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 of putting down roots.
Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.
©1988 Barbara Kingsolver; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
I wish Barbara Kingsolver would re-record this book in her own voice. Although C. J. Critt is great for Janet Evanovich books and many others, she just doesn't fit with this story. The main character is supposed to be in her 20's, and her roommate and the rest of her relatives are supposed to be from the south. Why does Ms. Critt insist on reading them with a Minnesota Accent? And there are these super long pauses at the chapter breaks. Sorry to be so negative, I just adore Ms. Kingsolver's writing and have listened to every unabridged book of hers Audible has to offer, and I just don't think I can finish this one. And one more thing Audible...quit bothering with abridged novels (many of Barbara Kingsolver's audio books on Audible are unfortunately...abridged.) I would never waste a credit on an abridged book!
I have long been a fan of the story of Taylor and Turtle Greer and their search for family (this book and Pigs In Heaven, the sequel). I read these in hard copy when I was living abroad, and they made me so nostalgic for home that I cried. They may not be as grand and sweeping a tale as The Poisonwood Bible, but they feel true and real in a tangible way. Taylor is matter of fact, practical, insecure, and wryly funny. I feel a deep connection to her. I thought CJ Critt's narration was perfect for Taylor (despite the lack of a Southern accent) as her tone is perfectly humble, heartfelt, and sarcastic. These books are a great coming of age story and I'll re-listen many more times in my life.
The Bean Trees is a fantastic book covering a journey in life as well as over land in a car. An amazing read.
How the main character Taylor shares her feelings and thoughts, letting me both feel connected to her and to learn a new perspective.
Her accent and voice
Something about a journey and accepting what comes to you
Barbara Kingsolver writes uniquely, always close to nature and with a very open relationship, straight forward to people and to what it means being human.
Say something about yourself!
I read this years ago and loved it Now my daughter is reading it in school so I decided to take a listen. I am so glad I did. As a "real" adult with daughters this adds a different perspective with much more depth. I enjoyed this all over again, for some of the same reasons, and some new ones.
If you chose The Bean Trees based on the lyrical prose and compelling characters of Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible or Prodigal Summer, you'll feel at some point that you've been tricked. The Bean Trees is nothing like those.
About 2 hours into this book, I began to feel like I was on a pony tethered to a centerpost; I was definitely on a ride, but my pony wasn't going anywhere. I persisted for another hour or so but have finally abandoned it. 2 stars for effort and 1 star for loyalty.
I enjoyed this book. I like C.J. Critt as a narrator. You can pick up some of Ms. Kingsolver's themes, such as the importance of gardening and how cruel and hypocritical the world often is, in the book.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
I tried, I really did. There was no getting past the narrator's gasping breaths between every sentence; the ungodly long pauses between paragraphs ( and even longer ones between chapters.) I tried to stick with it but after two+ hours, I gave it up. The story wasn't particularly engaging and that, combined with the dreadful narration was just too much to bare. Do authors have a say in who performs their books? I can't believe Barbara Kingsolver would approve of this awful production.
The reader was so annoying that I couldn't get past the first hour. Her older voice was too sarcastic and inappropriate for the young people's story. The story itself didn't inspire me to read it on my own. Kingsolver has disappointed me.
I first listened to the Poisonwood Bible and was gripped from the beginning by the story and the wonderful narration. Then I listened to Prodigal Summer, and though it was completely different, I was engrossed from the start, though it took me a bit to get used to Ms Kingsolver's narration, once I did I found I liked her reading very much.
So I looked forward with great anticipation to listen to the Bean Trees. The first hour was pretty interesting, in spite of the narration, which I found grating and monotonous, and the accents were all wrong. After being bored for the next 3 or 4 hours, I took a look at the reviews here. I guess I didn't read them before I bought the book, and maybe a couple were posted after my purchase, but I have to agree with all the negative comments. Even with better narration, I think I would have stopped. It just stopped being interesting. As others have said, it just doesn't seem to go anywhere, and the characters are pretty boring.
I first read The Bean Trees in 1988, shortly after I moved away home, so at that time I had something in common with Taylor, the main character. I picked it up on Audible recently, remembering that I'd liked it but not recalling much of the plot. I really enjoyed listening to it and came to care about the characters all over again. Highly recommended.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.