Customer Reviews for

The Bean Trees: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 316 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(151)

4 Star

(101)

3 Star

(39)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(14)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

28 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

The Bean Trees

I admit, I am no great fan of modern American literature. Apart from Ernest Hemingway, Philip Roth, and Raymond Carver, I hardly touch the stuff. I prefer a foreign setting, not to mention a different genre. And with that bias, I approached Barbara Kingsolver at long la...
I admit, I am no great fan of modern American literature. Apart from Ernest Hemingway, Philip Roth, and Raymond Carver, I hardly touch the stuff. I prefer a foreign setting, not to mention a different genre. And with that bias, I approached Barbara Kingsolver at long last, and found The Bean Trees to be remarkably compelling. The story of Taylor Greer, on a journey across the country, heading nowhere in particular, simply seeking to escape her dreary life. Only to be handed a life she could not have expected when a baby is thrust into her car and left in her care. Kingsolver has created characters who seem quite far from me, lives and experiences distinct from my own. Yet somehow she manages to make me care about these people. She can weave a tale around a superficially simplistic setting, a deceptively banal event - and inject it with such meaning, such feeling. Cheers to you, Ms. Kingsolver. I look forward to reading more of your works.

posted by GeorgeEllington on November 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

A Waste of Time

Unfortunately, this book was required reading for my freshman year English class. At that time, I was interested in classics, and books with great lessons and symbols for everyday life. After reading and enjoying many books with boring names I was actually excited to re...
Unfortunately, this book was required reading for my freshman year English class. At that time, I was interested in classics, and books with great lessons and symbols for everyday life. After reading and enjoying many books with boring names I was actually excited to read The Bean Trees. Having read To Kill a Mockingbird multiple times, I was looking for another great book. When I rented The Bean Trees from the library, I started reading immediately, looking for symbols and lessons comprable to To Kill a Mockingbird. What I got was a pointless story where the greatest conflicts include choosing to have an affair with a man, and getting papers for a little girl. The only lessons this book teaches you are that euthanasia should be used, abortion should be used, and that Child Services is evil. Seriously, if you are an average Conservative, do not read this book, unless you are unfortunate enough to be assigned it.

posted by Anonymous on January 10, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    C

    Ahahha

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    The kit

    She squeks. "But what about my mouther and brouthers!!!"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    A good story; compelling to the end.

    It was well written. It is a compelling narrative about life in this day and age. I especially liked the characters of Turtle and her adopted mother. What a hero she is--both of them. This story made me happy I chose a more stable lifestyle; one husband, two sons who grew up to be successful individuals in all phases of their lives. I get the feeling while reading this book that this is what the two women were striving for also so that their kids could be happy, healthy individuals also even in a different type of environment.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A slow read

    Kept with this book hoping it would become more interesting. IT did not. Basically its a journey of a young womens life and all the trials and crazy things she goes through. Fell asleep a few times while reading it so it really needed something to liven it up.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2008

    Critical Review: The Bean Trees

    The Bean Trees is a novel that takes place across America from Kentucky, to Oklahoma, to Arizona. I rated this book 2 stars out of 5 because it was not until very close to the end that I was finally able to distinguish the points and morals of the novel.<BR/> Before I reached the resolution of the book, I felt that I was reading literature that lacked a purpose entirely. The main character, Taylor, was travelling across America with a Cherokee baby she¿d been stuck with. The baby hardly ever talked even as she grew into a toddler. Taylor was young and immature, yet she wasn¿t attempting to get rid of the baby, who she called Turtle. In my opinion, the first three quarters of the book focused on short, insignificant events including characters that were never truly developed. Though a select few were developed in depth, I found it confusing to have other unimportant characters floating in and out of the plot.<BR/> It wasn¿t until I¿d finished the novel that I was able to see the major theme of maturity that had gradually come about. Over time, Taylor began to care for Turtle as if she were her very own. She slowly matured and learned about herself, and eventually succeeded in taking full custody of Turtle. Though this is an obvious theme by the end of the book, it is not apparent throughout the main portions leading up to the resolution. The other major theme developed was the fact that an extreme attempt to avoid something often leads someone right to it. This is seen when Taylor specifically leaves Kentucky to avoid becoming a pregnant drop-out, but then ends up having to care for a baby anyway.<BR/> The Bean Trees is a novel that is probably most attractive to a very specific audience. Because there is no exciting climax or significantly eventful scenes, the novel can easily come across as bland or boring. Those who look for a slow, gradual maturity of a person throughout a book would enjoy this novel. The conflicts are mostly mental and internal struggles of the characters, so the book may be enjoyable for those looking for a more emotional, slow-moving story line.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2002

    Not as good as I had expected

    The story just didn't have much depth and I felt the ending was very typical.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2000

    The Bean Trees is pretty boring

    The Bean Trees developed a little too slow for my tastes, but it is pretty well written. The themes are interesting. Some themes are child abuse, illegal immigration, life in other countries, motherhood... The book gives you a lot to think about, and if you can handle reading a less interesting book, you should read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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