Reply
Frequent Contributor
Readingrat
Posts: 72
Registered: ‎09-26-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

What a book to get a late start on!  I'm just now catching up.  So far I'm absolutely loving it.  The combination of an unreliable narrator and the elements of magical realism have really pulled me in.  Like many others I'm having a hard time pinning down a locale for the story and I imagine that is the author's intent.  I'm moving on to the middle chapters and I'll see if I can catch up to the current discussion soon. :smileyhappy:
Frequent Contributor
nfmgirl
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎04-20-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I haven't gotten too far yet. I am just starting Chapter 8. However I am loving the book. I guess it isn't really anything like I expected, and quite honestly if you had given me details about it ahead of time I probably never would have read it. I wouldn't have expected to find a book written with such fantastical flavor, and which at times can be somewhat dark and heavy, so charming. Really a lovely and impressive debut by Mr. Setiawan.

Heather
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/
Contributor
lisally
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎05-04-2009

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I'm also behind (stupid PhD quals!), but I'm definitely liking it so far.  The writing style took a bit of getting used to, but now I am hooked.

 

My opinion of the dreams, mists, etc, is that strong emotions are able to physically manifest in this world.  Ravenna wanted the stillborn Meridia to live, so the baby did.  The townspeople were jealous of the family, and thus made their house cold and foggy.  Meridia felt invisible growing up, and simply faded away as a result.  She desired a friend, so Hannah came into existence.  Ravenna's mirror ghost supports my theory as it is stated to be a direct manifestation of her anger and grief.

 

I'm still way in the early chapters, so I have no idea about my assumptions.  I'm deifinitely curious to meet Eva, who according to the cover can manifest her emotions as bees! 

 

 

Inspired Contributor
Tasses
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

[ Edited ]

PB684 wrote:

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:


 

Oh! I hadn't thought of that one. Great observation!
Message Edited by Tasses on 06-14-2009 09:27 PM
See all my reviews at: Reading Rumpus and Many A Quaint & Curious Volume
Scribe
ReadingPatti
Posts: 2,523
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I too am behind. I am also most done with chapter 8. I am really like this book. I don't liek Meridia's parents. How dare they not love their daugther. Something definitely happened that cause them to ignore her.

 

When Meridia falls in love with Daniel, then her father takes notice of her. What a hypocrite.

 

I am anxious to read more and find out what is to story behind all this mystery.

 

I love this writing. You really don't need a time reference. It could be any time. This kind of thing happens in any time frame.

 

Pat

Frequent Contributor
luvmykiddos
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎09-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I find myself not intrigued enough to really plow through like others. I'm slowly finding pieces in the story that are interesting enough.

 

The nurse was the most grounded, nurturing figure there was in the house. Meridia didn't really know anybody else.

 

I really am unsure at this point, I'm watching (reading!) what's going on and my mind doesn't really wrap around the mystical depections that Erik is using. I have to commend him for him uniqueness, it's just different for me. 

Scribe
ReadingPatti
Posts: 2,523
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I too am slowly getting throught this book. I love the way Eric writes. I like the way he shows the relationships of the two families. I think the are both disfunctional is some ways. Especially Meridia's family. Boy, talk about weird.

 

I am also beginning to think that Daniel's family has motives for Meridia that we have yet to know about. They seem to be up to something. I am not sure what they see in her but her want her for something.

 

The more I read, the more I like this book. I am anxious to learn what the whole story is. But I think that we may not get the whole story. Perhaps, Eric will write a sequel and tell us more about these characters.

 

ReadingPatti

Inspired Contributor
skiibunny1213
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

As a former Latin American Literature student, I am loving the mystical/magical elements of this book. I was not expecting this type of storytelling when I first read the back cover. I am still trying to figure out all the mysterious happenings going on, as is Meridia, but I am starting to get a feel for what is "real" and what is "mystical" in the story. For instance, I think Hannah is not real but rather is an imaginary friend of Meridia's. Hannah becomes the first true escape from her home and depressing family life that Meridia has ever experienced. I think this is important because Hannah gives her the courage to explore places outside her home, and this is how she meets Daniel. While marrying Daniel was supposed to mean freedom from her horrible home life, I think that the author hints that this may not be the case at the end of Chapter 9. Another interesting theme that I think is developing is the hatred between the married couples in this book. I think this hatred is what is creating all the mystical elements like the mist at Meridia's home and the fact that she seems "invisible." Hatred, rather than love, blinds her parents from seeing her, or anything else. The hatred has literally consumed their every thought, action, and word, leaving Meridia alone and bewildered.
Contributor
pagese
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎05-01-2009

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Is Bees and Mist what you expected? What novels have you read (if any) that you might compare to it?

