Friday, August 14, 2009

The Bean Trees (a novel)

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver: I bought this book because I loved Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible so much. The Bean Trees was apparently her first novel, published more than twenty years ago.

This is the story of Taylor Greer, a girl who grew up poor in rural Kentucky and when in her early 20s decides to pull up stakes and drive a dilapidated Volkswagon across the country, making the decision to put down roots wherever the Volkswagon finally gives out. She ends up in Arizona, having acquired an abandoned American Indian child along the way. The Indian girl's story is heartbreaking, and Taylor develops attachments to other people with heartbreaking stories in Arizona, but really this is a story about resilience and happy endings. I liked the book more and more the more I read.

I love a book with a cryptic title, one that you go through the book wondering, "Why that title? What does it mean?" And then you come across a single passage, buried in the book, and suddenly the title makes perfect sense. I won't give it away - read it and find out for yourself!

There's already someone who wants this book, so I won't put it up for grabs, but I do recommend it.


  1. I loved this book, too. I read it years ago.

  2. I really liked this book. When i would read it would draw me into it. It was interesting, how everything turned out. Several things that happened through out the book surprised me. I was shocked when esperanza didn't take the baby,but on the other hand i thought about it and for the character that is botrayed from her is caring. So she would be caring for taylor if she did not take the baby even though she really wanted to.