Reply
Inspired Correspondent
jclay26
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


Shadowwolf36 wrote:

CathyB wrote:

Shaddowwolf36: I agree. I was thinking of The Others with Nicole Kidman.

 

CathyB


 

EXACTLY!!

Oh, yes! Definitely The Others! I had a glimpse of that when I began reading but never made the connection!

What you have to do...is trust your own story. Get the hell out of the way and let it tell itself. - Tim O'Brien; The Things They Carried
Distinguished Correspondent
JaneM
Posts: 152
Registered: ‎02-01-2008

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Great comments - I hadn't noticed the numbers.  I have no idea what 27 or 10 might relate to but I'll be interested if others have comments.  About the decaying fawn - I think it might just be an omen - a precursor to something that might happen later.  Maybe Meridia will lose a child or maybe it's just a way to dampen her joy and give her a more earthly perspective.  As for the eagle, it has upset an abandoned nest.  Again, a precursor to something that will happen later.  The household will be upset with Meridia's arrival in ways we don't yet know.

 


lmpmn wrote:

One thing I've noticed that hasn't been mentioned yet is the repetition of numbers.  For instance, Ravenna went through 27 hours of labor with Meridia; Daniel and Meridia spent 27 afternoons together before going to the beach where they found the fawn; and Daniel's address is 27 Orchard Road.

 

Another example is Meridia was given 10 slaps on the rump to get her to cry and then given to her mother; the day she walked to meet Daniel's mother she was followed by 10 dogs and then a large mastiff attacked those dogs when she arrived at his house; then Eva wanted 10 minutes alone with Meridia to ask her all kinds of questions until Daniel came in.

 

What do these numbers mean?  Are they even significant?

 

I'd like to know what others think about the decaying fawn (especially with how completely it was described--kind of gross) arriving on the beach in a child's coffin no less, heralded by 12 seagulls.  Then Meridia gets all these pains in her stomach and vomits.

 

I also think it's interesting that it's mentioned twice how Patina's hobble becomes more pronounced the closer she is to Eva.

 

Lastly, what is the symbolism, if any, of the large eagle descending on the top of the house during the reception.  "On the afternoon of the banquet, when the sun was at its hottest, an enormous eagle descended on the roof of 27 Orchard Road and upset the abandoned nest that had roosted there for years." pg. 81


 

Jane M.
Frequent Contributor
Danimal79
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎12-03-2008

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Two things I'm really interested in are the notion of religion in this story and Eva and Patina's relationship.

 

In regard to the notion of religion.. There has been mention of God and of heaven but there is also mention of spirits (for example, when Daniel and Meridia run out of the seer's tent, the seer is angered and claims that their actions will also anger the "spirits."). And then there was the woman who asked  Meridia if she cared to insure her "afterlife" (at the festival).  I'm really interested to see if the author will expand on his vision of religion and how it plays into the fantastical world he's created in this book.

 

In regard to Patina and Eva.  I was intrigued when it was noted that Patina's hobble got worse as Eva came closer to her.  I'm wondering what the connection between the two women is.  I was thinking..could Patina be another daughter of Eva's but be in the body of an old woman? (Meridia did notice that Patina's eyes were youthful).  Or, perhaps, Patina is Eva's sister or her mother?  I definitely want to know more about these two characters and I'm pretty certain there is a more significant relationship between them than simply employer/employee.

 

I can't wait to read this week's chapters!!

 

Danimal

Author of Chronic Stimulation- a diary chronicling every day life with a recently implanted neurostimulator (for severe chronic pain).

http://www.chronicstimulation.blogspot.com/
Frequent Contributor
Danimal79
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎12-03-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Impn: GREAT point about the number 10 and its potential significance.  I had almost forgotton about the 10 dogs who accompanied Meridia to Daniel's house.  I hope it's explained at some point!  I'm wondering how many of these fantasy-type things are supposed to be taken as only metaphors or as a true part of the story?  It's difficult to tell.

 

Danimal

Author of Chronic Stimulation- a diary chronicling every day life with a recently implanted neurostimulator (for severe chronic pain).

http://www.chronicstimulation.blogspot.com/
Inspired Contributor
Popper19
Posts: 199
Registered: ‎07-24-2007
0 Kudos

Re: my thoughts, Early Chapters, 1-9


Amanda-Louise wrote:

When the book arrived I was completely taken with the cover.  It was too early to start reading, so I spent some time following each vine to see what secrets were hidden there.  I'm interested to do the same again once finished the book so that I can put associations to the images.

