Bee Season by Myla GoldbergAnchor Books, 2000
Fiction; 274 pgs
The novel, Bee Season, did not captivate me from the very beginning as I had hoped, although it was interesting enough to keep going. A young girl surprises everyone when she wins the school spelling bee, having always been thought of as mediocre. As the story unfolds, readers are introduced to her family: an eccentric mother who appears to be a workaholic, a teenage brother who is questioning his faith, and a father who wants his children to be the best in achieving his own dreams for them. As I neared the end of the book, the pieces began to come together more clearly and the story intrigued me more. It became harder to put down. Eliza, the ten-year-old heroine of the novel, is endearing in her innocence and desire to please and help her family.
I liked the different perspectives offered by the author of the various family members and the way she always brought the focus back to Eliza. This is not so much the story about Eliza as it is about the Naumann family as they discover themselves and each other. The ending was very well done; however, upon reflection, I find myself wondering about elements of the book that remain fuzzy, as if the pieces weren’t all brought together to provide answers that might have better solidified the story being told. Bee Season was a moving novel that touched my heart in the end. I will definitely be looking for the author’s next novel.
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