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Book Review of Bee Season

Bee Season
Bee Season
Author: Myla Goldberg
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
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This book tells the story of Eliza Naumann, a young girl who is not academically gifted, but finds that she has an unnatural knack for spelling. She easily wins her class spelling bee, then the school spelling bee, and continues to move forward. She is both thrilled and apprehensive about her father's new-found interest in helping her achieve her goal of winning the nation spelling bee: she's thrilled because her father never seemed to have time for her before, but she's apprehensive because she is now taking away from the time her brother Aaron used to spend studying with their father. She's also originally unsettled by the fact that her father seems to use her spelling as a means to propel her into a soul-searching quest for religious enlightenment, though Eliza slowly sees this as an attainable goal herself. Aaron, meanwhile, deals with his own religious awakening, one that is vastly different from the future rabbi goals his father set for him. During all this, Eliza's mother, Miriam, sinks deeper into a dark secret that's she's been hiding from her family for many, many years.

I wanted to like this book more than I did. It's not to say that this is a bad book. It's just OK. I found myself able to connect with Eliza and Aaron, but I found it much harder to connect, or even like their parents throughout the story. As other reviewers have said, this book seems a bit disjointed and everything doesn't quite feel resolved at the end. I was left feeling a bit unfulfilled at the end. It's still an OK read, but just not what I expected going into it.