Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler is an updated take on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. I learned after reading this book that it was part of a project by Random House to have contemporary novelists retell stories from Shakespeare's plays.
Kate's mother died when she was young and she had to grow up quickly to care for her eccentric father and her self-absorbed sister. Kate's father insists on routine: same dinners every night, same shopping list every week, etc. and Kate has always just gone with the flow. She works in a daycare and takes care of her family and tends her garden. Kate's life turns upside down when her father proposes a major change for her.
Kate doesn't want attention, but she does. She wants to take care of everybody, but she wants to be cared for. She doesn't want her routine interrupted, but yet she does.
This was a quick and pleasant read. No drama, no fuss, and no illicit activities. I enjoyed it so much! I read these characters are very toned down from the original, so I'm not sure reading the Shakespeare version would be so pleasant! This was fun after my last long and heavy historical read.
I read another of Tyler's novels, Breathing Lessons, in college for an English course, but unfortunately I cannot recall any of the details at all! Lots of life has happened since then! I do think I will check out more of her books and also others that were a part of this Shakespeare project.