HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Loading...

Bean Trees (original 1988; edition 2001)

by Barbara Kingsolver

Series: Turtle (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,113126505 (3.94)271
Member:HelenBaker
Title:Bean Trees
Authors:Barbara Kingsolver
Info:Abacus (2001), Paperback, 232 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:****1/2
Tags:American Fiction

Work details

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (1988)

Recently added bypife43, ArleenWilliams, 1mintling, Becchanalia, gentillygirl, proustitute, private library
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 271 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
This is Kingsolver's first novel, but you would never know it. The Bean Trees is a mature book with well developed characters and great descriptive writing. The book follows Taylor Greer as she escapes her hometown in rural Kentucky, managing to have gotten though high school without getting pregnant or dropping out like so many of her classmates. She scrounges up the money for a beat up car and goes out to find what she can make of life. On the way, she winds up being given a young girl who has been abused on a Cherokee reservation. She names her Turtle because she clings on so tightly. She has obvious signs of physical and sexual abuse all over her small body (we later find out she's 3). Taylor's car breaks down in Tucson and she ends up making a life for herself and Turtle there. She finds a job and a mentor who houses illegal immigrants and befriends two of them. She also becomes close to her roommate, Louann and her young son.

The book explores adult friendship, immigration issues, adoption, and mother/child relationship all while offering an amazing description of life and nature in Arizona. I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Kingsolver's works. ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 20, 2014 |
The Bean Trees is a compliment to women; coming together to conquer adversity. Throughout the book there are references of a garden in the harsh Arizona desert; hope and beauty under the most difficult of life’s circumstances.

"We were sitting out with the kids in Roosevelt Park, which the neighbor kids called such names as Dead Grass Park and Dog Doo Park. To be honest, it was pretty awful...The grass was scraggly, struggling to come up between bald patches of dirt...Constellations of gum-wrapper foil twinkled around the trash barrels." ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
The Bean Trees is a compliment to women; coming together to conquer adversity. Throughout the book there are references of a garden in the harsh Arizona desert; hope and beauty under the most difficult of life’s circumstances.

"We were sitting out with the kids in Roosevelt Park, which the neighbor kids called such names as Dead Grass Park and Dog Doo Park. To be honest, it was pretty awful...The grass was scraggly, struggling to come up between bald patches of dirt...Constellations of gum-wrapper foil twinkled around the trash barrels." ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |


This wasn't the type of book I normally pick up, but my son asked me to read it with him for his summer reading project. At first, I wasn't sure I would like it- especially with the way the author changed from first to third person in chapters 2 & 4. However, the characters are engaging and I became absorbed in how it would all turn out. ( )
  aharey | Mar 19, 2014 |
This starts out as sort of Tom Robbinsesque whimsical baby boomer Americana only less funny only but also less misogynistic only but also weirdly anti-intellectual in this annoying way. Then it gets interestingly problematic--a window on young white progressive people trying to come to terms with what it means to be decent in post-Disney America (book written 1988). Maybe it's not fair to expect Kingsolver to avoid all the things that make 2014 people cringe (is it too soon to dub our decade the "Age of Awkward"?), but the cringes keep coming nevertheless, with the main character harping on about being one-eighth Cherokee and adopting a child who's been sexually abused and who, since that's obviously a mark of Cain, almost gets abused again in short order by a random park weirdo, or the nice old blind lady who probably just wants to sit and smell the wisteria but who Kingsolver forces to get up and dance and be indomitable for her supper all the time. You know? It's a shame because Kingsolver is a decent writer in many ways, economically limpid descriptive passages and deftly cute character passages. (A lot of people might add "little anecdotes," which are another regular feature, as a third stylistic strength, but they're a bit too pointedly intended for the delivery of a takeaway for me).

The story gets a bit of a spine with the introduction of a refugee couple from Guatemala who the protag ("Taylor") is trying to help get to a safehouse and get fake papers, etc. We get some of Taylor's struggle to not put the moves on the handsomely haunted husband because of his prettily traumatized wife, and it is whitesplained to us for sure but the interesting colonial valences--who owns the story? Who owns sexy brown-skinned romance?--are quite clear. They even become interestingly complex at the end, where one-eighth Cherokee tries to formally adopt the baby she has been slung with, who is full Cherokee, and the Guatemalans have to pose as baby's parents and give her up and she looks just like their baby who they lost to Sensationalistic Third World Horror--there are still annoying aspects but it really works, the interplay of power relations and identity things becomes downright contrapuntal, and the losses and found(ling)s of parents and children give it even a fairytale air. It salvages the book to an extent.

And I mean, I think Kingsolver is far enough away in time that the cracks are showing but not yet far enough that we can say "well, things were different then." If this book had been written in the seventies, even, I wouldna batted an eye. She's all right. ( )
3 vote MeditationesMartini | Mar 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
Barbara Kingsolver can write. On any page of this accomplished first novel, you can find a striking image or fine dialogue or a telling bit of drama.
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Kingsolverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Critt, C.J.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Desimini, LisaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noli, SuzanneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pearce, SusanAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Annie and Joe
For Ismene, and all the mothers who have lost her (10th Anniversary Edition)
First words
I have been afraid of putting air in a tire ever since I saw a tractor tire blow up and throw Newt Hardbines's father over the top of the Standard Oil sign.
Quotations
I mean, we've got to live in the exact same world every damn day of the week, don't we?
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Meet Taylor Greet. Clear-eyed and spirited, she grew up poor in rural Kentucky with two goals: to avoid pregnancy and to get away. She succeeds on both counts when she buys a 55 Volkswagen and heads west. But by the time our plucky if unlikely heroine pulls up on the outskirts of Tucson, Arizona, at an auto repair shop called Jesus is Lord Used Tires that also happens to be a sanctuary for Central American refugees, she's "inherited" a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle. What follows - as Taylor meets the human condition head-on - is at theheart of this memorable novel about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.

(0-06-091554-4)
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061097314, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

Available for the first time in mass-market, this edition of Barbara Kingsolver's bestselling novel, The Bean Trees, will be in stores everywhere in September. With two different but equally handsome covers, this book is a fine addition to your Kingsolver library.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:57 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Taylor, a poor Kentuckian, makes her way west with an abandoned baby girl and stops in Tucson. There, she finds friends and discovers resources in apparently empty places.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
593 avail.
92 wanted
3 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.94)
0.5 1
1 17
1.5 6
2 81
2.5 18
3 405
3.5 100
4 850
4.5 82
5 538

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,495,578 books! | Top bar: Always visible