Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Arc provided by Hogarth through Netgalley

Release Date June, 21 st

Okay, the more I think about what I've read, the more determined I am in lowing this novel's rating.
Yes, I may even have enjoyed parts of it, (like the beginning): how could I not, with Kate's strange bluntness? And Kate's father sudden tactics?
And it isn't as if this is my first Anne Tyler book. It's my third.
I have read "Earthly Possessions" and "Breathing Lessons", and I have enjoyed them both. As such I was ready to have some fun while reading this supposedly "Tame of the shrew" retelling.
I admit that I've never read the original, I've only seen some movie adaptations because reading the original would probably turn me into a living, breathing fire, dragon.

And this is how I find myself in this dilemma: on one side, this was WAY tamer than what I was expecting... but on the other, it lacked that spark that would ignite this novel to truly magnificent levels.
So, am I glad that this was mostly politically correct? Or am I sad that it ended on such a bore note?
Thing is, I can better understand the character of sixteen century Katherina, in a time when women weren't the mistresses of their own fate, that I can understand twenty first century Kate, who lets others carve her path. She makes me want to smack some backbone into her.
She may be twenty nine years old, but she has the maturity of a fifteen year old. A sullen/ depressed/ socially awkward teen who only wants to be needed. Mostly by men.

"I’m not ‘backing down,’ as you call it; I’m letting him into my country. I’m giving him space in a place where we can both be ourselves."

But WHY? Kate you can still be yourself without having to marry a complete stranger!!
Why is it, that only after Pyoter tells her, that after they marry Kate should consider going back to college that she thinks about that? o_O
She's a supposedly intelligent woman, stuck in a job that she mostly dislikes _ it involves children_ why couldn't she move out of her father's house? Because of her younger sister?
Because as far as I remember there's no bonds between them.
As for Kate and Pyoter romantic relationship, there isn't any! Not even a little spark of electricity between them, and she decides to marry him? it's supposed to be a fake marriage because he needs a green card, but even when it appears that he will no longer need it, she still clings to him like a tick!
I guess that for Anne Tyler, marriage is such an important part of her novels, that she would have to go and empower Kate through it. And that, I didn't like. 

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