Monday, March 19, 2007

Bee Season - Myla Goldberg

I have been MIA for a little while, but it has been for a very good reason. Recently, we saw two little lines-on a pregnancy test! We have a little one on the way (our first)! Needless to say, our home has been filled with oodles of excitement recently, and my attention span is practically nil. Now that things are calming down somewhat, life is coming back to normal. Except for the multiple trips to the bathroom. And very tender breasts. And an amazingly strong sense of smell. And extreme fatigue...

On to the book review.Title: Bee Season
Author: Myla Goldberg
Year: 2000
Pages: 275pgs Rating: C-
Book From: Personal library (acquired from a colleague)

Eliza Naumann has always lived in the shadow of her multi-talented family. When she wins the school spelling bee, and quickly progresses to the nationals, she finally catches the attention of her father, her sees in her an untapped gift, as his Jewish scholar prodigee. What starts out as a story of a spelling bee whiz quickly descends to a hodgepodge of family dramas: a brother that foregoes his strong religous beliefs in Judaism (he was on the path to becoming a rabbi) to convert to Hare Krishna; a lawyer mom whose hidden secret is ultimately her undoing; and a scholar father who brings Eliza into the world of Kabbalism and Jewish mysticism.

Meh. Bee Season had a promising premise, but was ultimately boring and predictable. The numerous metaphors felt forced, and were overused. Despite the complexity of the multiple story lines, most of the characters were flat, particularly Miriam, the mother. There were only two parts I enjoyed about the novel: learning a bit more about Kabbalism, although I would definitely have to do further research to weed out fiction from fact; and the description of the "place" that Miriam was obsessed with (to say more would be giving away a large spoiler).

8 comments:

Wendy said...

CONGRATULATIONS on your new little one on the way!! How very, very exciting :)

I've purposely avoided reading The Bee Season because I had a feeling it was just as you described it. Thanks for the review.

iliana said...

Congratulations!! What fantastic news. Wishing you a safe and happy pregnancy! Oh and I totally agree with your review of Bee Season :)

Literary Feline said...

Congratulations, Alisia!

I just finished reading Wickett's Remedy by the same author (am going to try and post my review tonight). I went back and reread my thoughts about Bee Season that I jotted down about a year and a half ago and was surprised at how similar my feelings for the two books were. Just the same, they are very different in story and style. I did like Bee Season although was not overly impressed with it. I'm kind of afraid to see the movie. Have you seen it?

SuziQoregon said...

Congratulations Mama!!!

Laura said...

Congratulations! Great news and wish you all the best. Hopefully you will still have time to read ~9 mos. from now!

Bookfool said...

What a terrific reason for not blogging!!! Best wishes on the coming little one!

heidijane said...

Congratulations!!! My little one is two in May and memories of the whole pregnancy thing are still very much with me - it will be a very exciting, emotional and nervous time, all at the same time. Hope you have plenty of time to fit in some reading as well...

Nyssaneala said...

Thanks everyone for the congrats and warm wishes!!