Vinegar Girl retells Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, which is always a tough proposition. Taming is sexist: here undomesticated woman, let me show you your proper place in the world. Which, what? No.
But Vinegar Girl does a decent job getting around it, making Kate an awkward (not adorkable – straight up awkward, and not very likable) girl in an awkward family, marrying not someone who needs to put her in her place (or who teaches her to fall in love), but rather someone who needs a green card. Someone who is also awkward. The marriage knocks her out of an overly introverted life taking care of her father. The book even manages to hit on the overly proscriptive roles men are offered in society.
It turns a fairly not-feminist tale into something more feminist. And it left me wanting more of the story fleshed out: what was the deal with Kate’s mother? Why did Kate feel the need to withdraw from her friends? I want to explore this backstory.