Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
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.
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?
First off I loved the cover for this book, and that’s what first made me want to read it. Second I love retellings, so this being a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew made me all the more interested.
I’m somewhat disapointed in this book. I expected this book to be more comical than it was. Instead I found a story of emotional abuse and misogyny. Kate’s father is neglectful parent and husband. So lost in his scientific world he couldn’t take care of his wife and is ultimately the reason why she died early on in their marriage. He’s also neglectful of his two daughters, leaving Kate to take care of her sister and asking that Kate take care of the house. Then on top of it when his research assistant’s visa runs out he expects his daughter to marry him so that the guy can stay. I really hated the father. And if you thought he couldn’t get worse, he also was constantly spouting things about ”worrying his daughter would never marry” as if that’s all she could do with her life in his eyes. The book was set in modern times but at times the dad felt practically medieval. Pyotr was no better, calling Kate a shrew for speaking her mind when she’s upset with her father is trying to arrange her marriage.
Kate herself was a wandering aimless character. Dropped out from college, working a job she dislikes, doing all of these things for no apparent reason. She’s emotionally bullied and manipulated by her father’s sob story to marry a man she doesn’t even know. Now this I get. We love our parents and would do anything for them, and I really felt for her. She felt she was doing her best for her family. But then somewhere along the line she mysteriously starts to sympathize with Pyotr. Why? I never could understand this.
I wasn’t prepared to feel this strongly about Vinegar Girl. The story had beautiful prose, I’ll give it that. And I was fully engaged with the story which is why I’m giving it three stars instead of the two it deserves.
I was given a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.