespeare project which "sees Shakespeare’s works retold by acclaimed and bestselling novelists of today
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Half an hour after I closed this book and I am still smiling. I always enjoy Anne Tyler's writing and it was a pleasure to read this modern version of The Taming of the Shrew.
It has been years since I read the original and I have forgotten all but the bare bones of it. This mattered not at all as Vinegar Girl is a delightful book in its own right. I feel Kate is not as shrewish as her namesake but she was realistic in her behaviours and still likeable despite them. I thought Pyotr had a lot ben
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List


When I read the blurb to the book, I thought it sounded like something I would enjoy. I had no idea how much I would like it. The book is hilarious! I have never read William Shakespeare's "The Taming Of The Shrew" but I certainly want to now.

I fell in love with the character Kate, she cracked me up through out the book. I love the way she just says it like it is and I found my self coughing at times because she had me laughing so much.

Kate lives with her
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-fiction
For a book called Vinegar Girl, this novel is surprisingly delightful.

Anne Tyler, whom I adore, has written a modern version of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" as part of the Hogarth series. We meet Kate Battista, a sharp young woman who works at a preschool and takes care of her father's home. Her dad is a scientist who doesn't want to lose his Russian research assistant, Pyotr, so the father schemes for Kate to marry him so he can stay in America. Naturally, Kate resists, and there is
Diane Barnes
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know that some Anne Tyler/Shakespeare fans were less than enthused about this book, but I absolutely loved it! I never read "The Taming of the Shrew" and am not a fan of Shakespeare (gasp!), so I had no comparisons to make there. However, I am a huge fan of Anne Tyler and have read all her previous books, but, unlike some Tyler fans who were disappointed in this one, I thought it had all the elements that make her novels so much fun to read.

Setting Baltimore: check
Eccentric characters: check
Diane S ☔
This was a nice and enjoyable story. Though I did feel I received a good feel for the characters, I wanted Kate to be sharper, more acerbic and the plodding Pytor just seems confused, not sure of his role in this story. Wanted this story to, have more oomph, more energy but it remained just a nice story.
Julie G ("Doctor, my eyes!"  Offline for a week)
Hmmm. . . okay, for about the first 90 pages of this read I was channeling Dr. Seuss, nodding my head, up and down, in a Cat-in-the-Hat sort of disapproval.

As in, "Oh dear. What a shame! What a shame! What a shame!"

Why a shame? Because Anne Tyler picked the winning card! Of all of Shakepeare's fabulous plays, she was handed the most fabuloso. She was given the task to rewrite/update The Taming of the Shrew through the Hogarth Shakespeare project, and she was going to be paid for it, too!

Damn gi
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this as an audiobook, and the readers truly brought the novel to life.
Kate is working as a preschool assistant, a job she is not totally suited for. She cares for her father and vapid younger sister, Bunny. Her mother died when Kate was young, and her father is opsessed with his research work at Johns Hopkins. Kate has little in the way of of a social life, with few goals for the future. But she is shocked when her father propositions her with the notion of marrying his research as
Brandy Painter
I was going to give this two stars due to mild entertainment but then I started writing the review and realized how mad I truly was.

This is meant to be a retelling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. This is a play I am equal parts fascinated and repulsed by, but I am always interested when it is used for new stories. I am unashamed to admit that I judge all retellings of this play in comparison to my feelings for the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. People may automatically turn up their
Hovering over 2 stars says "It was ok". That's how I feel about this. It was ok. It took me a while to get through it. I thought Anne Tyler did an excellent job telling the story and I thought the characters were distinct. Her Russian accent was great.

I think the only character I liked was Bunny. She was the only one who saw things how they were. I didn't like Kate. She's 29 and that's the best she can behave at work? I didn't like Pyodr either. He seemed like a good guy mostly. I felt better ab
Vinegar Girl

Aw. This Vinegar Girl is just Honey Girl on a bad couple of days. Anne Tyler has taken Shakespeare’s Taming of a Shrew and kitted it up with her idea of what that play is all about, and I have to admit I was guilty of being wholly amused and enjoyed the story. Her Kate is acerbic, loud and keeps her eye on opportunities to keep everyone apprised of her thoughts. I liked her, despite her rough spots. The project of marrying her off to the favorite foreign lab boy was a very nice twist
A light, fun retelling of a Shakespeare classic. Nothing more, nothing less. After reading a few of these Hogarth Shakespeare retellings I've found that the stories don't necessarily translate to novel form that well. This one, of the ones I've read, felt the most like a book the author could've written without taking anything from Shakespeare, in that it felt nearly as much a Tyler novel (the writing, the characters, etc.) as a Shakespeare story. But nothing mind-blowing. ...more
Ron Charles
Anne Tyler hates Shakespeare’s plays. All of them. But she hates “The Taming of the Shrew” the most.

So she rewrote it.

“Vinegar Girl,” her 21st novel, drags shrewish Kate into the modern age.

