Customer Reviews


327 Reviews
5 star:
 (153)
4 star:
 (94)
3 star:
 (31)
2 star:
 (20)
1 star:
 (29)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Pigs in Heaven and Bean Trees are two books by Barbara Kingsolver that should be in everyone's personal library. Wonderful escape.
Published 17 months ago by Mazy

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Aimless, drifting plot lost this reader.
After reading The Poisonwood Bible, I decided to read some of her other works. The story started out with promise - a young woman on here way to anywhere is handed an unwanted child. Taylor's character was plucky and quirky enough to keep me interested.
Once she finds a destination to settle in, Tuscon, AZ, the plot begins to meander without much conflict to stir...
Published on Dec 14 2001 by S. A. Farley


‹ Previous | 1 233 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Aimless, drifting plot lost this reader., Dec 14 2001
By 
S. A. Farley "sally1590" (Minnesota, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bean Trees (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading The Poisonwood Bible, I decided to read some of her other works. The story started out with promise - a young woman on here way to anywhere is handed an unwanted child. Taylor's character was plucky and quirky enough to keep me interested.
Once she finds a destination to settle in, Tuscon, AZ, the plot begins to meander without much conflict to stir things up. I usually go by the "fifty page rule" - if I'm not totally involved by page fifty, I stop reading. In this case, I got halfway through the book - over a hundred pages before I gave up and quit reading.
As this was written well before the Poisonwood Bible, one can see a dramatic improvement from The Bean Trees to her more recent works.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's all down hill from the Poisonwood Bible., April 24 2001
By 
Amanda Bradley (Edmonds, Washington) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bean Trees (Mass Market Paperback)
The first book I read of Barbara Kingsolver's was The Poisonwood Bible. It was so good that I decided to read more of her stuff. Unfortunately, it's all down hill from there folks. Poisonwood is fabulous and I've not found her other books to be any where near as good. In fact I read The Bean Trees a few months ago and I really can't remember much about it. Barbara Kingsolver is a talented writer, but this one just didn't hit the mark for me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not The Kingsolver I Was Expecting, Jan. 26 2001
I'm being a little hard on Kingsolver with just two stars, but that's partly because I have also read her amazing POISONWOOD BIBLE, a work of gratifying emotional and psychological complexity. BEAN TREES, by contrast, seems simplistic and shallow. For example, the characters in BEAN TREES divide up neatly into the not just good but positively heroic gals (Taylor, her employer, her neighbors, her roommate) and the bad guys (INS, various ex-husbands and boyfriends). Notice that these categories also divide up neatly by gender. For whatever reason, Kingsolver doesn't address the male point of view at all, except to use men as cardboard villains creating the problems that the women have to deal with. This may be a point of view worth addressing, but I'm dismayed to find it the only point of view, period.(Estevan is a woman's mind in a man's character). The result is that BEAN TREES reads more like a light fantasy than a challenging novel. In POISONWOOD BIBLE, Kingsolver dealt skillfully and realistically with the personal and political tragedies. But in BEAN TREES, all the loose ends are wrapped up neatly and unconvincingly in no time at all. The ending in particular seemed contrived to make things work out a particular way. As a reader, I grant the author complete suspension of my disbelief in establishing the premises of a novel, but then I expect the writer to follow the implications of those premises to their logical ends, for better or worse. POISONWOOD BIBLE satisfied me in this respect, but BEAN TREES did not. On the other hand, I greatly admired the characterization of the Taylor character, especially the little "Kentucky-ism's" she threw into the dialogue. In this respect Kingsolver reminds me of Larry McMurtry, whose Texas characters' colorful speech keep even his lesser productions highly entertaining. As long as Taylor and also Lou Ann were speaking out loud, I enjoyed the book a great deal. When the preaching about American policy toward illegal aliens kicked in, I skipped ahead to the next part which actually dealt with her characters. I think Kingsolver is really on to something with this sort of character, grounded in Appalachian Kentucky, and I'd like to see the author explore her possibilities in novels more ambitious than this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, Feb. 28 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bean Trees (Mass Market Paperback)
Pigs in Heaven and Bean Trees are two books by Barbara Kingsolver that should be in everyone's personal library. Wonderful escape.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and uplifting, Oct. 8 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
loved the characters in this book.the plight of a young woman starting out on her own and the obstacles she faces are sometimes hard to read but at the same time I couldn't put it down. I closed this book feeling content1
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Love this Book, Sept. 7 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love Kingsolver and after reading Pigs in Heaven, I couldn't wait to read Bean Trees. I really like her writing style, and her description of native American lifestyles and customs. I feel I learned a lot and would recommend this to all my reading buddies.
Waiting to read her next novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars As always... so good, Dec 5 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bean Trees (Paperback)
Barbara Kingsolver became one of my favourite writer. The emotions that her stories take you through are raw and the characters you "meet" quickly feel like someone you've been missing.

