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Bee Season [Myla Goldberg] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. An ordinary girl with an exceptional gift for spelling, young Eliza Naumann . An eccentric family falls apart at the seams in an absorbing debut that finds congruencies between the elementary school spelling-bee circuit, Jewish mysticism. As Eliza’s linguistic prowess takes her nearer to the national finals, the family finally begins to unravel.

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It was a slap in the face. Making the family Jewish allowed me to rely upon my own memories of observance, including attending services. The prevalence of competitions in general shows the American need to be better than anyone else at something, whether it is selling cars or memorizing state capitals or seeason how to spell dvandva. I loved the writing, the storylines, the utter dysfunctionality of the characters.

I thought the characterisation was spot on in Bee Season. Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: Yet he nee to see the similarities between what he is trying to teach his daughter and the choice of Hare Krishna religion that his son has chosen.

Jan 06, Travis rated it it was amazing Shelves: While guising as a simple plot involving a girl’s quest to win a spelling bee, this book explores topics all the way from mental illness to religious awakenings. Preview — Bee Season by Myla Goldberg. Goldberg writes, “The two bond over their mutual lack of family ties” [p.

It was a finalist in the Frankfurt eBook Award for Best Fiction work converted from print to ebook. Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: Despite his discomfort and shock, why is Saul reluctant to discuss it, choosing instead to sleep in his study? I could not imagine seeing the movie, as I think it would ruin the magic of the book.

Goldberg allowed me to get to know each of them in depth. I often felt embarrassed for them and ashamed of their thoughts.


Press reactions: Bee Season, by Myla Goldberg | Books | The Guardian

Feb 02, Bree rated it it was ok Shelves: My feelings were confirmed when I traveled to Washington, D. This is not about the daughter Eliza’s skill at spelling, nor is it about Aaron’s Hare Krishna experience. How did you get interested in Jewish mysticism? As she rises from classroom obscurity to the blinding lights and outsized expectations of the National Bee, Eliza’s small pains and large joys seasob finely wrought and deeply felt.

About this Author Shortly after reading about spelling bees in an essay in Granta, a friend of mine told me of a fairly traumatic mylla bee experience.

View all 4 comments. The characters continually misunderstand each other. My,a latches onto the theory’s of Abulafia and wants to communicate with God thru letters.

So yes, Bee Season is a great read I devoured it in two hot-and-heavy days and it makes some very groovy connections between spriritual and intellectual growth, between obsessions and possessions we can see and ones we can only conjure manifestations of. Faith of some sort in oneself, in someone else, or in something larger generally comes into play when undertaking an action goldbergg involves risk.

I thought this would be something similar. My family history is a potpourri of unpleasant genes that I would hate to pass on to another human being. I couldn’t get through this book fast enough and I couldn’t resign myself to not finish it. In my early teens I was sometimes forced to babysit for my younger cousins with my sister. The mother deserves to be in a mental facility, that dad is as vain as can be, and their teenage son is reckless in his own sense.

Miriam, a brilliant and compulsive high-powered lawyer, slips easily into the role of wage-earner, happy to leave the emotional demands of family life and parenting to her husband. It seemed like yoldberg were simply photos of people, not actual people. She has no reason to expect that the outcome of this, her first spelling bee, will differ from the outcome of any other school event seemingly designed to confirm, display or amplify her mediocrity.


Is her behavior unusual for an eleven-year-old? To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Why were they there? Eliza, who is at first mentally challenged, soon becomes golberg spelling bee champ. This provides an opportunity for the fissures of the family to become giant gullies straight through the middle of a very normal family.


I thought the ending of Bee Season was very lacklustre. But that seems like the kind of narrow-minded, technical criticism Mr Naumann would throw at his daughter’s spelling errors. Though I was never an active spelling bee participant myself, I recognized in these kids my own childhood imperative to fulfill expectations and live up to my potential. Aaron, the brother, who begins to question his Judaism; Miriam, the mother, who feels drawn to things for a mysterious reason, thinking that they will fill some hole she is only subconsciously aware of; Saul, the father, who drives his children to be faithful to their Judaism and bfe has trouble seeing and accepting the changes the family is going through; and Eliza, the speller, who uses her spelling talent to get closer to God.

The mother was mentally ill, surviving in the …more I didn’t despise any of them.

Goldberg is a smart writer that way. One of their big problems is an inability to communicate. View all 5 comments. This book tells of a little girl who gains the attention from her parents that she has always craved when it is discovered sason she has a gift for spelling. I actually delineated a paragraph that bothered me to the point that I contemplated quitting on this book. Overall, I did enjoy the dynamics and relationships between the characters, but there wasn’t much more than that to make this worth reading.