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Bee Season
Bee Season
Author: Myla Goldberg
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 spellin...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780385498807
ISBN-10: 0385498802
Publication Date: 5/15/2001
Pages: 275
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 340 ratings
Publisher: Anchor
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Leigh avatar reviewed Bee Season on + 377 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
Well-researched and well-written, this novel just doesn't grip as well as it should. It falls flat in many places - particularly why Eliza is drawn so much to spelling in the first place. It's atypical of a girl her age. Goldberg doesn't explore this.

The ending leaves much to be desired, too. Not everything needs to be wrapped up, but at least something does.
knitter avatar reviewed Bee Season on + 64 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I loved this book. I did not see the movie but the book has GOT to be better. It is not just about the girl Eliza but also her mother, father and brother in this strangely disfunctional family. They are Jewish but probably could have been any religion and you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy the book. I'm going to recommend it to my book club because the characters and plot are so well developed and the writing is exquisite.
reviewed Bee Season on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
An underachiever, Eliza Naumann, lives in the shadows of her seemingly workaholic lawyer mom, and a father who focuses all of his energy on Eliza's brother who has rabbinical ambition. She amazes everyone when she wins the spelling bee, and this victory sets off a series of events that throws the already dysfunctional Naumann family into crisis. It is Eliza, through her newfound abilities and confidence, who tries to hold them all together. An intriguing story that holds on to you well after you've completed reading it.
paigu avatar reviewed Bee Season on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Amusing at times, but had an overall inconsistent, disjointed feel. The parents came across as superficial but at least Eliza, the protagonist, was likeable.
reviewed Bee Season on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A sad, lovely and generous novel, gripping portrait of a family.
A great read.
Read All 84 Book Reviews of "Bee Season"

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reviewed Bee Season on + 32 more book reviews
Good book, reminiscent of Anne Tyler.
reviewed Bee Season on + 9 more book reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
demiducky25 avatar reviewed Bee Season on + 161 more book reviews
This book tells the story of Eliza Naumann, a young girl who is not academically gifted, but finds that she has an unnatural knack for spelling. She easily wins her class spelling bee, then the school spelling bee, and continues to move forward. She is both thrilled and apprehensive about her father's new-found interest in helping her achieve her goal of winning the nation spelling bee: she's thrilled because her father never seemed to have time for her before, but she's apprehensive because she is now taking away from the time her brother Aaron used to spend studying with their father. She's also originally unsettled by the fact that her father seems to use her spelling as a means to propel her into a soul-searching quest for religious enlightenment, though Eliza slowly sees this as an attainable goal herself. Aaron, meanwhile, deals with his own religious awakening, one that is vastly different from the future rabbi goals his father set for him. During all this, Eliza's mother, Miriam, sinks deeper into a dark secret that's she's been hiding from her family for many, many years.

I wanted to like this book more than I did. It's not to say that this is a bad book. It's just OK. I found myself able to connect with Eliza and Aaron, but I found it much harder to connect, or even like their parents throughout the story. As other reviewers have said, this book seems a bit disjointed and everything doesn't quite feel resolved at the end. I was left feeling a bit unfulfilled at the end. It's still an OK read, but just not what I expected going into it.


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