 

Chapters 1&2, Everything in this book is so subtle.  Events are presented in such a commonplace way!  When Meridia was led off in the market by a woman telling her that her mother was just playing a game with her, all my mummy-alarm bells went off.  But not because the episode is written in such a way that they should have gone off.  It was just sort of another event.  Similarly, the mirror and the staircase are presented in such a way that, although the reader is curious, the reader is able to accept it, to suspend disbelief and just enjoy.  One other early observation is that there is no sense of time or place.

 

Chapter 3, More questions piled on top of questions! Ravenna turns into a ghost with a bony protrusion on the back of it's head?  And the mist is the mistress?  Very bizarre!  And how did Meridia come to understand this?

 

Chapters 4, I found the description of the mistress given by Ravenna absolutely hilarious.  Reading the descriptions of what Hannah and Meridia see as they travel about their town on their adventures makes me wonder if this is perhaps an alternative universe (similar to the alternate universe used by Pullman in His Dark Materials).  What is the significance is of the street named Monarch. 

 

Chapter 5,  I'd love to see a movie version of what I've read so far.  I'm sure the special effects would be fabulous!  Meridia find this man, her 'soul mate' and ends up back at the market with him - the same place she lost her mother.  This is where they made plans to meet again.  Has she found something wonderful in the same place or will it turn out equally poorly?

 

Chapters 6-9, I found these chapters were more 'in reality' while dealing with the wedding preparations and with getting her father to agree.  However, still more questions - the green light from Eva's room, the bees?  It's all so curious and I can't wait to get into the coming chapters!


 

You summed up the chapters very much as I would have.  I think we're on the same page.  I'll be interested to see if we are throughout the book.
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,827
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Wow great job noticing the numerology aspect of the story. The number 27 is referred to a lot in religious terms - there are 27 chapters in the New Testament, Revelation is the last chapter and the war lead by the Antichrist described in that chapter is supposed to last 27 years. Here's a web site about the number 27 http://www.ridingthebeast.com/numbers/nu27.php

 

And here's one about 10

 http://www.prntrkmt.org/numerology/10.html 

Inspired Contributor
canterbear
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

When I first started to read, I found the style interesting. It feels  like someone is telling the story.

Then as I continued I got a little tried of the style, but was glad when more converstion and interaction between characters took place.

  I assume much of this book is based on Eastern folklore.  I do wish I knew the time period that the story is told in.

  I am not sure the meaning of all the magic, the symbolicism.

 It does have a strong main character and another that you grow to hate.

 It is well written.

  
 

  

Inspired Contributor
Popper19
Posts: 199
Registered: ‎07-24-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


JaneM wrote:

 I feel that the writer is somewhat akin to Alice Hoffman and Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. 

 


Thank you for mentioning Alice Hoffman - I've been racking my brain to think of the book Ice Queen to compare Of Bees and Mist to and I just couldn't place it.  I agree with you that the style is similar.

Reader
craftyreader
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I am really enjoying the book so farIt is very different from anything else I have readI do agree it feels like an eastern European fairy taleBut from the perspective of the protagonistI think he does a wonderful job of telling the story from a child's perspective, and I wonder how much of this comes from his own experienceHe really conveys the feeling of invisibility in her home contrasted with being too visible outside her home so well.

 

I am looking forward to the future adventures!

Frequent Contributor
RNLana
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎03-12-2009

Re: Mist Colors

I love this!  Thank you for this information.... What about the colors themselves as they pertain to Gabriel's point of view?  When he leaves, it is in the yellow mist.. a little ray of sunshine in his day?  a temporary escape.  When he returns, it is in the blue mist, to me blue represents cold, the cold house he comes back to, as well as the cold emotions present in the house, the absence of love.

Lana


DSaff wrote:

I don't know if anyone else is trying to figure out if the color of the mist has any significance, but I have been. Here is some of what I found and two sites with information. I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

White - stands for purity, cleanliness, and neutrality

Yellow - two-sided: wisdom, joy, intellectual energy and cowardice, deceit

Blue - youth, spirituality, peace, calming influence but too much can dampen spirits

 

http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/color/a/symbolism.htm

http://www.crystal-cure.com/color-meanings.html

 

I may be totally off on this, but here goes. 

