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.
©2000 Myla Goldberg; (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC
"Goldberg strikes new ground here, and displays a fresh, distinctive and totally winning voice." (Publishers Weekly)
"There is something of Holden Caulfield in Eliza, the same crazed determination to save her loved ones from themselves. An impressive debut from a remarkably talented writer." (Booklist)
The book follows the story of a girl who's always been 'just OK' academically, as opposed to her father's star, the 16 yr old brother who's excelled since kindergarten, where she always felt she'd been a disappointment to him and her mother. All of a sudden, at 12, she's coming into a superiority in spelling that's magical to her and she's not sure how to handle it with her family. As she progresses, changes to her and each person in the family begin. Some are subtle, some stark and with some surprising twists and turns. Is it the timing of her coming out or would they have happened anyway... Some are expected, but not quite in the way they're presented. Some are startling. Thought provoking and different. The author narrates and is OK, but I do wonder how much the presentation might change with a different reader.
I was enthusiastic when I read the description for this book, but very disappointed by the time I was half way into it. Her exceptional descriptive power just went on too long and I just wanted her "get on with it!" I was very disappointed in the book and not happy with the ending.
This author needs to realize that she's not a professional narrator for a reason--her voice is extremely annoying and her manner of reading drove me insane. I was too distracted by the sound of her voice to enjoy what was probably a decent book.
This is an odd little story about a seemingly normal family that is really anything but normal. Not a tear jerker but certainly not uplifting.
The characters and the storyline are suprisingly complex in this slice-of-life novel, based on the individual tribulations of the Naumann family. Nobody thinks youngest child Eliza is anything more than ordinary...but she discovers a talent that could bind the family together when all looks lost.
I ride my bike while listening to books, and there were several days when I rode extra miles just to listen to this. Not at all what I expected, but a pleasant departure from the typical.
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