Regular price: $15.96

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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 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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    452
  • 4 Stars
    267
  • 3 Stars
    134
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    21

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    405
  • 4 Stars
    209
  • 3 Stars
    82
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    21

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    410
  • 4 Stars
    200
  • 3 Stars
    98
  • 2 Stars
    29
  • 1 Stars
    18
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

a dear favorite

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I felt invited to her journey from my armchair

Where does The Bean Trees rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The Bean Trees is a fantastic book covering a journey in life as well as over land in a car. An amazing read.

What did you like best about this story?

How the main character Taylor shares her feelings and thoughts, letting me both feel connected to her and to learn a new perspective.

What about C. J. Critt’s performance did you like?

Her accent and voice

If you could rename The Bean Trees, what would you call it?

Something about a journey and accepting what comes to you

Any additional comments?

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy
  • Buckhannon, WV, United States
  • 02-22-12

Barbara, can we have a "re-do?"

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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!

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amy
  • Rexford, NY, United States
  • 11-21-13

2nd time around

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Paula
  • Overland Park, KS USA
  • 07-18-14

Narration Totally Ruins this Mediocre Story

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.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed it

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

I just can't do it

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.

18 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Voice hard to listen to 😞

Great story. Previous Kingsolver books that I listened to were read by the author. She is excellent. Not enjoying listening to this one. Will most likely just read the book on my own😞.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring.

The first Kingsolver book I did not like. Minimal story. Poisonwood Bible, Prodigal Summer and Flight Behaviour were much better, and would recommend all three, especially Poisonwood Bible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Gave it up in the middle.

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful