The Bean Trees

An abandoned Cherokee child, Turtle becomes Taylor Greer’s daughter when she is left with Taylor at a gas station in Oklahoma. Though severely traumatized by the abuse she suffered as a young child and the death of her biological mother, Turtle is eventually able to thrive in Taylor and Lou Ann’s care and even cultivates a love of gardening, growing in tough soil just like the wisteria vines she loves. Turtle becomes Taylor’s legal daughter at the end of the novel

Turtle (April) Quotes in The Bean Trees

The The Bean Trees quotes below are all either spoken by Turtle (April) or refer to Turtle (April). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperTorch edition of The Bean Trees published in 1998.
Chapter 1 Quotes

She put her hands where the child’s shoulders might be, under all that blanket, and pushed it gently back into the seat, trying to make it belong there. She looked at it for a long time. Then she closed the door and walked away.
As I watched her I was thinking that she wasn’t really round. Without the child and the blanket she walked away from my car a very thin woman.

Related Characters: Taylor Greer (Marietta Greer) (speaker), Turtle (April)
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The Indian child was a girl. A girl, poor thing. That fact had already burdened her short life with a kind of misery I could not imagine. I thought I knew about every ugly thing that one person does to another, but I had never even thought about such things being done to a baby girl.

Related Characters: Taylor Greer (Marietta Greer) (speaker), Turtle (April)
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 3 Quotes

By this time, I had developed a name for the child, at least for the time being. I called her Turtle, on account of her grip. She still wasn’t talking but she knew her name about as far as a cat ever does, which means that when you said it she would look up if she was in the right mood.

Related Characters: Taylor Greer (Marietta Greer) (speaker), Turtle (April)
Page Number: 48-49
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

“You know, your little girl doesn’t look a thing like you,” …
“She’s not really mine,” I said. “She’s just somebody I got stuck with.”
Sandi looked a both of us, her elbow cocked on her hip and the salad tongs frozen in midair. “Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.”

Related Characters: Taylor Greer (Marietta Greer) (speaker), Sandi (speaker), Turtle (April)
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 7 Quotes

Mrs. Parsons said, “And is this naked creature one of theirs? She looks like a little wild Indian.” She was talking about Turtle, who was not naked, although she didn’t exactly have a shirt on… “She’s mine,” I said. “And she is a wild Indian, as a matter of fact.”

Related Characters: Taylor Greer (Marietta Greer) (speaker), Turtle (April), Virgie Mae Parsons
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 13 Quotes

“You're asking yourself, Can I give this child the best possible upbringing and keep her out of harm's way her whole life long? The answer is no, you can't. But nobody else can either… Nobody can protect a child from the world. That's why it's the wrong thing to ask, if you're really trying to make a decision.”
“So what's the right thing to ask?”
“Do I want to try? Do I think it would be interesting, maybe even enjoyable in the long run, to share my life with this kid and give her my best effort and maybe, when all's said and done, end up with a good friend.”

Related Characters: Taylor Greer (Marietta Greer) (speaker), Mattie (speaker), Turtle (April)
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes

Here were a mother and her daughter, nothing less. A mother and child – in a world that could barely be bothered with mothers and children – who were going to be taken apart. Everybody believed it. Possibly Turtle believed it. I did.

Related Characters: Taylor Greer (Marietta Greer) (speaker), Turtle (April), Esperanza
Page Number: 288
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 17 Quotes

The wisteria vines on their own would just barely get by, is how I explained it to Turtle, but put them together with rhizobia and they make miracles.

Related Characters: Taylor Greer (Marietta Greer) (speaker), Turtle (April)
Related Symbols: Wisteria Vines (Bean Trees) and Plants
Page Number: 305
Explanation and Analysis:

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She watched the dark high-way and entertained me with her vegetable-soup song, except that now there were people mixed in with the beans and potatoes: Dwayne Ray, Mattie, Esperanza, Lou Ann and all the rest.
And me. I was the main ingredient.

