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The Bean Trees

A Novel
Kingsolver, Barbara (Book - 1998)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Bean Trees
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From the Publisher: Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.
Authors: Kingsolver, Barbara
Title: The bean trees
a novel
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, 1998
Edition: 10th anniversary ed
Characteristics: 261 p. ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Barbara Kingsolver
Summary: From the Publisher: Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.
ISBN: 0060175796
9780060175795
Branch Call Number: FICTION KINGSOLVE 1998
Subject Headings: Young women Fiction Automobile travel Fiction Women travelers Fiction Indian children Fiction Friendship Fiction Orphans Fiction
Genre/Form: Humorous fiction
Bildungsromans
Western stories
Topical Term: Young women
Automobile travel
Women travelers
Indian children
Friendship
Orphans
LCCN: 97002691
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From Library Staff

By the time Taylor Greer reaches Oklahoma, this strong-willed young Kentucky native with a quick tongue and an open mind is catapulted into a surprising new life. (1988)

From the Publisher: Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on.

A story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.

Kingsolver's fiction features strong women who carve out places for themselves in new communities. In The Bean Trees, Taylor Greer hits the road wanting only to get as far away from Kentucky as possible, ending up in Arizona with a 3-year-old Cherokee girl she has inherited from a woman in a bar.


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Jul 26, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Kinsgslover's first novel is good, but nowhere near her masterpiece, "The Posionwood Bible." Followed by "Pigs in Heaven."

Dec 12, 2013
  • slarsen rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I have yet to be disappointed with a Kingsolver book. Reading BEAN TREES was fun for me because I could relate to so much of Taylor's trip to maturity. Kingsolver seems to have the ability to pull you in and welcomes you to be a character in her story. However, I don't think she can possibly outdo the first two books I read by her: PRODIGAL SUMMER and FLIGHT BEHAVIOR.

Oct 25, 2013
  • EPalmer2295 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is one of my new all-time favorite books. Kingsolver writes in a way that I have never seen any other author do: she is able to mix the diction and structure of small-town, rural language with the most vast and eye opening descriptions. She writes honestly and in a way that I can relate to. This story is heartwarming and full of human struggle, collaboration, family, and friendship. Absolutely wonderful.

Oct 25, 2013
  • shjohnso rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Interesting but not great

"First published 15 years ago, The Bean Trees was Barbara Kingsolver's first novel. It tells the story of a poor Kentucky woman determined to make a better life for herself. While headed west, Taylor is approached by a Cherokee woman, who leaves a baby in the passenger seat of her car. Moved by the baby's fierce grip, Taylor names her "Turtle;" they begin a new life together in Tucson, where Taylor's car eventually breaks down. An "overwhelming delight" (Publishers Weekly) despite themes of child abuse and other social ills, this tale of creating a family out of nothing was followed by a sequel, Pigs in Heaven." August 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=667162

Jul 08, 2013
  • erinsnest rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Well it was a toss up between this book and "The Help". Read a chapter from both, couldn't decide which was better, so went with this one first, as it was shorter! Started it June 30, 2013......July 4, almost finished, a great book and my favorite Kingsolver so far. (Others by her that I have read are Lacuna and The Poisenwood Bilble)....Oh, just read the other comments, and found that "Pigs in Heaven" is a sequel to this one....guess I'll be reading that soon!.......July 8, 2013, just finished this today, got to listening to a talking book ("The Water is Wide," by Pat Conroy) on the 6th, so didn't really "read" that day. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. A great read, but it did kind of wrap up kind of quickly.

Jun 28, 2013
  • JCLBeckyC rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Even though this novel was written over twenty years ago, its humanist theme is timeless, and its depiction of how our country treats outsiders is as relevant as ever. That Kingsolver has wrapped up such a serious message in the package of a quick, surprisingly funny read is amazing.

May 30, 2013
  • breathedeeply rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Loved this book. A bit different from the other Kingsolver novels I've read. All of the characters have rough edges and make, at times, unwise choices, but they are colorful, well developed, and you are pulling for them throughout the novel. The dialogue is witty and I found myself laughing out loud several times. These characters are not comic, however, as all are faced with difficult, even life threatening, situations and challenges throughout the novel, right up until the end. I gave this book to my husband, and he is enjoying it as much as I did.

Dec 17, 2012
  • sviera rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

beautiful!

Jul 19, 2012
  • christinex1 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Picked this up at the airport to read on a flight. It kept my attention and I finished it when I returned home. Some of the reviews say it's "funny." I found it more of a story of life and learning a lesson. I did enjoy it, but don't think I'll read it again. I will donate to the library.

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Jul 19, 2012
  • christinex1 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: a bit

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Apr 18, 2013
  • kubiak458 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

"You from out of town?" he asked after a while, eyeing my car. "No," I said. "I go to Kentucky every year to get my license plate."

Jul 18, 2012
  • christinex1 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

And so what I promised myself was that I would drive West until my car stopped running, and there I would stay.

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