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Pigs in Heaven

(Greer Family #2)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  56,453 ratings  ·  2,125 reviews
Mother and adopted daughter, Taylor and Turtle Greer, are back in this spellbinding sequel about family, heartbreak and love.

Six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam during a tour of the Grand Canyon with her guardian, Taylor. Her insistence on what she has seen, and her mother's belief in her, lead to a man's dramatic rescue. The mother and a
Paperback, 343 pages
Published 1994 by Faber and Faber (first published 1993)
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Mindi I definitely think reading the first would be best, but I think the author explains things enough that you could probably keep up without too much con…moreI definitely think reading the first would be best, but I think the author explains things enough that you could probably keep up without too much confusion. I just think that you'll miss out on the depth of some aspects. Both books are good, but Bean Trees is better. I recommend reading it first, in order to make Pigs in Heaven more worthwhile.
Also, they're both pretty quick reads. Kingsolver is a great author.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Alix This confused me, too. I don't think it was explained.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cindy Ross-Katz, Marlene Dean
The funniest part about my adoration of Barbara Kingsolver is that my favorite book of hers is not The Poisonwood Bible. In fact, of the three books of hers I have read now, that is probably my least favorite. Prodigal Summer still probably ranks as my favorite, followed very closely by this one, Pigs in Heaven. My biggest disappointment upon finishing this novel occurred when I went back to the library to find another Kingsolver book and discovered that the only one they had was actually a preq ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it

The story of a Cherokee child's adoptive mother's struggles to keep her daughter when the Nation wants the girl back.

No real villains here except the conflicting needs of multiple characters and for the sad but resourceful history. Also a vehicle to explore the Native American culture in contrast to and as a component of American culture.

Students of history can see similarities between the Cherokee and Scotch/Irish who ironically and tragically supplanted them in the Appalachians. La
Nicole R
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
I just couldn't get into this continuation of Taylor and Turtle's story despite how much I loved meeting them in The Bean Trees. Pigs in Heaven catches up with the ladies three years after the close of the last book. They are happy and living in Tuscon but when they take a trip to Hoover Dam their lives change. The Cherokee Nation learns of Taylor's not-quite-legal adoption of Turtle and cites the Indian Child Welfare Act to request her be returned to the tribe, sending Taylor into a panic. Tayl ...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
I have a theory about the genesis of this novel. By the time she wrote her first novel, the beloved The Bean Trees, it’s clear that Kingsolver was already deeply invested in social justice issues. But she missed one when her protagonist, a young woman named Taylor, traveled through Cherokee tribal lands in Oklahoma just long enough to unwittingly rescue a battered native toddler dumped on her by a frightened aunt. And when Taylor returned, with the best of intentions, it was to fraudulently adop ...more
Aug 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
I'm not sure what to think of this continuation of The Bean Trees. I have loved most of Barbara Kingsolver's books but I wasn't so crazy about this one. I still love her style of writing and I think that is the only thing that kept me moving through the book. The big downfall is that I didn't care for the The Bean Trees, the main character, Taylor, finds a three year old American Indian child in her car as she is driving cross country. She ends up adopting the little girl. In Pigs In ...more
Renee Porter
Jun 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
PIGS IN HEAVEN is the sequel to Barbara Kingsolver's book THE BEAN TREES. The novel continues the story of the Cherokee child named "Turtle" and her adoptive mother Taylor Greer. In this sequel, we find Turtle and Taylor living together in Tucson along with Taylor's boyfriend, a life that is not quite what would be called the most perfect of environments. They live in poverty, barely making ends meet. Although Taylor does her best, her income is limited, but she gives Turtle a lot of love, and a ...more
Dec 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, fiction
After my intense experience with The Bean Trees, there was no question that I would follow up with Pigs In Heaven as quickly as the library could deliver it to me. The audiobook is read by C J Crit, the same person who read The Bean Trees audiobook. That continuity was nice - it really felt like volumes one and two of the Taylor & Turtle chronicles. While I was relieved to have more of Turtle's story, and feel some kind of resolution of their family's story, I can readily admit that I preferred ...more
Heidi Schmidt
Jan 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of Barbara Kingsolver. As usual, this is many intertwined stories in one. This centers on the question of what defines a family? A horribly abused and orphaned Cherokee child is given to a stranger passing through a parking lot, and years later, the adoption is called into question. The Cherokee Nation must approve all adoptions of Cherokee children to non-Cherokee parents. So who's right? The adoptive mother who has loved and healed this child, or the nation that understands her h ...more
Dec 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
A sequel to The Bean Trees and I actually liked it better which is rare for me. The story centers around Taylor's illegal adoption of Turtle and the Cherokee nations attempt to get Turtle back. It studies the question of "best for the individual" vs "best for the group" and acknowledges both sides of the problem. The characters are very well written and developed. Barbara Kingsolver really takes you into the heart of her story. I also liked the exploration of what makes a family and how people n ...more
Em Lost In Books
Jun 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Em Lost In Books by: Em*bedded-in-books*
When I started reading this book I have no clue about the story is (blurb didn't help much). I thought it was my fault as I was reading the second book without reading book 1. So within first two chapters I thought I was reading a mystery but since the mystery was solved by the third chapter, I was clueless again about the direction of the story. But it was a recommendation so my friend asked me to have faith, hence I kept reading.

