What I Read: The Bean Trees

5 Star Daisies

5/5 Daisies

(I'm mixing things up ;))

Bean Trees Cover

Oh goodness, a fiver! Who would have thought such a thing would come from the likes of me :)

So first of all, hello, I'm back! After a quick vacation away from my blog I am ready to return to my regular posting and overall dedication to writing twice a week. Which I will actually do in July ;) So if you have anything you want to see me post about, or any book suggestions, I'd love to hear them in the comments below. And please do comment, I would love to hear what you like (or don't like) and your thoughts on the things I write about.

But I digress- to the review!

The Bean Trees surprised me. I know a little about Kingsolver's background from studying her in class, so I was nervous this would simply be a retelling of her personal journey to Arizona with a twist (the surprise toddler). But this novel contains so much more. Taylor and Turtle’s story pulls you along from chapter to chapter, and I found myself constantly wanting to know what would happen to the pair next.

Kingsolver is a rich writer. Her prose is nothing less than stunning, and sometimes the English Writing major in me would pause in the middle of a paragraph to just go back and appreciate the language she was producing. For example, here's a sentence from chapter eight:

"The sun was setting, and most of the west-facing windows on the block reflected a fierce orange light as if the houses were on fire inside."

And another, chapter 12:

“From time to time nervous white ribbons of lightning jumped between the moutaintops and the clouds.”

I mean, what is that? It reminds me of Fitzgerald in my all-time favorite book, The Great Gatsby. Sentences just pour from each page into your head, sentences that could have been mundane and boring but are in fact breath-taking.

The story Taylor tells through Kingsolver's words is worthy of the language. After leaving her hometown in Kentucky, Taylor finds herself with a three-year-old girl she dubs Turtle and a whole new family in Tucson, Arizona. As Taylor learns about the world outside rural Kentucky and about the little girl she now calls her own, I learned about people, and became fascinated with this world.


I could go on and on about The Bean Trees, but instead I will encourage you to see for yourself what I'm talking about. Every element to this book works: plot, language, characters, conflict, the whole shebang. Kingsolver has created a novel worthy of re-reading, with a story we should all hear once in a while about how life isn’t always fair, but it’s how we deal with it that matters. I would definitely call this a must-read, and you can expect to see me start reading The Poisonwood Bible soon.

What do you think of Barbara Kingsolver? If you've read The Bean Trees, do you love it as much as I do? Also, let me know what books you've been reading this summer!


Books I Bought: Memorial Day Sale

Something to know about my love of reading: I never bought books, like actual, physical books, until high school. I grew up in a house where if you wanted to read something, you got it from the library where it was free and temporary. My shelves were full of yearbooks, Bibles, and books gifted to me at some point or another in my childhood. Once I experienced the joy of putting my own pencil next to the inked words, I discovered a whole new way to read. And I do love having my own thoughts on each page, along with the possibility of reading a book again whenever I want. Yet my mind is trained to only ever buy a book unless I know I'll like it (such as classics), I really, really want it (i.e. The Fault in Our Stars), or it's secondhand. When I buy a book, it's an occasion.

That's why Half Price Books is my bestie, and when I saw all books would be 20% off Memorial Day I couldn't pass it up. I still restricted myself to only three books, and put the rest on hold at the library :)

The three books I got are as follows:

Books I Bought 1

Gone Girl. After reading Allison Anderson's rave review on this book, I had to read it for myself. She was so enthralled with the novel, and so many people have suggested it before, I'm finally going to tackle it.  The library list was too long, so since I could get it cheap I went ahead and picked it up. I can't wait to dig in! You can also watch Allison's (Amarixe, to the beauty world) mini video review of this book here.

Mrs. Dalloway. I tried Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse and couldn't get through it. As in, I never finished it, which is really saying something for me (I strive finish every book I start).  So my mom recommended Mrs. Dalloway as a good second try, and then to read The Hours, a novel inspired by this one, afterwards. Goodreads describes the novel as detailing "a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a fictional high-society woman in post-World War I England." Hopefully I'll enjoy Woolf better this time. I want to like her soooo badly since she's such a famous female writer.

The Bean Trees. After being introduced to Barbara Kingsolver's essays in my women in literature class this past semester, I wanted to explore some of her fiction. According to Goodreads, The Bean Trees is about Taylor Greer, a young woman who "arrives in Tucson, Arizona [with]...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." I must be honest, I'm starting with this one because it's shorter than The Poisonwood Bible. But I am still looking forward to trying some Kingsolver fiction!

Books I Bought 1-2

Have any of you read these books lately? What did you think of them? I'm looking forward to starting Gone Girl this week. As always, I'll let you know what I think :)

Also be on the lookout for a couple new types of posts soon. I'm still trying different things out, so I'm excited for your feedback!