I wasn't really expecting anything.  I knew this book was going to be outside the realm of what I normally read.   I just wanted to keep an open mind about it.

 

What do you make of Meridia's nurse in the first chapters? Is she a protective force for Meridia? What was she going to tell Meridia before she vanished?

I'm not sure she's a protective forces...more of a grounding force.  She's the only thing that really ties Meridia to the house.  Gabriel is indifferent, Ravenna is in a trance, and the rest of the house bends to them.  Meridia just inhabits it.

 

Why does Meridia disappear in her own house? No one is there to notice her.  The house seems to physically reflect the mood.

 

The story of the fight between the mist and the ghost becomes a kind of fable or magical tale depicting the troubles in a marriage. How well does this fantastical fight demonstrate their unhappiness? What happens to Meridia while she watches this?

 

What are the mists? How does Meridia manage to use them to help her with her project?

I think the ivory mist represents the relationships in the house.  They're all clouded and not really there.  They don't function as a family.  The yellow and blue mists represent something Gabriel is doing (which I had an idea of and since have finished the book was correct about). 

The mists seem to be the only thing that recognize that Meridia is there.

 

Who is Hannah? Why doesn't she show up in the hair dresser's mirror?  I'm not sure if Hannah is an imaginary friend, a spirit, or a manifestion of Meridia's inner self.   She's not completely real which is why she doesn't show up in the hair dresser's mirror.

Inspired Contributor
Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


LISA-BRYAN wrote:

Quite funny video---- I usually do not watch You Tube videos.

 

Thanks for sharing.

 


Great video!  I sent it to all my IT friends. Jo

Correspondent
m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I have to say that I am laboring over this book.  I find the fact that I have no idea where or when it is set part of the problem.  I have no perspective in which to measure for example Eva's demands and attitudes toward the others in her household and how they react to her...

I don't get the mist or the bees and all of this magical and mystical stuff just seems to be getting in the way.  I will trudge on and see if it picks up - but like I said this one is difficult to pick up and easy to put down...sorry.

 

I have no idea what the nurse was going to tell Meridia and have no idea how or why I would at that point in the book.  Her mother is all freaked out about her husband taking a mistress seems so overboard - I mean why doesn't she get even - get her own honey on the side or go shopping?  See - I have no idea when and where this takes place and so I can't figure out why she does what she does...any of them for that matter.

 

Perhaps I am too much of a realist to really enjoy a story like this...I see that others are having troubles and others are loving it....and I am happy to see that others are enjoying it...

 

I think Hannah is real but perhaps all of the time they supposedly spent together is part real and part dream or wishful thinking....I'm not sure....back to being a realist.

 

I'm going back up the deck to read the next set of chapter and may have better things to say when I return in a bit....

 

Susan 

Frequent Contributor
CKindianCB
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-06-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I love this book.  I truly enjoy the unusual.  Meridia is a very special person from the time of her birth. She never cried. Ravenna and Gabriel are very odd.  Ravenna seems to be a good mother and she loves her daughter. Gabriel is a cold strange man. I don't understand why he feels the way he does about his wife and daughter.  24 Monarch Street is a strange, cold house to live. There are a lot of secrets in this house. Erick has drawn me straight into this story and into the lives of all these people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wordsmith
marciliogq
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎02-22-2008

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

 Hi all! Sorry for my late in the discussion. My book arrived a few days ago and I had a test at university!

 

I'm truly enjoying the reading. I'm still in the early chapters but totally deep into the story and characters. 

I have never read anything like Of bees and mist. The atmosphere of magic and mystery is delightful. Each page has a new idea to introduce.  This is what prelimilarly makes me say that this book is one of the most interesting pieces of contemporary literature. As I never read anything of oriental literature I have no parameters to compare it.

Meridia's nurse  was in my impression a kind of devil who cut all of the kinds of freedom she could have but as the narrative went on I could realize that like Meridia she was afraid of the secrets and misterious happenings in the house and in a moment helped the helpless girl revealing some of the secrets that possibly had caused the weird events.

I comprehended the mist as an obstacle between each individual world. They little by little built their own world. Women and men still have in our contemporary world their mists, or the things that build their own rooms outside house..

Distinguished Correspondent
TRJ4SQ
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


marciliogq wrote:

 

I comprehended the mist as an obstacle between each individual world. They little by little built their own world. Women and men still have in our contemporary world their mists, or the things that build their own rooms outside house..


This is so true!