So the story is about a Cherokee child, Turtle, who became famou
As a diligent reader of The Bean Trees, I still love the profound characters in the book, but was sorely disappointed with the idiotic choices made by one of the main characters. Taylor Greer’s suitable decision making capabilities seemed to disintegrate at a record eating pace. She broadcasts nationwide via the Oprah Show that her adopted Cherokee daughter (Turtle) was abandoned in her car. Legally it’s documented that Turtle’s birth parents willingly gave her to Taylor, so should we be at all ...more
This is the sequel to the wonderful novel, The Bean Trees. For some strange reason, the books do not label each other as sequels, but the so very much are.

Basic Summary: This picks up 3 years after the conclusion of The Bean Trees, when Turtle (who was thrust upon Taylor at a bar on the side of the road in Oklahoma) has fully settled into life with her Non-Indian mother in Arizona. Everything changes for them after Turtle is the only witness to a man falling down a spillway at Hoover Dam; an ev
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to this sequel to The Bean Trees, which I quite liked. Taylor and her adopted Cherokee daughter Turtle are back, three years later. They got their 15 minutes of fame when 6-year-old Turtle witnessed an accident, saved somebody, and went on Oprah to talk about it. Unfortunately, a lawyer from the Cherokee Nation saw Turtle on Oprah and threatened to disrupt Taylor and Turtle's happy life together.

I was so disappointed. The entire purpose of this book is to drive home The Poi
Susan Stuber
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I am just floored about how good Kingsolver's early books are. The sassiness just oozes out so naturally, it is breathtaking. This is a woman on a mission, but she is cracking jokes the whole way. Very surprised at how different the mood is from her later books, which heretofore were the only ones I was familiar with. Pigs in Heaven definitely deserves a star more than Poisonwood Bible or Flight Behavior, therefore I am going back to take a star off those two, even though I was very impressed at ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've loved watching Kingsolver's work evolve, though I certainly haven't read her in chronological order. I read Poisonwood, then Prodigal Summer, then her year of local eating before stumbling on Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven. This sequel to The Bean Trees lives up to the original, maintaining a good, interesting pace, including some beautiful and poignant turns of phrase, and involving characters I recognize or want to know because they feel so real. From the beginning, Kingsolver has been a m ...more
Pigs in Heaven
By Barbara Kingsolver
4 stars
pp. 436.

I read Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible many years ago, before it became an Oprah book and I loved it. I loved her use of varying points of view and the voice of the children of the family and her description of life in the Congo. So, I purchased Pigs in Heaven and let it languish on my shelves for so many years that the pages turned yellow and it acquired that musty book smell that I adore. I am sure I would have let it languish there a few more y
Jeanette (Again)
May 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
The sequel to The Bean Trees. The story starts three years later, and you get to find out what ultimately happens to Taylor and Turtle and Taylor's mother Alice. A little longer and more complicated than The Bean Trees, but just as enjoyable to read. I love all the interesting, unique characters and the way she weaves all of their lives together.
I'm a contemporary woman, devoted to the single life, but I just might consider marrying a man who would do that to his television for me! :)
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-western
If you're a fan of The Bean Trees, then you should definitely read this one. Is what I want to say, but I should add a disclaimer. Some suspension of disbelief (convoluted plot devices) was required and some readers won't be happy with the "discrimination" in the books (Cherokee good, white bad).

