The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

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.

One Reply to “The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver”

  1. The Bean Trees is the first book that I have read by Barbara Kingsolver. I loved it! It grabbed my attention right off the first page and kept me entranced the whole time. One of the most appealing aspects of this book was how easy it was to relate to all the characters, which were so well written in this book.

    Taylor was the protagonist of the story and I was made to feel like I was with her when she found Turtle and moved in with Lou Ann. I really made a personal attachment to her. The Bean Trees spoke to me so much that I found myself applying the things that I read about in the book to my life. I tried to have the same courage and spirit when I was facing a problem or bump in life that Taylor had.

    Another character that really had me holding on to every word of her story was Mattie, the widow who hid refugees in her car garage attic. Right form the first time she appeared in the book I was struck by her compassion and willingness to help others. Having gone through so much in her life already, yet still having the drive to help a young kid and a baby inspired to look were help was needed by those around me and to lend a hand if I could.

    The Bean Trees is a book whose message of friendship, family, compassion and abandonment will stay with me through my many years of reading to come

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