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Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
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Bean Trees (original 1988; edition 2001)

by Barbara Kingsolver

Series: Turtle (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,553139457 (3.94)343
Member:HelenBaker
Title:Bean Trees
Authors:Barbara Kingsolver
Info:Abacus (2001), Paperback, 232 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:****1/2
Tags:American Fiction

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The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (1988)

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» See also 343 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
What a fun story - I will never forget Taylor and Turtle and the car, but I can't remember much about this story except that was a lot of fun to read. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
I really needed a light and funny read after some of the heavy and gothic books I have been reading. This fit the bill perfectly. I had read this book so many years ago that I can't remember when, so it was like reading a fresh story for me.

The first sentence sets the tone for this novel perfectly: "I have been afraid of putting air in a tire ever since I saw a tractor tire blow up and throw Newt Hardbine's father over the top of the Standard Oil sign." How can you not fall totally in love with a book with an opening like that? The characters are sassy, down-to-earth, eccentric, and very, very real. While this one probably won't change your life, it will tug at your heart strings and make you laugh. It should also make you run to another Kingsolver book!

Recommended. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
When Taylor Greer leaves her home in small-town Kentucky, she has no idea where she's going. She ultimately ends up in Tucson, Arizona, after a short stop in Oklahoma where she is given a young Native American girl she names Turtle. Somehow, Taylor manages to create a life for herself and Turtle through the help of their new friends. In the process, Taylor learns how unfair the world is, how horribly human beings can treat each other, and how sheltered her life in Kentucky was.

This book was good, but I didn't enjoy reading it. The problem was that there was just too much material that was really dark and not enough lighter moments to keep me from getting depressed. I think this might be because Kingsolver was a bit too ambitious in trying to cover too many serious world problems in one short novel. Unlike The Poisonwood Bible, which I couldn't put down, I had to keep putting The Bean Trees down to get a break. Again, it wasn't a bad book, it was just hard to read. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
Taylor Greer leaves her small Kentucky town. When her car breaks down in Oklahoma a woman gives Taylor a child and tells her to keep the toddler. Taylor eventually ends up in Arizona with the child who she names Turtle. Primarily the story of how Taylor comes to terms with being a mother and learns more about the world. The book got a bit heavy handed at times, especially when dealing with the fate of refugees and the strength of women. I did love most of the characters, especially Turtle. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver
★★★★★ and a ♥

Synopsis: 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
In A Sentence: A wonderful and heartwarming story that even someone in middle school could enjoy
Why I Love This Book: I first read this book in 8th grade Honors English. It was required reading, which normally means that it's supposed to be a good story, but because it's been forced on you, you're supposed to hate it. I, however, was one of those weirdo kids who absolutely loved it! 12 years later I still love it, perhaps even more so! This was the first Kingsolver book I ever read, and I think it's one of the best examples of her writing style. The writing is pretty straightforward and has a bit of a no-nonsense feel to it, but there's a lot of hidden symbolism and ironies or bits of humor that crop up when you really pay attention. The story is bittersweet, with just the right mixture of happiness and tragedy, so you finish the book feeling as though you've read something deep and profound, but not depressed. The pace of this book was also just right, not too fast or jumpy, but not too slow either; there was always something interesting happening in each and every chapter, so you're never bored (at least I wasn't).
What Some May Not Like So Much: honestly I don't have anything all that bad to say. When I was a kid, I didn't feel completely satisfied with all the information the book had to give me. Back then I felt like there were many unanswered questions, particularly when it came to the part where Turtle gets attacked in the park, but you never find out who the attacker was. . This time, however, I was completely satisfied, and I think that it's because I'm older now, with considerably more experience and understanding, so things that didn't make sense before make total sense now. The book's just fine the way it is, and if you disagree, too bad.
In A Nutshell: I love this book and I think it absolutely deserves it's position as required school reading. If you read this as a kid and didn't like it, read it again! I swear it was even better the second time around, especially because I was reading the book from an adult's perspective. It's a wonderfully written, heartfelt story, and I strongly recommend it. ( )
  Spirolim | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 139 (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 (11 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
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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?
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:52 -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

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