A stranger gave her a three year old Indian child to take care of, who she names Turtle. The two finally settle down in Tucson, where they live with a single mom who is also from a small town in Kentucky. Taylor works for a woman who hides political refugees in her home, and Taylor becomes good friends with two of them. These two refugees act as Turtle's parents and sign over custody to Taylor, so that Turtle could become her daughter legally. Taylor was very unsure about whether or not she would be a good mom, but in the end she realizes that Turtle belongs with her, and that Tucson is home.
While growing up Taylor knows that she has no desire to live the life of the average young girl from Pittman. She says, “Mama always said barefoot and pregnant was not my style.”(3) Taylor finally decided to take a risk, she left her home and everything that she had known since growing up and started her old ‘55 Volkswagen out on the road for a new life. While in Oklahoma, Taylor recieved an Indian child from a woman claiming that the child's mom had died and that the baby girl had no one else. Taylor named the baby “Turtle” and headed out with her and risks that went with raising a baby. Finally settling in Arizona, Taylor had driven across the country with little money and taken a baby she knew nothing about.
She fulfills a promise she has made when she changes her name to "Taylor" after passing through a town named Taylorville. While traveling in Oklahoma, she acquires a three year old she names "Turtle." It is when Taylor's car breaks down in Tucson that she and Turtle begin their new life together. Through their travels, they meet up with people who draw them in and provide love and support. Their new friends, Lou Ann, who becomes their roommate, and Mattie, Taylor's new boss, convince Taylor to return to Oklahoma to find Turtle...
Taylor moves on to Tucson, Arizona, with Turtle, as she calls the little girl. There she makes new friends, finds work, and settles down to a new life. However, since Turtle is not her legally adopted daughter, Taylor finds herself at risk of losing her to the state authorities in Arizona. She must formalize her relationship with her new-found daughter. She chooses to do what it takes to adopt Turtle.
In The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, protagonist Taylor Greer is not your average teenage girl from Pittman, Kentucky. Taylor refuses to remain in her hometown forever, which only leads to teenage pregnancy and motherhood until death. On a mission to escape Pittman’s stereotypical teenage girl image, she buys a ‘55 Volkswagen and embarks on a journey west. Just when she thinks she is home free, Taylor is left with an abandoned three-year-old American Indian girl. Ironically, Taylor ends up as an unplanned single mother.
In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, their eyes were watching god; the author leads Janie through a journey. She lives with her grandmother named Nanny, who currently is attending a white family. Janie is living with Nanny because her mom had been raped and the father was running away from the sheriff. As the story goes on she tries to explore love with different lovers. At the begging she is presented with one young man name Logan, but as time goes on Janie become less interested in him.
"There was another whole set of people who spoke Spanish and lived with her for various lengths of time. I asked her about them once, and she asked me something like had I ever heard of a sanctuary."(Kingsolver 105) It’s amazing how Mattie’s morals and beliefs make her sacrifice her everyday life for the benefit of people whom she had never met before. Taylor Greer had been running away from premature pregnancy her entire life. Afraid that she would wind up just another hick in Pittman County, she left town and searched for a new life out West. On her way getting there, she acquires Turtle, an abandoned three-year-old Native American girl.
Taylor's journey of self-discovery suddenly becomes a transition into a relationship where she is not the most important person. Taylor and her adopted child, Turtle, travel to Tucson, Arizona, where more car troubles land them at a shop known as Jesus Is Lord Used Tires. The owner of this odd establishment is a woman named Mattie, a serene, big-hearted soul who shelters political refugees from Guatemala, and who gives Taylor a job. Taylor and Turtle find a room with Lou Ann Ruiz, a self-described "ordinary Kentuckian a long way from home," and her newborn baby Dwayne Ray. The relationship between these two single mothers, one never married, one divorcing, and their relationships with the people around them are the focus of the story.
Motherhood and the role of a mother plays a predominant part in "The Bean Trees". Taylor Greer, the protagonist, had a very good childhood with a mother who loved her and only her. Mama Greer raised Taylor as a single mother, and Taylor in return becomes a single mother when she gets custody of Turtle while traveling through Oklahoma. With her impending divorce from Angel, Lou Ann Ruiz raises Dwayne Ray by herself, just as the waitress Sandi raises her son Seattle alone. In a more abstract sense, Mattie is a single mother to her various refugees and compares herself to a parent to them on more than one occasion.