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“Eleemosynary,” the word Echo is given in the finals of national spelling bee, means “charitable, the giving of alms.” Although things don’t turn out as Echo planned, each of these free minded, independent women learn, each in their own way, the importance of charity when it comes to understanding and accepting the people you love.
Eleemosynary by Lee Blessing – continues the Angels focus on care giving and women as central character. Three genius women. Two home-made wings. One vicious spelling bee. Sometimes the hardest thing to learn is how to love.
Forced into a domestic life and denied a formal education by her overbearing father, Dorothea Wesberg finds an outlet for her extraordinary mind by “deciding to be eccentric.” Dorothea’s activities include attempts at astral projection, communicating with plants, and getting her daughter Artemis to fly by means of mind power and a pair of make-shift wings. Artemis, whose mind is even more brilliant than her mother, is humiliated by Dorothea’s activities and strikes out on her own at as a teenager. Their relationship is a constant battle between Artemis’ desire for independence and Dorothea’s desire to control her decisions. Eventually, Artemis leaves her own child, Echo, to be raised by Dorothea. Echo, as a young teenager, yearns to connect with the mother who rejected her and embarks on a near maniacal pursuit of the national spelling bee championship, believing that it will reconcile her mother and grandmother.