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Extended Audio Sample The Bean Trees Audiobook, by Barbara Kingsolver Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.95 out of 53.95 out of 53.95 out of 53.95 out of 53.95 out of 5 3.95 (43 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Kingsolver Narrator: C. J. Critt Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9780061901874
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An extraordinarily good novel, tough and tender and gritty and moving.”

    Anne Rivers Siddons, New York Times bestselling author

  • “As clear as air. It is the southern novel taken west, its colors as translucent and polished as one of those slices of rose agate from a desert shop.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “So wry and wise we wish it would never end…The chatty, down-home audacity of Barbara Kingsolver’s remarkable first novel hooks us on the first page.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “This funny, inspiring book is a marvelous affirmation of risk-taking, commitment, and everyday miracles…An overwhelming delight, as random and unexpected as real life.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Wylie | 2/18/2014

    " Still my favourite of all her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherri | 1/30/2014

    " Not as good as subsequent Kingsolver novels, but I enjoyed the story and got wrapped up in the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roxanne Russell | 1/27/2014

    " A lovely story of a Kentucky girl who moves to Arizona and picks up an abandoned child along the way. It's laced with feminist and Anti-American Latin American policy messages, but delivers those through a curious and gentle narrative voice. She gives a human feel to victims of Latin American oppression while combining that message with one of silent but poignant Native American plight. The fathers in this story are noticeably absent with the exception of the Latin American childless father. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Devon | 1/24/2014

    " by the time she hits arizona i was more than hooked. a couple of tiny things bothered me...as a parent. i feel like you would know if your child could swim or not if you had her for a year and she was a baby when you got her. right? but as a whole i did not want to say good bye to the characters in the least. and there were definitely justice issues that hopefully will touch readers across the board. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna Groman | 1/20/2014

    " Barbara Kingsolver never disappoints and with this books comes yet another great adventure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurel Watson | 1/13/2014

    " Great book about a young woman who feels isolated from others in her community. She decides to leave her hometown with the hopes of finding something more. On her journey, she "adopts" an American Indian little girl. The story describes the love between the main character and her daughter, as well as the importance of community. Sweet and uplifting. . . reminded me of a Kaye Gibbons book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 1/12/2014

    " I don't love the ideaology behind this book (or any of kingsolver's books... she seems to dislike men and religion) but her writing is compelling and makes me think, so I'll give it a positive review for that! :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannie | 1/9/2014

    " Quite enjoyed it, but the way of life and people and places described proved difficult for me to associate with. Beautifully written of course. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katy Brandes | 1/9/2014

    " It was weird to have Taylor fall "in love" with Estevan, but I otherwise really liked this story. It made me want to know what happened to the characters and was sad to finish the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan | 12/21/2013

    " Really enjoyable book on families of all kinds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stevelvis | 12/18/2013

    " Beautiful and Magical. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lahoma | 12/14/2013

    " Good story but really disappointed in the lack of research.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bree Dexter | 12/2/2013

    " One of my all-time faves! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 11/30/2013

    " Extremely well-written, and powerful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maggie | 11/29/2013

    " One of my favorite authors, although this is my least favorite book of hers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roxanne | 11/17/2013

    " Found this on the bookshelf at the train station and needed one more book for my trip to Phoenix. I really liked this very much. For a first novel, the whole thing really hangs together remarkably well and the language is really natural. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jodi Bowman | 9/29/2013

    " I really liked the main character, Taylor. she was a strong young women who was determined to get more out of life than her small Kentucky town had to offer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alyb | 7/17/2013

    " Great characters, beautiful language. I love Kingsolver. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jana | 7/10/2013

    " This book deals with difficult topics but just pulls you along in its prose. Beautifully crafted and it was a great book club read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 5/29/2013

    " Wonderful story and great characters "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally | 4/16/2013

    " This was excellent. I love Kingsolver's skill with language. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lina | 1/15/2013

    " A great story and enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 agatha | 12/3/2012

    " I'm really into Barabara Kingsolver at the moment. This book has a multitude of great female characters, strong & loving female relationships, a sense of social justice & a lead character with an awesome sense of adventure. Love it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keri | 5/30/2012

    " Read this at the suggestion of a friend. Fast paced, easy to read and a real feel good novel. I instantly liked the characters. It was sweet and funny and very heartwarming! I good beach book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Sanchez | 2/18/2012

    " I loved every page of this book. It was moving and had some very funny moments as well. I really like Barbara Kingsolver's style of writing and highly recommend this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kerri | 11/1/2011

    " Made me giggle, but mostly it came off as too heavy-handed. An important message, but wasn't carried off well for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 11/1/2011

    " Have read many times and will read again. Her imagery, story line and writing keep me coming back. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelsea | 9/30/2011

    " Beautiful, vivid writing; believable, tender moments; full bodied characters. Fantastic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 8/3/2011

    " It was a nice, meandering read. Sweet, pleasant ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 6/28/2011

    " One of my favorite books - about community, motherhood, family and love. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 KC | 6/28/2011

    " Really enjoyable. Kingsolver creates some characters whom you really feel for. I crossed my fingers for the last thirty or so pages, hoping everything would turn out all right. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 6/27/2011

    " Great characterization, as usual, by Kingsolver. Would probably give it 3.5 stars. Quick, easy read that I liked almost as well, overall, as the Poisonwood Bible. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mimy | 6/27/2011

    " Another good book by Kingsolver. Strong female protagonist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 6/26/2011

    " It was a little sappy, even for me, but what a nice traveling book. Great summer reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 6/21/2011

    " I read this a couple of years ago and I couldn't put it down. It is definitely different from any book I have ever read and has some thrilling twists! The main character Taylor is very familiar, and the struggles she faces make you question what you would do in her situations.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seri | 6/21/2011

    " Highly recommend. Very different voice than The Poisonwood Bible, but really good. Pretty quick read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca | 6/20/2011

    " This is the third time I attempted to read this book and I finally made it all the way through. It was worth reading even though you can tell this was Kingsolver's first novel. Loved the ending and the idea of family being what you make it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 6/20/2011

    " Kingsolver is an amazing author. I read her Poisonwood Bible years ago and raved about how well crafted it was. I think this was one of her first books. I wish I had read it before now, but I'm really glad that I finally picked it up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 6/19/2011

    " I remember that I liked it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clara | 6/16/2011

    " I was assigned this book for school, and it turned out to be much better than most books I'm assigned to read. It's like if my two favorite authors had a baby. Which would be weird, because they're both women. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiffany | 6/16/2011

    " My decision might have been influenced by the fact this book was one of my English projects, but I still found it to be enjoyable. It is a scintillating novel about self discovery and motherhood which can be enjoyed by all ages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lesley | 6/15/2011

    " Pretty good story, not ype of book I usually read.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachael | 6/15/2011

    " A good summer reading book. Loved the creative titles of each chapter. "

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About the Author
Author Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver’s twelve books of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction include the novels The Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible. Translated into nineteen languages, her work has won a devoted worldwide readership and many awards, including the National Humanities Medal.

About the Narrator

C. J. Critt is a veteran of Broadway, regional theater, poetry slams, and solo shows. Hailed “Spoken Word Queen” by the Dallas Observer, Critt is a produced writer-director, an Audie nominee, and a CableACE Award winner.