The Bean Trees

The Bean Trees - Barbara Kingsolver

I picked up a copy of this at a library book sale.


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.


First thoughts: I read The Posionwood Bible quite a few years ago, and remembered that I had enjoyed it and had been wanting to read more Barbara Kingsolver. When I found a copy of this book at a library sale, I picked it up without much knowledge. 


What I liked: I liked the overall story. It seemed familiar, although I had never read this book before and I found that fact somewhat comforting. I liked the cast of characters, though, I thought that they could have been a bit better developed so they had more of a presence. 


What I didn't like. Although I did enjoy this quite a bit, I did feel as though it was uneven. While I was reading this, I learned that this was Kingsolver's first novel and it kind of shows. The elements to a fantastic novel are there, but the execution of those elements is somewhat lacking. Which is okay, but it doesn't make for a book that I want to gush about.