Related Characters: Taylor Greer (Marietta Greer) (speaker), Turtle (April)
Page Number: 312
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit a

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Turtle (April) Character Timeline in The Bean Trees

The timeline below shows where the character Turtle (April) appears in The Bean Trees. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Jesus Is Lord Used Tires
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...looks good, but has become very attached to the child herself. Taylor calls the child Turtle, for her strong grip like a mud turtle’s jaw. Turtle does not talk, and Mrs.... (full context)
Nature Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
...do not apply here, and that Arizona is a foreign country to both her and Turtle. An old man comes out of the gas station where Taylor has parked and asks... (full context)
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...Taylor of the ad for 1-800-THE-LORD that she saw in Oklahoma the night she got Turtle. The woman from the tire shop welcomes Taylor in and gets Taylor’s car up on... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
...Mattie seems to know how bad this news is for Taylor and invites Taylor and Turtle into her shop for coffee and peanut butter crackers. (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
...name of the shop. Mattie asks about Taylor’s Kentucky plates, and gives more crackers to Turtle. Taylor sees that Mattie is very comfortable with children, and Turtle seems more at ease... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
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...“fanatical” mechanic and Mattie keeps it running now that he is gone. Mattie notices that Turtle has eaten all the peanut butter crackers while she and Taylor were talking, and offers... (full context)
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
While Mattie is out getting juice for Turtle, two men stop into the tire shop. One simply wants to pick up a new... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
When Mattie returns, she gives Turtle a sippy cup and goes to help the other man (Roger) with his car. Taylor... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
...senses in this urban center. She decides to leave her car with Mattie and take Turtle to live in a hotel for the meantime. Living in this hotel is much rougher... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
...job at Burger Derby, then realizes that she would have to pay someone to watch Turtle. Surprisingly, Sandi also has a son that she leaves at the Kid Central Station at... (full context)
Chapter 5: Harmonious Space
Nature Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
The novel returns to Taylor’s perspective while she and Turtle are still living in the Republic Hotel in downtown Tucson. The hotel is near the... (full context)
Nature Theme Icon
Turtle still does not speak or engage with anyone, and stares cat-like into empty space the... (full context)
Nature Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
...first address on her roommate search, wearing the cleanest clothes she can find and dressing Turtle in her lucky red and turquoise shirt. The house is a ramshackle bungalow with wind... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
Taylor introduces Turtle to the housing collective. Fei welcomes Turtle as a “small person,” but the housing interview... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
...interview. Lou Ann then shows Taylor around the house, including the room where Taylor and Turtle will sleep and the room where Dwayne Ray is asleep. (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
Lou Ann tells Taylor that Dwayne Ray was born in January and asks how old Turtle is. Taylor fills Lou Ann in on the unconventional circumstances of Turtle’s “adoption” as Turtle... (full context)
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
Lou Ann and Taylor continue to talk about the events that led Taylor to find Turtle. Lou Ann says to be glad that Taylor was in a car and not an... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
...that all baby’s heads look flat for a while. Taylor then asks if she and Turtle can move in and Lou Ann says that she would love it. Lou Ann was... (full context)
Chapter 6: Valentine’s Day
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...the job, and Taylor knows she can’t say no. The working arrangement is perfect, because Turtle can come in to work if Lou Ann can’t watch her. (full context)
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
After, work, Taylor goes to buy Turtle some books to look at. She chooses Old MacDonald Had an Apartment House, because the... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...gets home, she finds out that Lou Ann has bought a baby name book for Turtle. Lou Ann reads out names to Turtle as she cooks dinner, but Turtle and Dwayne... (full context)
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In a bad mood, Taylor tells Lou Ann that trying to find out Turtle’s name is foolish, but Lou Ann insists that they have to try to find Turtle’s... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
Taylor starts to feed Turtle some borscht soup, while Lou Ann warns her not to give Turtle any peas so... (full context)
Chapter 7: How They Eat in Heaven
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...and their matching appearances. Both are small and dark with eyes that remind Taylor of Turtle’s Cherokee features, due to Estevan and Esperanza’s Mayan heritage. While Taylor thinks that Estevan’s smallness... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
Taylor describes the strange scene when Esperanza first met Turtle. When she saw Turtle get out of the car at the trailhead to the picnic... (full context)
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
At the watering hole, Esperanza continues to watch Turtle while Taylor and Estevan decide to go for a swim after finishing their baloney sandwiches.... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
