What I Read: The Bean Trees

5 Star Daisies

5/5 Daisies

(I’m mixing things up ;))

Bean Trees Cover

ISBN: 9780060915544; 246 pages; Pub. 1988

Oh goodness, a fiver! Who would have thought such a thing would come from the likes of me :)

So first of all, hello, I’m back! After a quick vacation away from my blog I am ready to return to my regular posting and overall dedication to writing twice a week. Which I will actually do in July ;) So if you have anything you want to see me post about, or any book suggestions, I’d love to hear them in the comments below. And please do comment, I would love to hear what you like (or don’t like) and your thoughts on the things I write about.

But I digress- to the review!

The Bean Trees surprised me. I know a little about Kingsolver’s background from studying her in class, so I was nervous this would simply be a retelling of her personal journey to Arizona with a twist (the surprise toddler). But this novel contains so much more. Taylor and Turtle’s story pulls you along from chapter to chapter, and I found myself constantly wanting to know what would happen to the pair next.

Kingsolver is a rich writer. Her prose is nothing less than stunning, and sometimes the English Writing major in me would pause in the middle of a paragraph to just go back and appreciate the language she was producing. For example, here’s a sentence from chapter eight:

“The sun was setting, and most of the west-facing windows on the block reflected a fierce orange light as if the houses were on fire inside.”

And another, chapter 12:

“From time to time nervous white ribbons of lightning jumped between the moutaintops and the clouds.”

I mean, what is that? It reminds me of Fitzgerald in my all-time favorite book, The Great Gatsby. Sentences just pour from each page into your head, sentences that could have been mundane and boring but are in fact breath-taking.

The story Taylor tells through Kingsolver’s words is worthy of the language. After leaving her hometown in Kentucky, Taylor finds herself with a three-year-old girl she dubs Turtle and a whole new family in Tucson, Arizona. As Taylor learns about the world outside rural Kentucky and about the little girl she now calls her own, I learned about people, and became fascinated with this world.


I could go on and on about The Bean Trees, but instead I will encourage you to see for yourself what I’m talking about. Every element to this book works: plot, language, characters, conflict, the whole shebang. Kingsolver has created a novel worthy of re-reading, with a story we should all hear once in a while about how life isn’t always fair, but it’s how we deal with it that matters.
I would definitely call this a must-read, and you can expect to see me start reading The Poisonwood Bible soon.

What do you think of Barbara Kingsolver? If you’ve read The Bean Trees, do you love it as much as I do? Also, let me know what books you’ve been reading this summer!


2 thoughts on “What I Read: The Bean Trees

  1. You have just encouraged me to read a Barbara Kingsolver book. I wasn’t that familiar with this author until now. However, if you are comparing this to Fitzgerald’s, “Gatsby’s”, which is also my favorite book, how can I go wrong?


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