Sunday, June 01, 2014

From the Archives: Bee Season by Myla Goldberg

I began keeping a reading journal several years before I began blogging. I find it interesting to sift through my thoughts of books that I read back then. My reviews were often brief and contained little substance, but I thought it'd be fun to document them here on my blog as well as share them with you. Here is one from September of 2005: 



Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
Anchor 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.


© 2014, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

8 comments:

  1. I remember reading this a few years back and liking it. I can't remember what else I thought though :p

    I think I'll go hunt for my copy when I'm back in Singapore and re-read it :D

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    1. Eustacia - I remember it was quite popular there for awhile, especially about the time the movie came out. I'm trying to remember what I thought of the movie--but I think it was pretty much the same.

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  2. I hadn't heard of Bee Season, it sounds good. And I too enjoy looking back on old journal entries. Pre-blogging I used to document my dreams then in turn write down their meanings. It was interesting.

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    1. Naida - There's a movie too, featuring Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche.

      I've always wanted to journal my dreams, but never have. It's fun to try to figure out what they might mean. :-)

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  3. Though the cover doesn't look familiar I think I have this on my TBR mountain .... perhaps with another cover.

    Sorry that elements of the book remain fuzzy, it can be so frustrating when this happens.

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    1. Tracy - You might have the movie cover, maybe? Or I know sometimes covers vary depending on the country.

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  4. Sounds good, and I think I remember something about the title, maybe from your blog.

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    1. Jenclair - I am trying to remember if I ever talked about this one before. Maybe when I read her other book, Wickett's Remedy. Or in reference to the movie, which now, looking over my mention of that in 2007, I didn't like at all. So, the book is definitely better. :-)

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