...Estevan looks as he sings. Esperanza doesn’t seem to notice, entranced by the sight of Turtle and Dwayne Ray asleep in the sun. Taylor looks closer at the kids and sees... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...when suddenly Estevan stops and Taylor has to slam on the breaks. Taylor worries about Turtle falling in the back seat, but Lou Ann assures her that Turtle is fine. Turtle... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...family of quail crossing the road in front of the car. Taylor, Lou Ann, and Turtle freeze as they watch the baby quail swarm in all directions around the mother quail,... (full context)
Nature Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
Taylor feels much better now that Turtle’s first sound was a laugh, taking it as a sign that she isn’t completely failing... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Turtle speaks her first word, bean, while she and Taylor are helping Mattie in the garden.... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
Mattie suggests that Taylor take some beans home for Turtle to play with, and Taylor agrees (though she worries what Lou Ann will think of... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
...insults. Taylor wishes she could give Lou Ann a lucky shirt like she did for Turtle, to remind Lou Ann how beautiful she really is. (full context)
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
Nature Theme Icon
...Taylor wants to make sure that Lou Ann feels repaid for the times she watches Turtle. The two women also split the bills, with Taylor working and Lou Ann drawing from... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
...cuts in to introduce himself as Steven and his wife as Hope. Virgie asks if Turtle, who is wandering around “like a wild Indian” without a shirt on, is theirs but... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
After Virgie’s outburst, Edna smooths out the mood by complimenting the food. Turtle finally manages to spear a piece of pineapple on her chopstick, but starts to cry... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Miracle of Dog Doo Park
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
...wedding as Taylor is. In her whirlwind of emotions, Taylor’s mother remembers to ask how Turtle is doing. Taylor tells her mother that Turtle finally started talking and Taylor’s mother says... (full context)
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
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...suggests that her mother should marry Bobby Bingo, the vegetable seller, so that Bobby and Turtle can talk vegetables all day. (full context)
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
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...women see their neighbors, Mrs. Parsons and Edna Poppy. They wave to their neighbors, and Turtle waves back, thinking that Taylor is waving at her. (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
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Taylor and Lou Ann have started leaving Turtle and Dwayne Ray with Edna Poppy and Virgie Mae Parsons a couple of times a... (full context)
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Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
...that he is leaving for good. Taylor, meanwhile, is off at a doctor’s appointment for Turtle when Angel brings the news. Turtle is healthy, but Taylor wants to make sure that... (full context)
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Leaving Turtle to page through a magazine looking for pictures of veggies, Taylor goes to tell the... (full context)
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Turtle retreats into her old, clingy, self when she sees Dr. P. The doctor pronounces Turtle... (full context)
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Taylor and Turtle wait for Dr. P to read Turtle’s x-rays, with Turtle still hanging tightly to Taylor.... (full context)
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After Turtle’s doctor appointment, Taylor and Turtle meet Lou Ann and Dwayne Ray at the zoo. On... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
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As they sit on the bench, Taylor shows Turtle the big turtles (hoping that the little girl won’t be confused by the name) and... (full context)
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
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Turtle interrupts Lou Ann and Taylor’s conversation to present Taylor a peanut she has dug out... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
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Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
At the word “April,” Turtle looks up at Taylor intently. Lou Ann comments that Turtle did the same thing once... (full context)
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Uninterested in Lou Ann and Taylor’s conversation, Turtle delightedly feeds peanuts to a duck. Taylor leans back and listens to bird song in... (full context)
Chapter 9: Ismene
Nature Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
...she also tells him that Tucson is a foreign country to them both. Just then, Turtle appears in the doorway to the living room, and Taylor jokingly orders her to “hop”... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...even the bad things, has actually been incredibly lucky. Chief among these lucky events are Turtle and Mattie, though Taylor previously avoided motherhood and tires at all costs. (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Turtle appears again at the doorway, looking shell-shocked at her mother’s tears. Turtle goes to cuddle... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
...likes thinking of Ismene growing up somewhere else, and Taylor starts to dream unpleasantly about Turtle being raised by Virgie Mae next door. Estevan and Taylor drift in and out of... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
