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Free Study Guide-The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER 4

Summary

Lou Ann has had her baby, a boy, Dwayne Ray. Her mother and grandmother are visiting her in Arizona to help out. Angel agreed to move back in during his in-lawsí visit because "he knew the power of mothers and grandmothers". If the women knew that Angel and Lou Ann had split up, it would escalate their derogatory insistence that Lou Ann and the baby go home with them. When it is time for the older women to leave, Granny gives Lou Ann a Coke bottle filled with water from the Tug Fork Creek with which to baptize the baby, and reminisces about Lou Annís baptism in that same creek. Then, refusing to wait for Angel to get home from work to drive them to the station, the two women board a bus to downtown and say their good-byes. Lou Ann almost feels like running after the bus to join them.

After seeing her relatives off, Lou Ann stops at a vegetable stand to buy tomatoes and strikes up a conversation with the vegetable man, Bobby Bingo. She mentions to him that her husband has left her, surprising herself that she could be so frank with a stranger. Bobby shares his disappointment in his own son who is a successful Cadillac dealer that doesnít appreciate what his father does. Bobby offers Lou Ann this philosophy, "Whatever you want the most, itís going to be the worst thing for you."


At home, Lou Ann is feeling sad that her mother and grandmother have gone. When Angel arrives after work he packs up his things. His scent and the sounds that he makes in the house are familiar to Lou Ann, yet for a moment she perceives him as a stranger. She hears him pour the Tug Fork water down the drain and her heart aches.

Notes

Another short chapter, Tug Fork Water returns us to Lou Ann Ruizís aching loneliness. Her own life has taken a downward turn and she seeks the comfort of familiarity with her mother and grandmother. The vegetable man serves as a sounding board that helps Lou Ann sort out her feelings and accept her situation. At home, she decides that it doesnít really matter to her if Angel is there or not. Though she aches, she knows that her attitude of indifference toward him is good.

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Free Study Guide-The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver-Free Chapter Summary
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