Introduction & Overview of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

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The Bean Trees Summary & Study Guide Description

The Bean Trees Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Barbara Kingsolver demonstrates that politics are personal in The Bean Trees, her novel of friend­ship and survival set in the and American South­west. The novel focuses on Taylor Greer's search for a new life as she moves from her dull Kentucky home to exotic Arizona and the lessons that she learns along the way. Taylor's adoption of an abused Cherokee toddler, her friendship with a pair of Guatemalan refugees, and her support system of a small community of women, all contribute to the novel's central conviction that people cannot sur­vive without empathy and generosity. Published in 1988 to an enthusiastic critical reception, The Bean Trees won an American Library Association award and a School Library Association award and has found a devoted reading audience around the world. Critics and readers alike relish Taylor's humor and warmth, with her down-home speech and percep­tive observations. Like her narrator, Kingsolver grew up in Kentucky, and she draws from the voices she heard in her youth to create Taylor's voice. This voice helps to guide the novel, with its strong humanitarian views, away from simple po­litical correctness toward a rich believability. King­solver has been praised for her skill in The Bean Trees at walking the fine line between preaching and taking a moral stand, and Taylor's straightforwardness and humor provide the cornerstone to Kingsolver's approach.

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This section contains 221 words
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Novels for Students
The Bean Trees from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.