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...a clinic. She imagines Esperanza constantly searching for Ismene, a child who looks just like Turtle. Taylor kisses Estevan’s hand once, then leaves him asleep on the couch and goes to... (full context)
Chapter 10: The Bean Trees
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
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As the weather gets hotter, both Turtle and Dwayne Ray get more energetic, until Taylor takes them to play in the arbor.... (full context)
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Turtle interrupts their conversation to call the Wisteria vines “bean trees.” Taylor looks again and realizes... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
...park, Lou Ann buys a newspaper to keep looking for a job. Meanwhile, Taylor and Turtle go to get groceries from Lee Sing and run into Edna Poppy. Shocked to see... (full context)
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Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
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Taylor realizes that Esperanza is like Turtle, able to understand much more than she can say. Taylor wishes that she could give... (full context)
Chapter 12: Into the Terrible Night
Nature Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...asks Lou Ann if she’s alright, and Lou Ann explains that something is wrong with Turtle. Taylor rushes inside to find Turtle on Edna’s lap, with the same empty look that... (full context)
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
Lou Ann tells Taylor that Edna and Turtle were at the park enjoying the cool air from the storm. Edna, being blind, didn’t... (full context)
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Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...and chases the bird until it smacks into the wall, while Lou Ann spells out Turtle’s doctor’s name in the living room. Virgie tries to coax the dazed bird into her... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
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The medical examiner tells Taylor that Turtle’s shoulder is bruised, but that she was probably not molested. Turtle is still in a... (full context)
Feminism and Solidarity Among Women Theme Icon
Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
...escapes the house by going in to work, leaving Lou Ann to try to rouse Turtle and comfort Edna and Virgie. Lou Ann also becomes determined to catch the man who... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
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Belonging and Homeland Theme Icon
...each generation. Taylor is scared that she won’t be up to the job of keeping Turtle safe from all that pain. Lou Ann sits with Taylor, braiding her hair, and tells... (full context)
Chapter 13: Night-Blooming Cereus
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Disaster and Survival Theme Icon
As the social worker predicted, it only takes Turtle a few weeks to start talking again. She seems fairly unscathed by the encounter. Cynthia,... (full context)
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...miserable, both due to the non-stop rain and her own depression in the wake of Turtle’s incident. She compares simple sadness to a head cold, whereas depression is a cancer that... (full context)
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Taylor insists that Turtle is hers because Turtle’s aunt told her to take the baby that night in the... (full context)
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Lou Ann is furious when she hears that CPS may take Turtle away. Yet Taylor is ready to stop fighting the inevitable, feeling helpless against the law.... (full context)
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...for a while. Lou Ann later keeps trying to convince Taylor to stand up for Turtle, but Taylor can’t imagine raising a child in the bleak world that she has come... (full context)
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...though. Yet Mattie still finds time to talk to Taylor about what to do for Turtle, as she is familiar with the loopholes in the system that might let Taylor adopt... (full context)
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Taylor wishes a fortune teller would tell her the right answer to how to raise Turtle, but Mattie tells her that she is asking the wrong question. Rather than asking if... (full context)
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Taylor meets Cynthia without Turtle, to discuss her options. Taylor is intimidated by Cynthia’s put-together appearance, and is further disheartened... (full context)
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...help, and Taylor is surprised to find out that Cynthia wants to keep Taylor and Turtle together. Taylor notices Cynthia’s bitten fingernails, and asks Cynthia why she has been so distant... (full context)
Family and Motherhood Theme Icon
...with a note from Cynthia. In it, Cynthia thanks Taylor for being careful about discussing Turtle’s custody in front of her. It also includes an address for Mr. Jonas Armistead in... (full context)
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The next morning, Taylor leaves Turtle asleep and goes in to work. She finishes up a car and hangs out in... (full context)
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When Taylor gets home, she finds Lou Ann and the kids at the park. Turtle is playing at making a garden, and Lou Ann is forcefully trying to stop Dwayne... (full context)
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While Lou Ann worries about Turtle, Mattie is worried about what will happen to Taylor if she gets caught transporting undocumented... (full context)
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Turtle walks up to one of the cereus flowers, which is as big as her head.... (full context)
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The cereus flower seems to bode good weather for travel, as Taylor and Turtle go to meet Estevan and Esperanza for the trip. Taylor’s suitcase is bigger than the... (full context)
