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The Bean Trees (Greer Family #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  117,116 Ratings  ·  5,398 Reviews
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 Turt ...more
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Published May 19th 2009 by HarperAudio (first published 1988)
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Joan The Bean Trees reminded me of Anne Tyler's novels. Quirky characters and situations. Loved them all!
Melissaj Just being a decent person is good enough to get through life. It won't always be wonderful or happy but other decent people will help you through no…moreJust being a decent person is good enough to get through life. It won't always be wonderful or happy but other decent people will help you through no matter where you find yourself.(less)
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Larissa
My stepmother was the type of woman who painted the walls in our house eighteen different colors and wore turquoise-encrusted Kokopelli jewelry to show how in tune she was with the local culture. She hung Frida Khalo prints on the bedroom walls and thought that speaking ‘Food Spanish’ to waiters made her nearly fluent. She also compelled my sister and me to read a lot of Tony Hillerman paperbacks and other ‘local literature,’ which I am now almost positive included The Bean Trees. Because after ...more
Erika
Jun 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marietta Greer has just completed two miracles of her rural Kentucky upbringing: graduating high school and avoiding pregnancy. To celebrate, she jumps in her ’55 Volkswagen bug and rides West, leaving her job at a Kentucky hospital counting platelets to stay true to her plan “to drive out of Pittman County one day and never look back” (11). On the road, she changes her name to Taylor and finds herself in Tucson, Arizona with a broken down car and a Cherokee baby in her arms.

Taylor is an honest,
...more
Siria
I quite liked this, though it's obvious that this was Kingsolver's first novel. The main character, Taylor, is unevenly developed--she's too mutable, changing to fit what Kingsolver wants to say or how she wants to say it at various points in the book--and many of the other characters are types, not people, however finely observed. The plotline involving the refugees from Guatemala in particular was a little too anvilicious. And while it's set very definitely in the American South, the novel did ...more
Natalie
Jul 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, this book really did a number on me. It was recommended to me from a friend, so my expectations were high, but after the first few chapters I was was not getting into it. The narrator's first-person voice was simple, non-descriptive, and frankly just a bit too naive to handle for an entire novel. But the story was interesting, so I kept going.

And the thing is, so does Taylor, the main character. As she charges her way through a haphazard journey to the Southwest, she begins to g
...more
R. Kitt
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
A girl gets out of her small town, after high school, to start a new life only to be saddled with a random child that was placed in her car. Her life is suddenly taking turns she did not expect.
Stacy
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first read this book several years ago, I was terribly impressed by
1) her writing style, which I really like - I wish I could write like that
2) the interesting plot of a single girl who had avoided teenage pregnancy through her young life only to end up with someone else's baby
3) the relationship she has with her mother, who believes her daughter "hung the moon in the sky" and can absolutely do no wrong. I think it would be wonderful if my daughters came out of their childhoods not pregn
...more
jess
Oct 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, audiobook-d, fiction
"But nothing on this earth is guaranteed, when you get right down to it, you know? I've been thinking about that. About how your kids aren't really YOURS, they're just these people that you try to keep an eye on, and hope you'll all grow up someday to like eachother and still be in one piece. What I mean is, everything you get is really just on loan. Does that make sense?"

"Sure,"I said. "Like library books. Sooner or later they've all got to go back into the nightdrop."



I'm trying to get better a
...more
Laura
Mar 17, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenna
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So many things about this book bugged me.
1. Someone abandons a baby in your car and you don't get ahold of the police.
2. Someone abandons a baby, in your broken down car, you don't have a home or money or a destination in mind, so you decide to adopt baby.
3. You decide to adopt baby, but you spent the next several years being so bewildered by motherhood that you might as well have left baby in the car to be raised by coyotes.
4. Americans in general are directly responsible for the torture of inn
...more
Misse
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. Even more than Poisonwood Bible- which was good in a different way. This book reminds me of Where the Heart Is. It's a quick read- I think you'll like it.
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The Bean Trees 1 4 Oct 20, 2017 09:07AM  
What's in a name? 5 33 Sep 22, 2017 06:43AM  
A mother's sacrifices 5 45 Sep 22, 2017 06:42AM  
Book Recommendation 6 13 Sep 22, 2017 06:30AM  
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Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist, and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in Africa in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in Biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels. Her most famous works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, ...more
More about Barbara Kingsolver...

Other Books in the Series

Greer Family (2 books)
  • Pigs in Heaven
“There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, 'There now, hang on, you'll get over it.' Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.” 2114 likes
“In a world as wrong as this one, all we can do is make things as right as we can.” 183 likes
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