“It’s such a crazy story,” Tyler says from her home in Baltimore. “People behave so inexplicably that you just know there’s another side to it. Someone’s exaggerating; somebody’s putting his own spin on things. Let’s just figure out what really happened.”

What really happens in Tyler’s revision makes a little
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I quite liked this quirky little book; mostly because I liked the Kate character so much. I never read "The Taming of the Shrew," so I don't know if Tyler does a credible job of honoring the original. It had to have been hard, because I know enough to know that the play's subject matter and POV is WAY outdated.

Nothing earth shattering or profound here, just snarky fun.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
“The unsatisfying thing about practicing restraint was that nobody knew you were practicing it.”

“Vinegar Girl” is the third book in the Hogarth Shakespeare series that I have read. The Hogarth project sees “Shakespeare’s works retold by bestselling novelists of today.” This text sees Anne Tyler taking a stab at “Taming of the Shrew”. Except she does not take a stab at it. The story is weak and tenuously connected to “Taming of the Shrew” There are maybe 3 direct correlations, but this text is no
(3.5) This is the most fun I’ve had with the Hogarth Shakespeare series* so far, as well as my favorite of the three Anne Tyler novels I’ve read.** Yes, it’s set in Baltimore. Kate Battista, the utterly tactless preschool assistant, kept cracking me up. Her father, an autoimmune researcher, schemes for her to marry his lab assistant, Pyotr, so he can stay in the country after his visa expires. The plot twists of the final quarter of the novel felt a little predictable, but I was won over by the ...more
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-lit-us
The Hogarth Shakespeare project invited modern authors to rework the Shakespeare classics. This is Anne Tyler’s retelling of The Taming of the Shrew.
In typical Tyler style this story is set in Baltimore. Kate is almost thirty, she keeps house for her father since her mother died and has been bringing up her sister Bunny, now 15 years old.
Kate also works in a pre school, although if asked, she doesn’t really like little children.... in fact she doesn’t seem to like many adults either! Friends h
Emily B
Sep 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy listening to Anne Tyler’s books as audiobooks and this was also the case for Vinegar Girl too. It was Lighthearted and easy to follow so ideal for listening while working. Not my favourite or most meaningful read but enjoyable none the less
Christina ~ Brunette Reader

"Nobody shall be crazy about anybody".

A fun and engaging retelling of The Taming of The Shrew, Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl is first and foremost a contemporary comedy of manners with a dollop of romance on the side. Full of acerbic wit and sharp insights delivered with a deft and smooth style, the lively banter and the amusing interactions bring out the best in the quirky setting and characterisations, making for a fresh and thoroughly enjoyable lighter twist on the original classic.
LA Cantrell
Well, then. This is my second foray into the Hogarth Shakespeare series. I'd never heard of the project until a couple of weeks ago, but essentially, various commercial authors have been enlisted to rewrite half a dozen or so of the works of Shakespeare in a contemporary format.

Last week, I read a new version of The Tempest (Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood) and absolutely loved it. This? Not so much.

I've read The Taming of the Shrew and have seen the old movie Kiss Me, Kate and loved both of them.
Copy furnished by Net Galley in exchange for a review.

Anne Tyler’s easy familiarity with skewed family relationships and eccentric characters seems watered down in Vinegar Girl. Not a great deal of flavor for me, almost as though it needed salt or something.

The old adage that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar is wrestled down to the ground with a simple question posed by Kate. Why would you want to attract flies? I like that.

True confession time – I never learned to beat with
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Earlier this week I attended a meeting held in one of the rooms at the library. Afterward, I had to pick up a relative at a location nearby, but had some empty time in between and realized I had forgotten to bring a book! Well (Pyotr in this novel points out Americans are wont to preface their sentences with empty words such as this one), I turned right back around, straight to the ‘new titles’ shelf and immediately chose this. It fit the bill (a phrase Pyotr would like: he has a thing for Ameri ...more
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books
While I was familiar with The Austen Project, I had no idea Shakespeare's works were getting a modern touch until I came across Vinegar Girl (Anne Tyler's take on "The Taming of the Shrew")

A quick look on GoodReads shows the general consensus is that the book is pretty good, but not great. I'll go out on a limb and say I really enjoyed it! Not sure it resonated because this is my first Anne Tyler (gasp!), because I can have some shrew-like tendencies myself, or because the book I read just prior
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t really like the taming of the shrew, so of course I really like this unpopular adaptation and have read it twice now. I give up trying to understand why things work like they do but I DO know I love Anne Tyler, maybe that’s mostly it.

And I enjoy an awkwardly blunt, crotchety protagonist who refuses to coddle children, it’s hilarious. If this book was just Kate getting in trouble for being rude to parents and telling children their art isn’t as good as another kid’s, this would have bee
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Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. She has published 20 novels, her debut novel being If Morning Ever Comes in (1964). Her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons , was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a mem ...more

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Hogarth Shakespeare project (7 books)
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