Reply
Correspondent
floreader
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎09-15-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

The book is not what I expected.  I expected it to be mainly about family relationships and there is a much more magic and mysticism that I expected.  I don't what some of the elements in the story signify and feel some of it bogs down the plot.

 

I think the nurse is too overprotective toward Meridia, even in her way of dressing Meridia in so many layers of clothing outside.  It's not clear to me what she is trying to protect her from, since I thought the problems were inside the house (the parents).

 

I thought Hannah was either an imaginary friend or ghost.

Wordsmith
maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

On page 6, Ravenna tells Meridia to, "Keep your spine stiff at all times. Never show anyone your tears. Never be at anybody's mercy." What cruel, heartless advice to give to your child for future life and relationships. Yvonne
Distinguished Correspondent
PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


rkubie wrote:

 

Please use this thread to share your thoughts and questions about these early chapters. 

 

A few question to use as a starting point, if you like: 

 

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

 

I want to give my impressions before I read everyone else's responses, so I'm sorry if I repeat something that has already been said. I am excited to begin the discussion finally. The best part is that I can move on to the next section now. We left off in a crucial spot.

 

This is a wonderful book and goes beyond anything that I could have imagined. I don't think that I have read anything like Bees and Mist. The closest books that I can think of is Harry Potter. There are some similarities with Sarah Addison Allen's books "Garden Spells" and "The Sugar Queen".

 

 

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 think that the nurse is trying to compensate for the neglect of Meridia's parents, although she apparently knows the truth of what is wrong. She is being over protective, but I haven't decided if she really needed to be. She is reacting to what she has experienced. I have no idea what the nurse was going to say when she vanished. That's the beauty of this book, everything is a complete surprise.

 

 

Why does Meridia disappear in her own house?

 

I have been taking everything that I read literally even though I know that it is also a metaphor. So I think that Meridia disappears literally and figuratively because her parents don't acknowledge her presence just like they won't acknowledge each other.

 

 

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

 

My question about Hannah is could her teacher and classmates see her? I don't think there was any indication that they thought anything weird was happening. When we first met her, I thought that she was the new girl in class who befriended Meridia. Now I think that she might be a manifestation of Meridia's desire for a friend or possibly the person that Meridia wants to be. Maybe she is Meridia's ghost like Ravenna's ghost.

 


 

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus~
Distinguished Correspondent
PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


maude40 wrote:
On page 6, Ravenna tells Meridia to, "Keep your spine stiff at all times. Never show anyone your tears. Never be at anybody's mercy." What cruel, heartless advice to give to your child for future life and relationships. Yvonne

 

When I read this I thought that she was speaking from her own experience and bitterness, that Ravenna was giving Meridia advice on how to not repeat her mistakes, or how to get along with her father. Ravenna repeated the same thing after Meridia has her confrontation with her father when she wants to get married. When I finished chapter 9, I thought it might be good advice for dealing with her mother-in-law.
"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus~
Wordsmith
maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I love the advice the nurse gives Meridia at the beginning of chapter two, page 10. "If you think brightly, you'll see only bright things around you." This from the women who on page 6 tells Meridia to, "mind that dirty boy---see that wart-ridden woman." Her fear of infectious diseases and dirt clearly keeps her from seeing only bright things in life. Yvonne
Distinguished Correspondent
PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


PaulH wrote:

I loved that there is no time stamp or definitive locale in the book. It makes it timeless and simply let's you be immersed in the tale itself.

 

It's past, present, future, and parallel all at once!


I also love this aspect of the book. We have different time periods, realities, and cultures all existing at once without prejudice. What imagination!

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus~
Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Has anyone noticed the necklace on the upper left of the back cover? I wonder if all of the pictures hidden in the cover are symbols of hidden messages in the book which seem confusing now but will all be resolved when the book is concluded.

twj

Contributor
ImBookingIt
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎05-01-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I want to say I am loving this book so far!  I'm going to try to match my reading to the discussion schedule.

 

I came into this book with very few expectations about what it would be like, which I think is good, I'm not sure that anything could have prepared me for this.

 

In fantasy books, there are often well defined rules that govern the world.  There are several sets of standard practices: "Modern world with magic people blending in"; "medieval world with a class of wizards" and so on.

 

I don't think I've visited this world before.  I don't know the rules.  I'm rather surprised that I am delighted rather than frustrated by this.

 

One book that did come to mind was "Like Water For Chocolate".  It came to mind in the descriptions of the mother in the kitchen, creating dish after dish, and leaving me wondering what magic would come from her emotions.

 

I don't feel like I yet understand anything that happens in the house.  Is the house affecting the people, or are the emotions of the people creating the weirdness?  I really enjoyed learning more about the mists by Meridia's methodical exploration of them.

 

I hope we encounter the character of Hannah again.  I think her not appearing in the mirror may say more about the mirror than Hannah, but I don't know!  There is certainly magic in the mirrors of the house, maybe this magic travels with Meridia, and affects mirrors in other places.

 

I want to know what happens to Meridia, but more than that, I want to find out more about this world!

Inspired Wordsmith
CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

PaulH & Linda10 : There are also two other ojects that are hiden in the vines.

