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The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

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Teresa's Reading Corner: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

I picked up The Bean Trees based on a friends rating on GoodReads (Thanks E). I had not read anything by Barbara Kingsolver before this, but had heard fantastic things about her work.

Summary from Goodreads

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.

My Thoughts:

This was a fairly easy and enjoyable read. I spent much of this story thinking about family. What is family? Where do you find it? How many different kinds of family are there? Taylor had a family back in Kentucky, her mother. She thought the world of Taylor and helped her to become somewhat of a success story for a "nutter". When Taylor decides to move on, her mother supports her decision.

When Taylor lands in Arizona she finds her second family with Mattie, Turtle, Lou Ann and Dwayne Ray. The love her and support her just as any family would. The story reinforced that you can have family wherever you are, even if your relatives aren't around.

Taylor grows up a great deal in her travels. Not only does she inherit a child after she spent her high school years avoiding parenthood. She also learns about the world around her. She loses some of her idealism to reality, but gains so much more. She gains a sense of self.

I would definitely recommend this book. It has encouraged me to pick up some additional Kingsolver novels. As a matter of fact, I learned that there is a follow up to The Bean Trees in Pigs in Heaven which I plan on reading soon.



At April 1, 2010 at 8:48 AM , Blogger bermudaonion said...

I loved this book! Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors. Nice review.


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