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...looking at Taylor the way that Taylor’s mother does. She then kisses Estevan, Esperanza, and Turtle goodbye as Taylor starts to cry. Taylor drives out of town, reaching the freeway without... (full context)
Chapter 14: Guardian Saints
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Near the New Mexico border, Taylor, Turtle, Estevan and Esperanza are stopped at an immigration check point. Mattie knew this might happen,... (full context)
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Taylor stops for lunch at Texas Canyon, a rock formation that she and Turtle had loved when they first came to Arizona. The rocks are stark, and Estevan comments... (full context)
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...grew up without a father. Meanwhile, in the backseat, Esperanza sings traditional Mayan songs to Turtle until Turtle falls asleep on her lap. (full context)
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...reaches the Broken Arrow motel where she worked during the month that she first found Turtle. The old woman who owned the hotel, Mrs. Hoge, has died and her daughter-in-law Irene... (full context)
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The next morning, Estevan and Esperanza stay with Taylor as she searches for Turtle’s family, instead of going straight to the new safe house. As she searches, Taylor notes... (full context)
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...fixed her car in Oklahoma. The little group finally reaches the bar where Taylor found Turtle. Estevan and Esperanza, as well as Turtle, give Taylor a hug for luck, and Taylor... (full context)
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...men who were in the bar that night. Taylor decides to bring Estevan, Esperanza, and Turtle in for lunch while she thinks about what to do next. (full context)
Chapter 15: Lake O’ the Cherokees
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Suddenly, Turtle points out the window and shouts, “Mama” at a cemetery, and Taylor wonders if this... (full context)
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...the beautiful Lake of the Cherokees, the group rents a small cottage for the night. Turtle plays in a little stream behind the house and Taylor drinks in all the greenery,... (full context)
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...ice in Esperanza has finally started to thaw. Estevan presents flowers to Taylor, Esperanza, and Turtle. Taylor is supposed to start calling the couple Steven and Hope, but she can’t bring... (full context)
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...Estevan and Taylor rent a boat on the Lake of the Cherokees while Esperanza and Turtle feed ducks. Taylor dabbles her feet in the water and Estevan takes his shirt off... (full context)
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Later, Taylor, Estevan, Esperanza, and Turtle picnic by the lake and Turtle amuses them all with her three-year-old antics. Taylor lifts... (full context)
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Taylor has no idea how to talk to Turtle about her mother’s death, so she just hugs Turtle and tells her how much her... (full context)
Chapter 16: Soundness of Mind and Freedom of Will
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...their pasts and explain how they want to make legal arrangements for Taylor to adopt Turtle from Estevan and Esperanza, who are the child’s parents. (full context)
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...be permanent, and Esperanza nods with tears in her eyes. They tell Mr. Armistead that Turtle had no birth certificate because she was born on tribal lands, and that they would... (full context)
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Esperanza suddenly breaks in to say that she and Estevan love Turtle, but know that Taylor will be able to take better care of her. She starts... (full context)
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Turtle runs into Esperanza’s arms and the whole office watches her and Esperanza say goodbye as... (full context)
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The public notary, with great effort, drafts a statement that grants legal custody of Turtle to Taylor from Estevan and Esperanza. Taylor thinks about the two secretaries who signed as... (full context)
Chapter 17: Rhizobia
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Turtle continues to call, “mama!” at cemeteries as they drive Estevan and Esperanza to the new... (full context)
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Turtle has fallen asleep, but Taylor insists that they wake her up for a last goodbye,... (full context)
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...thought of her mother revealing all of these snotty women’s secrets. Taylor’s mother asks after Turtle, and comments again how much Turtle acts like Taylor’s blood daughter. Taylor’s mother says that... (full context)
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Turtle and Taylor stay in Oklahoma City waiting for the adoption papers to be finished. Turtle... (full context)
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...Faith missionary fund. Taylor feels freed once she gets off the line, and she and Turtle go to the local public library and look through all the horticulture books. (full context)
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Turtle finds a picture of the wisteria vines she calls bean trees. The book says that... (full context)
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At 4 pm, Taylor and Turtle go to the courthouse to get the adoption papers. They wait in a room full... (full context)
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Lou Ann confesses that she told someone at work that she, Taylor, Turtle, and Dwayne Ray are a family because they’ve been through hell and high water together.... (full context)
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Taylor and Turtle leave Oklahoma City before sundown. Taylor lets Turtle hold the adoption certificate in the car... (full context)