 

CathyB

Wordsmith
maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


PiperMurphy wrote:

maude40 wrote:
On page 6, Ravenna tells Meridia to, "Keep your spine stiff at all times. Never show anyone your tears. Never be at anybody's mercy." What cruel, heartless advice to give to your child for future life and relationships. Yvonne

 

When I read this I thought that she was speaking from her own experience and bitterness, that Ravenna was giving Meridia advice on how to not repeat her mistakes, or how to get along with her father. Ravenna repeated the same thing after Meridia has her confrontation with her father when she wants to get married. When I finished chapter 9, I thought it might be good advice for dealing with her mother-in-law.

 

Thanks for for your thoughts on this. I didn't think of it in this context. I think I'm only seeing negative aspects of this family. I need to keep a broader perspective as I read.  Yvonne
Inspired Wordsmith
CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

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

 

CathyB

Inspired Wordsmith
CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: The Cover

Donna: Don't forget the necklace...

 

 

CathyB

 

Inspired Wordsmith
CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

PaulH:

 

  I agree. I don't think that an actual time/place needs to be specified. It is anytime/anywhere.

 

CathyB

 


PaulH wrote:

I loved that there is no time stamp or definitive locale in the book. It makes it timeless and simply let's you be immersed in the tale itself.

 

It's past, present, future, and parallel all at once!


 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

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?

 

For me, so far it demonstrates the unfathomable distance that has developed between Ravenna and Gabriel.They have imposed boundaries for each other which will not easily be breached by either of them. Poor Meridia is locked out of their realms as well, through no fault of her own unless it is her mere existence which has caused it.

As she struggles with her exile from them, she comes to a revelation that her father has a mistress. Right now, I am at a loss as to how she makes this discovery but I am hoping the book will reveal more details as I read. Perhaps that is the secret that the nurse would have told had she not disappeared.

Talk about dysfunctional families..., there is so much resentment, secrecy, abuse and negligence it baffles the mind. I was going to say it defies reality but the book is definitely not about reality. All of the events have an other worldly quality which I cannot yet draw parallels to or fathom. 

Odd events seem to often simply drop in and out of the story which make me more aware of its enchantment and immersion into the realm of fantasy. It requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief as one reads. I know that I keep trying to place the setting and several times I have gone back to the beginning to reread parts to see if I missed something like a date or the name of a place but so far no success. The only answer is to read on and make some discoveries,

I wrote in another post that I felt that I had been drawn onto the stage, watching the characters from behind the scenes rather than in the audience but I think I will have to retract that view since I now feel that I am looking from behind a curtain I cannot pierce. I am trying to identify with an event or empathize with a character but so far, no success.:smileysad:
Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

nice catch! I missed that one.


thewanderingjew wrote:

Has anyone noticed the necklace on the upper left of the back cover? I wonder if all of the pictures hidden in the cover are symbols of hidden messages in the book which seem confusing now but will all be resolved when the book is concluded.

twj


 

 

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
Correspondent
nlsamson
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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.

 

Meridia disappears into her house because no one really cares enough to see her. Her parents are cold and cruel by not noticing her. They are so caught up in their own hurts and anger that they forget the little girl in their charge. The desire to keep her from knowing what is wrong between them keeps Meridia from feeling loved and cared for. She doesn't feel that she is really part of a family, so is slowly disappearing from view.

 

 

 I think Hannah is a ghost, which explains why she doesn't show up in the mirror. I wonder who sent her to help Meridia find friendship and wonder in the world. Clearly, Meridia needed a friend. She needed someone to make her feel welcome in the world, worthy of living. Hannah was that person and I miss her character.

 


 

I agree completely with you.  At first I didn't have any idea what to expect, and even in the very beginning I wasn't sure I liked this book, especially because the nurse (and the parents) upset me so much. But as I read more I find this book to be quite fascinating.  I honestly can't wait to see what happens next, but am forcing myself not to read more that we are going to discuss each week.

 

As for Hannah, I'm actually hoping she comes back at some point in the story!

 

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away" - unknown
Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: The Cover

I just found it, thanks Cathy  =)

CathyB wrote:

Donna: Don't forget the necklace...

 

 

CathyB

 


 

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 Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: The Cover

[ Edited ]
 on the lower right hand side of the front cover, next to the spade, there is a flower that looks a bit like a tulip. is it really a swan? i think i am getting carried away.:smileysurprised:
Message Edited by thewanderingjew on 06-01-2009 05:44 PM
Correspondent
joyfull
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎03-10-2009

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I don't normally read this type of book so this is a new adventure for me. I must say that so far I am captivated by all the imagery and unique characters. 
 

I wasn't sad when the nurse left. She gave Meridia the needed care and structure up to that point.  But, If she had stayed longer she would have smothered Meridia. After she left, Meridia was able to raise herself. She didn't seem to need anyone else, which was good because she didn't have anyone else.

 

When Hannah entered the picture I was happy for Meridia. Finally she has a friend, someone good for her. It threw me when her face didn't appear in the mirror. But I don't want this to be just an imaginary friend. I prefer to think of Hannah as the ghost of an ancestor who is going to be a good companion and help coach her in the ways of the world. Since I am a grandmother I'd like to think this was an ancient grandmother who was helping her in the ways her parents should have been. 

 

I honestly don't know what to think of the mists and the ghosts and possibly the bees. I can't figure out if they are real or imaginary or are they meant to be metaphors? Mmm, I'll just keep reading.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Margot
My blog: JoyfullyRetired.com
Contributor
ScribeMK
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎03-30-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Ditto!!

Scribe