The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
A Novel

80%

12 Critic Reviews

I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Taylor Greer is smart-mouthed and tough. I would like to be like her.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

The Bean Trees is bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, now widely regarded as a modern classic. It is the charming, engrossing tale of rural Kentucky native Taylor Greer, who only wants to get away from her roots and avoid getting pregnant. She succeeds, but inherits a 3-year-old native-American little girl named Turtle along the way, and together, from Oklahoma to Tucson, Arizona, half-Cherokee Taylor and her charge search for a new life in the West.

Written with humor and pathos, this highly praised novel focuses on love and friendship, abandonment and belonging as Taylor, out of money and seemingly out of options, settles in dusty Tucson and begins working at Jesus Is Lord Used Tires while trying to make a life for herself and Turtle. 

The author of such bestsellers as The Lacuna, The Poinsonwood Bible, and Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver has been hailed for her striking imagery and clear dialogue, and this is the novel that kicked off her remarkable literary career.

This edition includes a P.S. section with additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions for further reading, and more.

 

About Barbara Kingsolver

See more books from this Author
Barbara Kingsolver is the author of seven works of fiction, including the novels The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction such as Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. In 2000, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal, our country's highest honor for service through the arts. She lives with her family on a farm in southern Appalachia.
 
Published January 1, 2001 by HarperTorch. 336 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Bean Trees
All: 12 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Sep 27 2011

A lovely, funny, touching and humane debut, reminiscent of the work of Hilma Wolitzer and Francine Prose.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Dana Huff on Oct 12 2004

I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Taylor Greer is smart-mouthed and tough. I would like to be like her.

Read Full Review of The Bean Trees: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Dana Huff on Oct 12 2004

There’s nothing I can really add to that. The people in this novel are all bean trees. And they’re all rhizobia, too. I really loved the symbolism of that image.

Read Full Review of The Bean Trees: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Dana Schwartz on Mar 28 2013

What follows is Taylor's hilarious and touching tale of instant motherhood and the friends she makes along the way.

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Christian Science Monitor

Above average
Reviewed by Diane Manuel on Jul 25 2010

The scenario has a familiar ring, as does its independent and irreverent '80s heroine. But Kingsolver delivers enough original dialogue and wry one-liners to put this novel on a shelf of its own...

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Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by Pixie Alexander on Nov 19 2010

Fascinating. Barbara Kingsolver's first novel presents a wonderful clarity of storytelling with the exquisite detail of a kaleidoscope.

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Pajiba

Above average
Reviewed by badinage on Aug 13 2010

I think this book was better paced than The Poisonwood Bible which dragged after the first half. It ended strongly, though bittersweet, without relying on clichés. The Bean Trees is also a timely read in the midst of the current immigration debate...

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BellaOnline

Above average
Reviewed by Debra Conrad on Jan 31 2013

This book is full of surprises and adventure. It is also full of thought provoking chapters about family, illegal aliens and their plight and hardship.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Sep 28 2014

I highly recommend Kingsolver's novel, and am happy to have hadthe pleasure of reading it. Taylor provides a wonderful vehicle to conveyinspirational messages of hope, understanding and love.

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Summer Reading Project

Good
Reviewed by Unknown on Apr 17 2010

...what makes it special is the way that it's told. The characters are real; you can really imagine meeting these people in real life.

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The Story Girl

Good
on Dec 20 2010

This book didn't necessarily tie up all the loose ends but it left me with a feeling of contentedness. So basically - you have got to read this book. I hope you fall in love with it like I did.

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The Magic Lasso

Good
Reviewed by mrstreme on Mar 18 2012

Kingsolver published The Bean Trees in 1988, and even at the start of her career, she was a magnificent storyteller. Certainly, like all writers, her craft has evolved, but she’s never lost sight of her values and desire to make a change.

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Malinda Charter 22 Jul 2014

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