Sunday, November 9, 2014

Book Review: The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver

The Bean TreesThe Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver
★★★★★ and a ♥

Synopsis: Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places
In A Sentence: A wonderful and heartwarming story that even someone in middle school could enjoy

Why I Love This Book: I first read this book in 8th grade Honors English. It was required reading, which normally means that it's supposed to be a good story, but because it's been forced on you, you're supposed to hate it. I, however, was one of those weirdo kids who absolutely loved it! 12 years later I still love it, perhaps even more so! This was the first Kingsolver book I ever read, and I think it's one of the best examples of her writing style. The writing is pretty straightforward and has a bit of a no-nonsense feel to it, but there's a lot of hidden symbolism and ironies or bits of humor that crop up when you really pay attention. The story is bittersweet, with just the right mixture of happiness and tragedy, so you finish the book feeling as though you've read something deep and profound, but not depressed. The pace of this book was also just right, not too fast or jumpy, but not too slow either; there was always something interesting happening in each and every chapter, so you're never bored (at least I wasn't).
What Some May Not Like So Much: honestly I don't have anything all that bad to say. When I was a kid, I didn't feel completely satisfied with all the information the book had to give me. Back then I felt like there were many unanswered questions, particularly when it came to the part where (view spoiler). This time, however, I was completely satisfied, and I think that it's because I'm older now, with considerably more experience and understanding, so things that didn't make sense before make total sense now. The book's just fine the way it is, and if you disagree, too bad.
In A Nutshell: I love this book and I think it absolutely deserves it's position as required school reading. If you read this as a kid and didn't like it, read it again! I swear it was even better the second time around, especially because I was reading the book from an adult's perspective. It's a wonderfully written, heartfelt story, and I strongly recommend it.</["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]>

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