Bee Sea­son

  • From the Publisher
February 18, 2014
Eliza Nau­mann, a seem­ing­ly unre­mark­able nine-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. In this altered real­i­ty, Saul inducts her into his hal­lowed study and lav­ish­es upon her the atten­tion pre­vi­ous­ly reserved for Aaron, who in his dis­place­ment embarks upon a lone quest for spir­i­tu­al ful­fill­ment. When Miri­am’s secret life trig­gers a famil­ial explo­sion, it is Eliza who must order the chaos. 

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.

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