The white mist seems so cold and daunting, but also powerful in its control of things. This could represent the coldness of the marriage.

The yellow mist is seems to lean more toward the deceit meaning, and that deceit may simply be that no one knows where he goes. It could also mean that there is an affair.

The blue mist seems to tell me that he is calmer coming home than when he left. Those seeing it may be more depressed, however.

 


 

Frequent Contributor
RNLana
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎03-12-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Meridia?

Awsome insightful information!  When I was reading, I recognized the similarity, but never thought of addressing the meaning....invisible line, wonderful!  thank you.

Lana


Amanda-Louise wrote:

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this (or if it's even worth mentioning), but what about Meridia's name?   It's kind of close to meridian - kind of inbetween, but technically an invisible line.

 

?

 

Perhaps this is discussed in her own little thread, however I'm afraid to go there for fear of spoilers.

 

Amanda


 

Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mist Colors

Yes, those work too, Lana. I really think the colors mean something here. :smileyhappy:


RNLana wrote:

I love this!  Thank you for this information.... What about the colors themselves as they pertain to Gabriel's point of view?  When he leaves, it is in the yellow mist.. a little ray of sunshine in his day?  a temporary escape.  When he returns, it is in the blue mist, to me blue represents cold, the cold house he comes back to, as well as the cold emotions present in the house, the absence of love.

Lana


DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
Inspired Correspondent
libralady
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎09-23-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I am glad that you brought up Patina.  I, too, am curious about her and wonder why her hobble worsens as Meridia gets closer...I also wonder why Eva appears to work her so hard when obviously she has physical limitations.  I am not quite sure what her part in this story will be, but I am sure it will be revealed as we read on.  As for Patina's eyes, p. 89 says, "her brown eyes were as soft as a baby's, yet something in those fathomless depths seemed ravaged by grief."  I am thinking that something bad must have happened to her in the past.  Possibly at the hands of Eva?  I am anxious to find out more about this relationship.
Danimal79 wrote:

Two things I'm really interested in are the notion of religion in this story and Eva and Patina's relationship.

 

In regard to the notion of religion.. There has been mention of God and of heaven but there is also mention of spirits (for example, when Daniel and Meridia run out of the seer's tent, the seer is angered and claims that their actions will also anger the "spirits."). And then there was the woman who asked  Meridia if she cared to insure her "afterlife" (at the festival).  I'm really interested to see if the author will expand on his vision of religion and how it plays into the fantastical world he's created in this book.

 

In regard to Patina and Eva.  I was intrigued when it was noted that Patina's hobble got worse as Eva came closer to her.  I'm wondering what the connection between the two women is.  I was thinking..could Patina be another daughter of Eva's but be in the body of an old woman? (Meridia did notice that Patina's eyes were youthful).  Or, perhaps, Patina is Eva's sister or her mother?  I definitely want to know more about these two characters and I'm pretty certain there is a more significant relationship between them than simply employer/employee.

 

I can't wait to read this week's chapters!!

 

Danimal


 

"Sow today what you want to reap tomorrow"
Contributor
AshALee
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎10-22-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


DSaff wrote:

I'm not sure what I expected from Of Bees and Mist. It took a little time to get me into the story, but now I have questions to be answered.

 

Meridia's nurse aggravated me at first with the over-protectiveness she displayed. But, as I read more and think about what was happening between her parents, I think that the nurse was protecting Meridia from more than the germs outside. The nurse didn't have to stay - the house was cold in many ways. But, she stayed for Meridia; a protective force from the family's problems, at least for a while. I miss her character.

 


I feel the same way!  It took me a few chapters to get involved in the book, though I enjoyed it from the start.  After page 200 though, I was completely drawn in.

 

I feel like Hannah was a figment of Meridia's imagination, a part of her that was missing.  Someone charismatic, outgoing, and able to travel and be a free spirit. 

 

I wasn't sure quite what to expect with this novel, but I was not disappointed in the slightest! 

www.bellasnovella.com
Distinguished Wordsmith
aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


lmpmn wrote:

I've really enjoyed reading all the other posts in this thread.  Especially the ones

One thing I've noticed that hasn't been mentioned yet is the repetition of numbers.  For instance, Ravenna went through 27 hours of labor with Meridia; Daniel and Meridia spent 27 afternoons together before going to the beach where they found the fawn; and Daniel's address is 27 Orchard Road.

