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Cathy

Roslindale, MA, USA | Member Since 2003

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 88 ratings
  • 93 titles in library
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  • Bee Season: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Myla Goldberg
    • Narrated By Myla Goldberg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (62)

    Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable 9-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.

    Cathy says: "Fascinating concept but something missing"
    "Fascinating concept but something missing"
    Overall

    Bee Season combines a young girl's unexpected gift for spelling with the exploration of her family's dysfunction and each family member's individual pursuit of spirituality even as the family pulls apart at the seams.

    I love Goldberg's imaginative description of Eliza's experience with vowels and consonants as her spelling becomes more and more mystical. I also love the creative and beautiful depiction of Eliza's mother's obsession (I won't give anything away by saying what she's obessed with). But, some of the characters' motivations are unclear or not believable, and this makes some of the plot hard to swallow.

    Also, I appreciate that Goldberg is reading her own book - but with only a few exceptions I find that actors or professional readers do a better job than the authors themselves, and this book is no exception.

    Then on the positive side, Goldberg's discussion of Jewish mysticism and alternative religion is pretty fascinating.

    So, I do recommend it but with some reservation. I'm curious to see the movie verion with Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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