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The Honey Thief
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156013908, Paperback)"The first time a store manager called about Eva, Miriam had thought it was a mistake." Eva Baruch, 11 years old, has been caught stealing three times. The fourth time, her widowed mother takes drastic action and moves them from their East Village apartment to a small town in Upstate New York. Miriam explains that their new home will allow them a "normal" life; at the root of her decision, however, is a nagging fear that Eva's kleptomania is just the beginning of a bigger problem, "the snag in the stocking that leads to the run, the computer virus (it had happened in the law firm where she worked) that becomes visible too late." The transition is not easy for either of them: Miriam works long hours to support herself and her daughter, while Eva must weather the twin storms of loneliness and impending adolescence. Then Eva meets Burl, a former lawyer who has withdrawn into the isolation of his grandparents' farm to raise bees.
For a while he had sat around cooking up grand plans--a cooperative farm, sustainable agriculture, or a commercial beekeeping operation, maybe even migratory hives that he'd load into a semitruck and drive across the country, following the bloom. Or an ostrich farm. He liked how odd they looked, somewhere between bird and beast, and they were supposed to be the new, low-fat red meat. Sometimes when he let his thoughts wander far enough, he'd had a farming and business partner who was also a mate.Unfortunately, the woman of his choice has married someone else, he's let the farm go to seed, and now he makes a living writing how-to books and tending his hives as a hobby only. When young Eva comes into his life and begins helping with the bees, however, he is drawn reluctantly into her life and that of her mother.
Elizabeth Graver throws these three isolated people together and then wisely steps out of the way to let them work on each other. As the story moves forward, she allows her characters to look back, gradually weaving in memories that explain Burl's choices and Miriam's fears. Best of all, she avoids the obvious resolutions; instead, The Honey Thief plays out much as life does--messy, painful at times, with no guarantees but plenty of reason to hope. --Alix Wilber
(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 19 Apr 2011 12:04:52 -0400)
When eleven-year-old Eva is caught shoplifting for the fourth time, her mother decides to move them to a small town in upstate New York as a solution. There Eva makes friends with a reclusive beekeeper, a friendship that will help mother and daughter deal with their problems.