Mother and adopted daughter, Taylor and Turtle Greer, are back in this spellbinding sequel about family, heartbreak and love. Six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam during a tour of the Grand Canyon with her guardian, Taylor. Her insistence on what she has seen, and her mother's belief in her, lead to a man's dramatic rescue. The mother and adopted daughter duo soon become nationwide heroes - even landing themselves a guest appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show. But Turtle's moment of ...
Mother and adopted daughter, Taylor and Turtle Greer, are back in this spellbinding sequel about family, heartbreak and love. Six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam during a tour of the Grand Canyon with her guardian, Taylor. Her insistence on what she has seen, and her mother's belief in her, lead to a man's dramatic rescue. The mother and adopted daughter duo soon become nationwide heroes - even landing themselves a guest appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show. But Turtle's moment of celebrity draws her into a conflict of historic proportions stemming right back to her Cherokee roots. The crisis quickly envelops not only Turtle and her guardian, but everyone else who touches their lives in a complex web connecting their future with their past. Embark on a unforgettable road trip from rural Kentucky and the urban Southwest to Heaven, Oklahoma, and the Cherokee Nation, testing the boundaries of family and the many separate truths about the ties that bind.
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I enjoyed this book. Kingsolver is one of my favorites and this didn't disappoint.
Helen E. B
Aug 19, 2010
Great Follow-Up to Bean Trees
I was really drawn into the story of Bean Trees so I'm glad Kingsolver wrote this follow-up and further developed what happened to Turtle as she grew up. I love her style of writing and didn't want the book to end (even though I wanted to see a resolution of Turtle's problems).
Jul 24, 2008
Not One of Her Good Ones
A good story, but poorly written. Background description actually gets in the way of the storyline. I forced myself to finish the book so that I could be prepared for our Book Club review.
Oct 7, 2007
Read this 1st for pleasure, 2nd time for a Book Club. Loved it more on the 2nd reading - there's great descriptive writing, lots of things to think deeply about, and a heartwarming story to enjoy.
May 1, 2007
Lost in America
After reading this book, you'll add Taylor Greer and her mother Alice to your list of unforgettable literary characters. Barbara Kingsolver has created two women that appeal to the adventurer-homebody/lover-loner/warrior-coward in all of us who've ever loved someone, lost someone, taken a risk, made a wrong turn, or changed her mind.
Kingsolver begins this sequel-of-sorts to The Bean Trees with sixty-one-year-old Alice and her dissapointing late-in-life marriage. She finds her escape when her daughter Taylor faces the possibility of losing her adopted Cherokee daughter Turtle. These three generations of tough-and-tender females take to the open road, finding adventure, betrayal, and each other along the way. Alice's maternal wisdom, human compassion, and off-beat humor combined with Taylor's desperation, vulnerability, and cynicism strike a chord in the soul of every woman who's been a mother, longed to be a mother, or had a mother.
Few authors can create a bond between the reader and virtually every character in a novel, but Kingsolver manages to do just that. Each character is believable, but each one goes beyond mere believeability. The reader identifies or at least empathizes with, each character, which is no mean feat, because the characters are often at odds with one another. I couldn't take sides, which is not usually the case in a work of fiction.
Characters such as these deserve nothing less than a masterful plot, and Kingsolver delivers that, too. She seamlessly weaves the lives of the characters into and away from those of other characters, crossing state lines, legal boundaries, and familial limits without once disorienting the reader's sense of time or place. The events flow, the settings connect, friendships form, relationships evolve and adjust, and Taylor's situation deteriorates to its lowest point - all without mawkishness or artificiality. Even Taylor's desperate call to her mother breathes pathos without becoming either sappy or hollow. These are real-life characters involved with real-life issues, finding along the way some real-life truths: life isn't simple, answers don't come easy, and sometimes the world doesn't make sense.
One of the many amazing qualities of this book is that, in spite of the suffering, grief, and crises contained in its pages, it manages to emerge as a breath of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, and a tribute to the indomitable spirit that we hope is within us all. Like the proverbial butterfly, or in this case, swine, we can find a paradise of sorts if we adjust our perspectives to allow the unexpected to enrich rather than devastate the life with which we've become comfortable.
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