 

Another example is Meridia was given 10 slaps on the rump to get her to cry and then given to her mother; the day she walked to meet Daniel's mother she was followed by 10 dogs and then a large mastiff attacked those dogs when she arrived at his house; then Eva wanted 10 minutes alone with Meridia to ask her all kinds of questions until Daniel came in.


I missed all that. Great catch! Thanks!

April
Distinguished Wordsmith
aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


Sassy398 wrote:

This book is absolutely awesome...it really makes you think. It has a whole scope of

different aspects to experience. From love,hate, empathy and mystery...Hats off to

Erick Setiawan.  The answer about Meridia's friend is that she is either imaginary or

Meridia has a split personality.


 

I was thinking along the same lines about Meridia's friend, Hannah. I thought for sure she was an imaginary friend, until her letters to Meridia started arriving. My only guess then was Meridia may have suffered from a multiple personality. How else could the letters be explained? Guess we'll have to wait and see!
April
Distinguished Wordsmith
pjpick
Posts: 1,042
Registered: ‎03-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


aprilh wrote:

Sassy398 wrote:

This book is absolutely awesome...it really makes you think. It has a whole scope of

different aspects to experience. From love,hate, empathy and mystery...Hats off to

Erick Setiawan.  The answer about Meridia's friend is that she is either imaginary or

Meridia has a split personality.


 

I was thinking along the same lines about Meridia's friend, Hannah. I thought for sure she was an imaginary friend, until her letters to Meridia started arriving. My only guess then was Meridia may have suffered from a multiple personality. How else could the letters be explained? Guess we'll have to wait and see!

 

I was sort of leaning towards paranoid schizophrenia myself--but that's me being literal again and trying to find an explanation for everything.  Still finding it very hard to let the story "wash" over me as some have said. I do agree with one of the other posters that it does have the feeling of a fairy tale or a fable of some sort.  Where did I put my inner child? **sigh**
Inspired Contributor
pode
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎01-30-2009

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


mv5ocean wrote:

Linda10 wrote:

First off, thank you, Paul, for finally fixing the computer glich! 

 Oh, poor Meridia!  We can't wait to see what happens to you!

 


 

You are right on target about being open minded and allowing the right brain to interpret...........I keep coming back to so many questions that were brought up in these threads about the vegetable garden in Katherine Howe's book we did last time in First Look and how readers were having a hard time digesting that........this book has 10 times the amount of magical elements to get a grip on.

I do think that if you walk into it with an open mind it's very entertaining and mystical..........I'm loving it so far although the deep mournful basis has me hungering for more......just what the heck is going on?...........


A comment on the difference I see between the Howe book and this one....Howe's book didn't start out to be magic.  She just kept slipping magic into an otherwise "straight" book.  The Bees and Mist was clearly a "magic" book from the very beginning and we knew to be openminded right away.  Howe's book was (to me) always switching back and forth and I found it inconsistant and annoying. 

 

I like the magic in this book and hope Setiawan can sustain it and then deliver a good story!

 

Pode

"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?"
â Henry Ward Beecher
Distinguished Correspondent
PB684
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎08-03-2007

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


Lil_Irish_Lass wrote:


Perhaps it's the contrast between Meridia's icy cold home of raging winds (winter) vs. the heat and buzzing of Daniel's home (summer).

I Love this analogy of the houses representing winter and summer!:smileywink:

PB684
Contributor
USwede16
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


rkubie wrote:

 

Who is Hannah? Why doesn't she show up in the hair dresser's mirror?

 


 

I think that Hannah is imaginiary. She most likely represents everything that Meridia isn't. I believe that Meridia's imagination has fabricated her existence because Hannah is everything that Meridia wants to be (and can be when she applies herself). She can't show up in the mirror for two reasons:

 

1.She's imaginary so there is nothing physically there for the mirror to reflect and

2.  A mirror reflects back only what exists. If Meridia doesn't contain the qualities of Hannah, it can't reflect those qualities either, regardless of the supernatural occurances in the house.

 

"Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly."
Langston Hughes