I just finished my third pleasure read of the summer, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. Even though it took me a while to get into the book, I really loved it. It was a change of pace for me since I’m naturally drawn to fiction that focuses more on family dynamics, relationships, and love. Even though The Bean Trees had these aspects, it just had a different feel to it than the books that I normally pick up without question.
Here’s the synopsis of The Bean Trees (according to Amazon.com): “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 for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.”
Once I reached about the third or fourth page of The Bean Trees, I knew I’d love the character of Taylor. Her courage to leave her home behind because she knew that there was so much more than the world had to offer is something I admire. Even though I did a little bit of the same thing when I left behind the comfort of my home and my small town to attend a girls’ boarding school three and a half hours away for my junior and senior years of high school, I had a plan. I had a destination. I don’t think I could make such a big decision as Taylor did and not know where I was going to end up. Though I understand that there is as certain amount of excitement that is connected to spur-of-the-moment decisions with no direction, I don’t think I’d have the strength to do it.
In another sense, I feel like Taylor left home in order to discover herself and figure out what it...