But I don't want kids ...more
The story is complex, with overtones that are varyingly dark and bright and intriguing. I think you could have conversations for hours about the characters in this book- ...more
I didn't see the Naumann family as at all eccentric. They are a family like any family, with communication trouble, secrets, and compulsions. What difference does it make if a compulsion brings you into ...more
So yes, Bee Season is a great read (I devoured it in two hot-and-heavy days) and it makes some very groovy connections be ...more
I really was excited about this novel because I'm a sucker for any young-girl-coming-of-age novel, but this one left me flat at the end. I couldn't stop reading, but the entire time I read I had this "yuck" feeling. This family is dysfunctional beyond words. The characters continually misunderstand each other. I was always waffling between sympathy and disgust with the father. ...more
But Bee Season had a compelling enough concept that I chose it despite only so-so reviews here on GR. Because at least people had found enough to talk about. And my group did talk about it. We talked lots about how it failed.
To be clear, we all agreed that it wasn't a ...more
The heart of the story, though, rests in a young girl's observations of and interactions with her family. An omnisceint narrator threads the plot together, as s/he explains the inner-mos ...more
The very average, younger sister becomes the favored child when Eliza suddenly displays her surprising aptitude for turning words into carefully placed le ...more
Baiscally this book is about a disfunctional jewish family. Eliza, who is at first mentally challenged, soon becomes a spelling bee champ. Saul, her father, drops guitar lessons with his son to teach Eliza about Abulafia which is a sophisticated theory of language. He brother, Aaron, becomes disengaged and starts to explore his own identy outside the jewish faith. All the while, the mother, Miriam is ...more
Silly me, I went into this book thinking that it would be about a girl and spelling bees (despite the warnings that I now remember receiving)... but the book is so much more than that. I think a better description of the book is a family looking for/rethinking their spirituality: Aaron, the brother, who begins to question his Judaism; Miriam, the mother, who feels drawn to things for a mysterious ...more
What seemed at first to be an average book about a dysfunctional family revealed itself halfway through to have a beautiful depth. It explores the paths people take to find serenity and to get closer to a god of their understanding. These paths are marked by obsession, rebellion and mental illness.
The warehouse kaleidoscope scene is wonderfully described and it reminded me of the scene in the movie American Beauty where Ricky Fitts was describing his discovery of the secret life of objects when...more
The word-nerd in me loved the first half of Myla Goldberg's Bee Season, a story half about perfectly average Eliza Naumann and her pursuit to win a spelling bee (and garner the attention of her less-than-attentive parents), the other half about Eliza's family, which seems on the surface to be perfectly normal, but threatens to embark upon paths of destruction as the story progresses.
Maybe it's because I'm not Jewish, but the story starts to decoct into a kaleidoscope of nonsense when a) Eliza's ...more
The characters created by Myla Goldberg are wonderfully crafted.
* Saul, the obsessively scholarly ...more
Oh my goodness, I thought this book would never end. I was listening to the unabridged audiobook, narrated by the author, whose voice was soooo slow that the book took even longer than it needed to. I have a policy of giving one star if I abandon a book and two if I make it to the end, but I very nearly downgraded this to one star because the ending was such a flop. Nothing was resolved and Eliza's act at the end was so unbelievably annoying.
Eliza Nauman, at nine years old, is a mediocre ...more
I dug all the stuff about the daughter going through the Spelling Bee. That was an interesting journey. In fact I was okay with all four of the characters being, sort of, awful people when I thought things would get better. And things did get better by the end, but not as mu ...more