I personally had no problem with some plot contrivances to get the story going (witnessing a fall, get called by Oprah). I also liked how the author fleshed Taylor's character. While The Bean Trees port
Mar 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was the first Barbara Kingsolver I ever read. I had never heard of her, and I was 14, when the public library was having a discard sale. I liked the description on the back, so I picked it up. Maybe this started my love of Kingsolver... there's a good chance that's true. I think what really drew me in at that point was the story of a mother and a child who were trying to find themselves - and felt somewhat lost. I think I was feeling that way when I was 14 - I think most people feel lost wh ...more
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is only my second encounter with Kingsolver's works and while I enjoyed the characters and especially her flair for dialogue, the storyline was a little bit predictable which in the end led to only two stars. It was only after I finished this novel that I learned that this book is a sequel so I missed out on the backstory. Taylor is a young woman living in Tuscon with her adopted Cherokee daughter Turtle and boyfriend Jax. While on vacation, Turtle sees an accident and is instrumental in ge ...more
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Wow! What a gem! This early Kingsolver displays a literary prowess virtually unmatched by any other living author. The story, of a woman fighting to keep her illegally adopted daughter and the efforts of a native American lawyer to reintegrate a lost member of her tribe, is heart-wrenching and beautifully written. The language and the descriptions not only carry one into this story, but also paint word pictures that are breathtakingly beautiful. Ms. Kingsolver has long been a favorite, and only ...more
Nicholas Whyte
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it

This is a sequel to The Bean Trees, which I very much enjoyed last year. I enjoyed this as well; the previous book ends with a dodgy adoption ceremony, which Pigs in Heaven then needs to resolve between Tennessee and Oklahoma. It's a nice, quirky journey to get there, and although the happy ending is maybe a little too convenient, it put me in a good mood so I was prepared to be forgiving.
Kristin Lenz
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More masterful narration by Kingsolver - so glad I continued reading Turtle and Taylor's story after The Bean Trees. The description makes it sound like it could be a bit sensationalistic with the appearance on the Oprah show, but it's not at all. Heartwarming, honest, and still so relevant.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: literary, fiction
As a huge fan of The Bean Trees, this book was...disappointing.

Personally, I didn't think The Bean Trees needed a sequel, but when I saw that it had one, I picked it up. I love Kingsolver's writing, and I liked Taylor and Turtle a lot, but to me, this added nothing to their story, and was almost too melodramatic. Usually, Kingsolver's writing is subtle, brilliant, and beautiful, but this book came across as trying too hard to be poetic and emotional.

I couldn't relate to the new characters at al
Victor Carson
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read most of Barbara Kingsolver’s novels, including her most recent, Flight Behavior, and the beginnings of the Taylor Greer story, contained in the novel The Bean Trees. I always like the author’s easy, unpretentious, humorous style, which does not at all conceal her artistic flair for poetic images and her common-sense understanding of human beings – good and bad. Pigs in Heaven continues the story in which Taylor Greer became a “foster mother” to a three year-old Cherokee Indian girl, ...more
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All
Collecting thoughts and ruminating as of now .

My impressions:
The audio book was gifted to me, and I casually started it one day without referring to the blurb, or even knowing what it is about. The melodious narration sucked me into the story. I started picturing the characters and happenings in my head, and was soon sucked into the vortex.
This is actually book 2, but not reading book 1 hasn't been a deterrent as it can be read as a standalone too.
The setting is Heaven, Oklahoma.
Heaven indeed s
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the sequel to The Bean Trees, but it stands alone. The story concerns a cherokee child being raised outside her tribe after being given away. All the characters are portrayed with great sympathy and are entirely believeable. The conflict centres around whether Turtle (the child) is better off with her adopted mother; whom she adores or with her tribe and heritage. The story is so well written that both sides arguments are plausible and passionately argued. The resolution is satisfying an ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not really a review. Just a few comments on why I’m closing the book for now incomplete. I have in past enjoyed this authors writing style. I’ve enjoyed the previous books I’ve read immensely. This book I could tell from the beginning was different. I tried. I pushed. In the end it couldn’t keep my attention and I’m putting it down on page 170. The characters kind of jumped around. New ones were introduced. New situations constantly popped up. I had no idea what was the plot or point. In ...more
Apr 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
Not her again...why have I tortured my self with so many Barbara Kingsolver books?
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books-print
I loved this sequel to The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. A terrific follow up story to let readers who loved the characters in the first book know what happened next. ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Greer Family (2 books)
  • The Bean Trees (Greer Family, #1)

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