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Critical Praise

"The question of speech is not merely a matter of style. When Taylor and Lou Ann Ruiz meet, they feel at home with each other because they talk alike ... Back home, Estevan taught English; now he will teach Taylor to see her own words from the viewpoint of an outsider, and thus show her how subtly language is linked to political reality. Another of the major subplots of the book, also associated with language, is the gradual development of a child called Turtle, for whom Taylor becomes responsible. Turtle has been brutalized and does not, for a long time, talk. When she does begin, her first words are the names of vegetables, including, most prominently, beans. There is a stark fine poetry in this talking by naming, and when Miss Kingsolver ties it in with the book's name and the fate of Turtle's mother, the echoes are sonorous indeed. " -Jack Butler, New York Tim

——Jack Butler, New York Times Book Review