UHS Honors English 9 P2 2017 discussion

The Bean Trees (Greer Family, #1)
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Book Review: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

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message 1: by Liam (new)

Liam Munro | 7 comments Book Review of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
The book The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver is a fast paced story of a young girl from Kentucky who seeks more out of her life and journeys in her mangled car across the country where she resides in Tucson, Arizona. Over the course of the story, there are introductions to many characters, each with their own detailed backstories and relationships. In the first few chapters, it shifts from the story of the main character Taylor, and Lou Ann, a woman living in Tucson, who recently gave birth to her son. Along with the journey, Taylor is given a young Cherokee girl in the parking lot of a cafe, who she later names Turtle. In Tucson, Taylor struggles to find a suitable job and ends up residing with Lou Ann, who she gets along very well with. Along with the common theme of raising young kids, many themes surface in the book including domestic violence, the unfair treatment of migrants, and teenage pregnancy. These issues are all addressed as the story unfolds, and shows how people struggle with things no matter what part of the country they are in, even though they may be different struggles.
The author writes in a way that makes the book easy to read, and uses a tone that makes you really connect to the characters. The characters with the largest roles, Lou Ann and Taylor, are both portrayed as being very down to earth and normal, as shown in Taylor’s quote “I’m just a plain hillbilly from East Jesus Nowhere with this adopted child everybody keeps on telling me is dumb as a box of rocks.” There is also a running reference throughout the book to birds, comparing a local garage where migrants stay to a bird sanctuary, and a family of quail to a family Taylor is longing to have. I especially liked this book because it showed a very meaningful story, in the backdrop of a city I know very well. It impacted me because it was so rich with details that make you think, and it is one of those books that you can read many times and find new meanings every time. The melancholy story brings a message that you can achieve what you want, but you have to go through the struggle to get there. I really recommend this book and encourage everyone to experience this great story and the author’s skill for writing.


message 2: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Baker | 8 comments Wonderful thoughts, sounds like an interesting piece. I absolutely can’t imagine literature with a character named Turtle, but you have me sold on originality. I appreciate the politics you’ve pointed out in the book, that tends to make characters named things like Turtle all the more interesting. The book sounds excellent, and I could definitely see myself reading it. The only familiarity may be the scenery however!


message 3: by Bridget (new)

Bridget Mitchell | 8 comments This sounds like a very interesting book. I don't think I've ever read a book that takes place here, which would be interesting. Reading something about a place where you live has a very surreal feeling almost, because the author knows the place, but not in the same way that a person living there would. It sounds like the introduction of characters from two very different backgrounds is a big idea in the story. The fact that the two characters were able to live together despite the differences in their upbringing and throughout their entire lives sounds interesting. The introduction of a character named turtle is intriguing, to say the least, but it sounds like a game changer in the way that the newcomer lives her life. The book sounds really good, and I would definitely consider reading it sometime soon!


message 4: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Todd (Alwayswatching) | 8 comments This sounds like an interesting book. I can always appreciate a book that gives good backstory on its characters. This also got me interested when you mentioned that she found a young Cherokee girl, that she named Turtle. I appreciate that you pointed out the reference to birds too. I might end up reading this book eventually, because it sounds like it may be interesting.


message 5: by Katie (new)

Katie Capron | 4 comments The way you described the book instantly made my want to pick it up and read it. From your description, the author hit so many key points that so many people can either relate to, or are things that people should be more aware of. The story may be very interesting, and may entertain people, but it also sounds like it has a larger, deeper meaning that many people could take to heart, which I feel more books need to have. All in all, this sounds like a book that I genuinely want to read.


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