Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
A Novel

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If Bee Season seems at first to be nothing more than a collection of meaningless but compelling quirks, Goldberg reveals patterns in the Naumanns' behavior that point to something far more universal and profound.
-AV Club

Synopsis

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Myla Goldberg

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Myla Goldberg lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Jason Little.
 
Published August 13, 2002 by Anchor. 288 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Young Adult. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Bee Season
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AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Scott Tobias on Mar 29 2002

If Bee Season seems at first to be nothing more than a collection of meaningless but compelling quirks, Goldberg reveals patterns in the Naumanns' behavior that point to something far more universal and profound.

Read Full Review of Bee Season: A Novel | See more reviews from AV Club

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