|Pages/Publication Date:||275 / 2000|
In this "sad, lovely and generous novel" (Washington Post), named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Eliza Naumann sees herself as nothing but mediocre. Her father dotes on her older brother Aaron, who hopes to be a rabbi, while her mother is absorbed in a law career. But when Eliza amazes everyone by winning a spelling bee, her newfound talent garners an invitation not only to national competition, but also to her father's study, a sacred place where a new dictionary beckons and Jewish mysticism lurks in leather tomes. Even so, Eliza's unexpected success sends her off-kilter family into a tailspin, and she finds she must depend on her own insight to hold the family together.