The Bean Trees is the first book I read by Barbara Kingsolver, and I was pleased to reread it recently for my book group. There were things I missed the first time (or had forgotten), and the conversation we had was very rich.
I had always thought of Taylor as the ultimate no-nonsense, competent person who can cope with anything. But as we discussed the book, I realized she isn’t really much good at coping until she’s had time to retreat from the crisis and then return to it. Discovering a new angle on a character is one of the joys both of rereading and of discussing books.