Review: HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE by Christy English
How to Tame a Willful Wife is the latest in Christy English’s updating of Shakespeare’s plays in a modern relling of The Taming of the Shrew, although it’s set in Regency England.
Caroline is more than willing to do her duty and marry the handsome Anthony. His money will rescue her father’s debt-laden estate. But she isn’t willing to subsume herself completely to her husband’s whims.
Anthony finds Caroline appealing, and is most willing to settle her father’s debts in order to marry her. But, as his wife, she must not question his orders, especially when they concern his enemy, who would use her to harm Anthony.
Thus begins a battle of wills, in which each must learn to compromise in order to find happiness.
The laws and customs of the times left a woman at her husband’s utter mercy. Many women became mice, cringing as they obeyed their husbands’ slightest whims. Ms. English has managed the difficult feat of making Caroline a woman of her time, while still making her strong-willed enough to stand up to her husband when’s he’s wrong.
Anthony starts out as something of a stuffed shirt, conditioned by his upbringing and his military service to expect unquestioning obedience. In some ways, he is like Mr. Darcy. He’ll protect Caroline with his life, but won’t explain why the villain is his enemy, leaving her confused and unwilling to obey him in this matter. But Anthony loves Caroline, and by building his character this way, Ms. English makes Anthony an appealing hero.
If you like Shakespeare updated to the future, but still in the past. How to Tame a Willful Wife by Christy English is the book for you.