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Vinegar girl : The taming of the shrew retold
2016
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Kate Battista (Female), Teacher, Takes care of the family house for her eccentric widowed scientist father and younger sister; works at a preschool; helping her father keep his lab assistant from being deported by agreeing to marry him
Pyodr Cherbakov (Male), Labor negotiator, Russian, Kate's father's lab assistant; his Visa is about to expire unless he marries an American girl
Genre
Fiction
Romance
Literary
Domestic
Satire
Topics
Scientific discoveries
Scientists
Fathers and daughters
Scientific research
Deportation
Sisters
Widows
Arranged marriage
Marriage
Setting
Baltimore, Maryland - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

In Tyler's (A Spool of Blue Thread) reimagining of The Taming of the Shrew, one of a series of Shakespeare modernizations from Hogarth Press, Kate Battista, an ill--tempered nursery school assistant who doesn't enjoy small children, stands in for Katharine. Kate's father, Dr. Louis Battista, a research scientist studying autoimmune disorders, is the latest in a long line of Tyler eccentrics whose compulsiveness manifests itself in everything from meal planning-he has developed a disgusting-sounding, nutritionally balanced meat mash that incorporates all the food groups and that serves the family for a week-to rules for behavior for Kate's teenage sister, Bunny, who has been under Kate's watch since their mother's early death. Now Dr. Battista hopes he can persuade Kate to consider marriage to his lab assistant Pyotr Shcherbakov, whose visa is about to expire. To Bunny's horror, an uncharacteristically quiescent Kate goes along with the wild scheme. VERDICT The Taming of the Shrew meets Green Card in this delightful reinvention that owes as much to Tyler's quirky sensibilities as it does to its literary forebear. Come for the Shakespeare, stay for the wonderful Tyler.-Barbara Love, formerly with Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

In the latest of Hogarth's Shakespeare series, Pulitzer-winner Tyler transposes the famously shrewish Kate and her would-be master Petruchio to Tyler country-Baltimore's genteel Roland Park neighborhood. There, preschool assistant Kate Battista takes care of her widowed father and much younger, conventionally prettier sister, both of whom take her for granted-that is, until her scientist father decides that the way to keep Pyotr, his research assistant, from losing his visa is for Kate to marry him. Considering Dr. Battista's maladroit personality and Pyotr's blunt and sometimes overly literal approach, Kate, who is less shrewish than plainspoken, actually seems quite patient. Though farcical in parts, Shakespeare's play has a dark strand-Petruchio is borderline abusive, and critics are divided about whether Kate's speech calling for women to obey their husbands is meant to be sincere, ironic, or perhaps a sign of love. In Tyler's version, Kate's speech is supportive of Pyotr, and defensible. Which makes sense, since Kate and Pyotr, despite their untoward and hasty courtship, clearly like and appreciate each other. Ultimately, the tale succeeds as the kind of love story in which the most surprised people are the protagonists-which, arguably, could be said of the original as well-but Shakespeare's powerful emotions are absent here. It is not the shrew who is tamed, but the tale itself. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Pulitzer Prize winner and American master Anne Tyler brings us an inspired, witty and irresistible contemporary take on one of Shakespeare's most beloved comedies <br>  <br> Kate Battista feels 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 their parents don't always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner. <br> <br> Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There's only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.<br> <br> When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he's relying - as usual - on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he's really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men's touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?
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