The Honey Thief

 Hyperion, 1999. Harcourt/Harvest, 2000

The summer that eleven-year-old Eva is picked up on her fourth shoplifting charge, her mother, Miriam, decides that the only solution is to move from Manhattan to a quiet town in upstate New York. There, she tells Eva, they can have a “normal” life. But what Miriam doesn’t tell her daughter, or anyone else, is that Eva’s stealing scares her for a different reason, one related to a past she has been trying to ignore. As tensions mount between mother and daughter, it is, oddly enough, Eva’s secret friendship with Burl–a reclusive beekeeper who lives down the road–that ultimately helps the two find their way back to each other. The Honey Thief is a haunting, lyrical novel about the shadow the past casts on the present, the workings of memory and desire, and the healing powers of unexpected friendship.

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Recognition:

  • A New England Booksellers Association Discovery Book
  • Nominated for the 2001 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Praise for The Honey Thief:

“A completely contemporary story about a young girl on the verge of adolescence . . . Remarkably fine-funed, it maintains a consistent delicacy and precision.” Katherine Weber, The New York Times Book Review

“Fearlessly honest . . . In tight, confident prose, Graver provides a wealth of vividly observed detail that makes us feel completely there with the characters.” Andy Solomon, Boston Sunday Globe

“Have you ever read a book that absorbs you so completely that you have to swim up out of it to reality? This is such a book. Poignant, well written, and thoroughly engaging . . . This is a great story about growing up, coping with loss, and the tenacity of the human spirit.” Library Journal

“Intense, lyrical . . . Elizabeth Graver’s beautifully fluted prose–slipping fluidly between past and present, and as sensitive to the nuance of thought and feeling as it is to place and landscape–makes each word a joy to read.” The Times (London)

“The story is never less than absorbing and emotionally satisfying. It’s a measure of how firmly it grips us that we wish, as do its characters, that everything about themselves and their lives could be perfect.” Kirkus Reviews

“As delicately as bees build honey-combs, Graver constructs an affecting story about the costs of starting over, of hoping for better after being stung by life. “A life…could go either way, climb steadily toward its better possibilities or sprial down,” Miriam says at the beginning of this sad, wise novel. By the end, the balance has tipped toward possibilities rather than disappointment. But as Graver shows, like farm-fresh honey, happiness takes time and has its risks.” John Freeman, TimeOut New York

‘This is a powerful, emotional roller-coaster of a book and Graver’s is an important new voice, at once resolutely understated and passionately honest” Jewish Chronicle

“Elizabeth Graver is rapidly proving herself one of our finest writers on the grand drama of simply growing up . . . [Her] vision is magnificiently detailed and precise, offering readers a memorable and sustained glimpse at the mysterious machinations of life itself.” John Gregory Brown, The Chicago Tribune

Published on February 14, 2013 at 10:15 pm  Comments Off on The Honey Thief