The Bean Trees

A Novel

Kingsolver, Barbara

Paperback - 2001
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Bean Trees
Baker & Taylor
Taylor Greer, a poor Kentucky native, heads west with high hopes, but when she arrives in Tuscon, Arizona, she has acquired a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, in a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging. Reprint.

Barbara Kingsolver's 1988 debut novel is a classic workof American fiction. Now a standard in college literature classes across thenation, and a book that appears in translation across the globe,The BeanTrees is not only a literary masterpiece but a popular triumph—anarrative that readers worldwide have taken into their hearts. TheLos Angeles Times calls The Bean Trees “the work of a visionary. . . . It leaves you open-mouthed and smiling.”

& Taylor

Young, bright Taylor Greer leaves her poverty-stricken life in Kentucky and heads west, picking up an abandoned Native American baby girl whom she names Turtle and finds a new home in Tucson with Mattie, an old woman who takes in Central American refugees

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : HarperTorch, [2001], c1988
ISBN: 0061097314
Branch Call Number: FIC K
Characteristics: 323 p. ; 17 cm.


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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

Aug 20, 2013

"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

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.


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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Jan 24, 2015
  • KCWeimer rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Saddness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer

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

Coarse Language: a bit


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