I am still following Taylor and Turtle as I am now reading Pigs in Heaven.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The Bean Trees: Metaphors and Similies, July 15 2004
By 
Teresa Owen (Redlands, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bean Trees (Mass Market Paperback)
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver is a book rich in metaphors and similes. It is a story about a young girl who escapes her small town, where most young people drop out of school, and the girls get pregnant. For Missy, these are not options. She buys herself a car and heads out for maturing experiences. Her first decision is that since she is starting a new life, she needs a new name, so she calls herself "Taylor." As she is driving, she tells herself she will stop and live in the city in which her car breaks down. This doesn't happen because along the way, she picks up a passenger, a little Native American baby. Now she has herself and the baby to worry about. She stops in Arizona and loves it. So, she decides to stay. It is in this town, she discovers friendship, love, responsibility, maturity, and the true meaning of family.
The physical descriptions in the book, while at times, may seem over done, are truely what make the book a vivid, potent journey. Before Taylors journey begins, she is working in a hospital and one of the girls she went to school with, but got pregnant and married, is brought into the hospital covered in blood, and Missy says she was, "...like a butcher holding down a calf on its way to becoming a cut of meat" (10). She also witnesses a tire blowing up and says, "... Newt Hardbine's daddy flying up into the air, in slow motion, like a fish flinging sideways out of the water. And Newt laid out like a hooked bass" (15). Then when she gets to Arizona, she see rocks that were "...stacked on top of one another like piles of copulating potato bugs" (47). These are just a few of the similies that enrich the story. She also uses metaphors in abundance to create a picture.
She compares driving in traffic during a hail storm as ...moving about the speed of a government check" (49). Kingsolver uses metaphors to compare some of the characters' lives. Taylor says "...but I had to give her credit, considering that life had delivered Sandi a truckload of manure with no return address" (89). In comparing a park she loves to visit, Taylor says, "Constellations of gum-wrapper foil twinkled around the trash barrels" (148). The best description comes in the combination of metaphor and simile in the description of the night-blooming cereus: "The petals stood out in starry rays, and in the center of each flower there was a complicated contruction of silvery threads shaped like a pair of cupped hands catching moonlight. A fairy boat, ready to be launched into the darkness" (249). The pictures are that vivid.
If you need a book that is rich in description using similies and metaphors, read The Bean Trees.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Not too good., July 14 2004
By 
This review is from: Bean Trees (Paperback)
This book was not to interesting for me because of the plot.It started out interesting when they found Turtle but after that it got boring. Nothing else interesting happend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story, July 11 2004
By 
This review is from: Bean Trees (Mass Market Paperback)
I was assigned to read this book for my 11th grade English class. I loved it so much that when it took the class two months to completely read it, I took it home and finished it in a couple of days.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a very descriptive book about love, motherhood, and just starting over. Definately a must-read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 233 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Bean Trees
Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (Paperback - April 1 1989)
Used & New from: CDN$ 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews