Of Bees and Mist

Of Bees and Mist

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Erick Setiawan

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  • Publisher: HEADLINE REVIEW
  • Format: Paperback | 512 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 198mm x 33mm | 342g
  • Publication date: 24 December 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0755348559
  • ISBN 13: 9780755348558
  • Sales rank: 86,466

Product description

Up in the house that sits on the hill, a strange spell is brewing...To Meridia, growing up with her father Gabriel, who vanishes daily in clouds of mist, and her bewitching mother Ravenna, the outside world is a refuge. So when as a young woman her true love Daniel offers her marriage, it seems an escape to a more straightforward existence. Yet behind the welcoming facade of her new home lies a life of drudgery and a story even stranger than that she left behind. Aged retainers lurk in the background; swarms of bees appear at will, and of course, there's her indomitable mother-in-law, Eva, hiding secrets that it will take Meridia years to unravel. Surrounded by seemingly unfathomable mysteries, can Meridia unlock the intrigues of the past, and thus protect her own family's future? An epic tale of two families told by an unforgettable voice. A modern fable, a gothic page-turner, but most of all, a passionate story about the power of love to conquer all that comes its way.

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Author information

Erick Setiawan grew up in Indonesia and moved to San Francisco as a teenager to learn English. He later attended Stanford. He is now writing fulltime, and OF BEES AND MIST is his first novel.

Customer reviews

By Nadia Di Girolamo 10 Jan 2011 5

If you are a fan of Isabele Alldende, I would definitely recommend this book as it has the same magical quality that her story telling does.

The tale is captivating and moves along as a fast pace. It tells the tale of a girl, Meridia, and the strange dynamics of her family and house who are surrounded and pursued by a strange and ghostly mist. It follows Meridia's life from childhood to adulthood and endeavors to explain the oddities of the mist as well as the strange appearance of the bees, both of which haunt Meridia and heavily influence and affect her life.

A serious page turner. I flew through it like the Devil was pursuing me, much to the annoyance of everyone around me when I would retreat to me room to read for hours on end.

By flynn fletcher-dobson 20 May 2010 5

A completely captivating and mysterious fairy tale, set in an undetermined time and place, that simply draws the reader in. A bit like brothers Grimm combined with Tim Burton-one of the best books I have ever read.

By Magdalena 02 Apr 2010 5

Even though everything happens very fast and you have to keep up with it, it's one of the few books that i really loved and enjoyed reading.
It's a book that you must read it you're into "surprising, totally original roller-coaster" novels.

Review quote

'Of Bees and Mist is a beautifully crafted adult fairytale of love, loss, and loyalty that is at once witty, magical, and moving. This is a stunningly accomplished first novel.' John Connolly, author of The Book of Lost Things and The Lovers It's rare to read a work of fiction that is so uniquely intoxicating, it becomes necessary to put life on hold while you let it work its magic. What makes Setiawan's achievement even more wonderful is that this is his debut novel...This is a bewitching, achingly romantic fairy tale and a truly epic undertaking - one that addresses some of lifes most universal themes of love, loyalty and betrayal SHE Magazine This debut demands you enter a place full of spirits, ghosts, demons and clairvoyants, where spells and witchcraft prevail. Glamour Magazine 'It's rare to read a work of fiction that is so uniquely intoxicating, it becomes necessary to put life on hold while you let it work its magic. What makes Setiawan's achievement even more wonderful is that this is his debut novel...This is a bewitching, achingly romantic fairy tale and a truly epic undertaking - one that addresses some of lifes most universal themes of love, loyalty and betrayal' SHE magazine 'This debut demands you enter a place full of spirits, ghosts, demons and clairvoyants, where spells and witchcraft prevail.' Glamour magazine A wildly imaginative beauty also marks Setiawan out as one to watch. Metro A beautiful and sweeping modern fable of two families enmeshed in jealousy, desire and bitterness, the depth of passon and the pain of loss. Delightfully written and compelling, it's terrific - one to be hand sold. The Bookseller 'A wildly imaginative beauty also marks Setiawan out as one to watch.' Metro '[Setiawan's] writing [is] so expressive and squeaky clean ... A really impressive first novel.' City AM 'A beautiful and sweeping modern fable of two families enmeshed in jealousy, desire and bitterness, the depth of passon and the pain of loss. Delightfully written and compelling, it's terrific - one to be hand sold.' The Bookseller 'If you're looking for something to read, that's a bit different, hugely innovative, with a cracking plot - look no further...The author deserves to enjoy huge success with this debut novel, and I will be awaiting his next work with eager anticipation.' The Bookbag [H]eartfelt ... [F]ans of fantasy and fiction lovers alike are sure to enjoy this magical tale. Publishers Weekly 'Writing with a fairy-tale sensibility, Setiawan cloaks every aspect of the novel in magic, spells, and ghosts both actual and imaginary. For readers who like their novels steeped in the fantastic, this is a marvel.' Booklist '[A]mbitious ... [A]n undeniably intriguing landscape ... [A] story that pulses with life ...' San Francisco Chronicle '[O]riginal and compelling, and it's hard to set down ... [T]he closing pages of Of Bees and Mist are perhaps inevitable, but not predictably so. And they are very right ... This is a debut that is a looping joy to read, a journey in a world that is jointly anchored in the fantastic and earthy humanity.' Denver Post '[A] fascinating domestic drama.' Washington Post '[A] richly drawn fantasy world ... [M]emorable, identifiable characters and an enjoyable story rooted in human emotion. Love, longing, and the pain of compromise are indeed recognizable to all, no matter our culture or geography.' Miami Herald

Editorial reviews

Magical spells, strange demons and one utterly impossible mother-in-law drive the plot of a moody fairy tale set in no particular time and place.Meridia, the heroine of this debut novel, grows up in a large and curious home: Its staircase has a habit of lengthening every so often, and powerful mists are capable of pulling unwanted visitors away from the front door. But beneath this strangeness lies some very common familial dysfunction. Gabriel and Ravenna, Meridia's parents, are barely on speaking terms, and rumors abound that Gabriel has taken a mistress. Understandably, Meridia grows up eager to escape. As a teenager she falls for Daniel, whose mother, Eva, busies herself tartly abusing nearly everyone she meets. When her ire is especially stoked, usually toward Meridia, Eva can call on a swarm of bees to punctuate her passive-aggressive fits of pique. This book is largely the story of a decades-long war between Eva and Meridia, and on occasion the magical setting effectively emphasizes how corrosive the relationship is. But the uncanny touches are haphazardly deployed, and the book is largely a flat narrative about in-laws who don't get along. Squabble follows squabble as Meridia attempts to escape Eva's clutches; Eva strikes back; and Daniel behaves as a milquetoast, uncertain of the truth of either woman's accusations. Those bees occasionally serve as a useful symbol of the wages of self-doubt - they tend to swarm in whenever Meridia questions Eva's judgment - but the mists and ghosts that appear seem to serve little purpose other than to modestly enliven a simplistic, repetitious story that makes Meridia's virtue nearly as tedious as Eva's viciousness.Setiawan unconvincingly inflates a tiny narrative into a supernatural epic. (Kirkus Reviews)