There seems to be a current fad for remakes of classics. Somehow I ended up reading this book and Eligible back to back, which made an interesting contrast.
The last Anne Tyler book I read was a disappointment, but I couldn’t resist her take on The Taming of the Shrew. How would she manage to set a Shakespeare classic in Baltimore? And this play in particular, with its outdated premise?
Somehow she does manage to shoehorn a forced match into a modern setting – a Russian assistant about to lose his visa. An absent minded academic father seemingly unable to take care of himself. A sister caught up in superficial concerns and pot head boyfriend.
The shoe-horning really did stretch credibility and there were moments when Kate’s betrothed appeared abusive and dangerous (though perhaps the original would to if I read it again).
I kept reading to see how it would go, but I didn’t find the book that enjoyable. Staying so true to the original when in such a different setting didn’t work and left me following the plot points and feeling this was ‘sloppy seconds’.