The Bean Trees This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It's the 1980's. A young womantravels from Kentucky to Arizona in an old VW that requires the driver to take arunning start to make it budge. Halfway through her trip, she finds herself aninstant mother of an infant who is thrust into her arms at a bar. She changes hername and sends a postcard to tell her mother. In Arizona, she works at a burgerjoint and encounters illegal immigrants and a blind woman.

Marietta, whodecides to be known as Taylor, does all this and more in Kingsolver's compellingtale of self-discovery and independence. Her life begins anew, as she wanted,since she now must mother the abused, mute infant she affectionately namesTurtle. She also befriends the owner of a tire shop and bonds with another singlemother.

Taylor must face head-on the role of mother and of friend. Afteryears of feeling isolated, she suddenly has a sense of belonging. She mustadjust, which is quite a challenge since she admits she never thought the worldcould be so unjust as it is and "if the truth was a snake it would havebitten [her] a long time ago."

Kingsolver brings her characters tolife with vivid descriptions and alarming imagery. Taylor, who narrates thestory, tells her tale in a lively Kentucky dialect, which adds incredible depthand reality to the novel. Interwoven elements of Greek tragedy, includingTaylor's eventual catharsis, really add. There are situations that opened my eyesto historical events I never understood, including the Central Americanimmigration and the differences between various regions of the UnitedStates.

I highly recommend Kingsolver's novel, and am happy to have hadthe pleasure of reading it. Taylor provides a wonderful vehicle to conveyinspirational messages of hope, understanding and love. The book is anextraordinary tale of common occurrences brought to life by a gifted author.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Sunset_on_tomorrow said...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm
Careful to seperate your words! I almost couldn't read the piece because the words were so close together.
 
BlabberingBill said...
Apr. 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm
Worst Book I have ever read!
 
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