A NovelBook - 2000
Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: her autodidact father, Saul, absorbed in his study of Jewish mysticism; her brother, Aaron, the vessel of his father's spiritual ambitions; and her brilliant but distant lawyer-mom, Miriam. But when Eliza sweeps her school and district spelling bees in quick succession, Saul takes it as a sign that she is destined for greatness. In this altered reality, Saul inducts her into his hallowed study and lavishes upon her the attention previously reserved for Aaron, who in his displacement embarks upon a lone quest for spiritual fulfillment. When Miriam's secret life triggers a familial explosion, it is Eliza who must order the chaos.
Myla Goldberg's keen eye for detail brings Eliza's journey to three-dimensional life. As she rises from classroom obscurity to the blinding lights and outsized expectations of the National Bee, Eliza's small pains and large joys are finely wrought and deeply felt.
Not merely a coming-of-age story, Goldberg's first novel delicately examines the unraveling fabric of one family. The outcome of this tale is as startling and unconventional as her prose, which wields its metaphors sharply and rings with maturity. The work of a lyrical and gifted storyteller, Bee Season marks the arrival of an extraordinarily talented new writer.
Baker & Taylor
An ordinary girl with an exceptional gift for spelling, young Eliza Naumann embarks on the rough-and-tumble "spelling bee" circuit, where her quirky family will collide with the harsh realities of life.
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In the Naumann household, 11-year-old Eliza seems to be not quite as smart as her family members. However, that all changes when she wins the class, then school spelling bee. Now her father, a professor of Judaism, devotes attention to her as fanatically as he does to his religious studies. Her brother, Aaron, who usually receives his father's attention, gets jealous. Her mother has also been keeping secrets from the family. Read all about it in "Bee Season" by Myla Goldberg.
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