05 January 2012
The Bean Trees ~ Barbara Kingsolver
Kingslover's first novel
Glad it wasn't the first of hers that I read
This didn't do much for me. I found the plot slightly unrealistic; it was lightweight at times but there was clear evidence of the direction her later novels take. The potential is there to be thought provoking, making you assess your viewpoints, but it all remains a little too sweet and bland. (Hmmm ... is that an oxymoron?). The main character vacillated between being feisty and independent and naive and blinkered.
The high points are the easy readability, the use of vernacular and the south-west setting. There is no denying the author's ability and it interesting to be able to compare this early novel to my favourites by her (Poisonwood Bible and The Lacuna)