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klpm
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-03-2009

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

This book takes a few pages to understand the rhythm that Setiawan has established but then, once you understand the world he has created, it has its own flow.  The "magic" of emotion that can be projected is unique and a very interesting idea.  We see it in Gabriel's mists of shame, Meridia's disappearance in her home due to feelings of insignificance and in Ravenna's frigid grip on the home.

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Em18966
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-08-2009

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?

 

Bee's and Mist ended up being what I had hoped it would be, but hadn't really wanted to expect for fear of being let down.  The closest relative novel I can think to compare it to would be Alice's Andventures in Wonderland.  It also reminded me of Pan's Labrynth

 

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?

 

She seems to be Meridia's guardian angel.  And I really liked her, despite her eccentricities.  I believe she was going to come clean about the truth regarding Meridia's recurring nightmare and other family secrets.

 

Why does Meridia disappear in her own house?

 

Because her parents cease to acknowledge her.  It reminded me of Tinkerbell.  If you don't believe, she cannot continue existing.

 

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?

 

I think it depicts it very well.  To me, the ghost represented everything Meridia's mother used to be to her husband, and the differing mists were reflections of the differing and conflicting emotions felt by Meridia's father.  I think that they gave Meridia a much clearer understanding of her families dynamics while not exposing information that would be impossible for her to understand and/or come to terms with as an adolescent girl.

 

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

 

I saw them as pent up emotions manifested physically.  They give her something tangible to focust her energy on rather than forcing her to guess as to what is occurring between her parents.  It is possible they only exist in her mind, as no one else acknowledges them.

 

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

 

Hannah, IMO, is Meridia's imaginary friend.  The part of her consciousness that she has surpressed her entire life.

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CJINCA
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Registered: ‎11-28-2008
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


rkubie wrote:

 

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

 

One other poster wrote about the Wicked books, and I agree the with that!  The whole-other-world and whole-other-time feeling, with some magic and some things that are like our world...almost...  It also evokes some memory of something by Amy Tan, like The Bonesetter's Daughter, maybe?  Especially the daughter-in-law moving in to her mother-in-law's house and being very much under the dominion of her mother-in-law.

 

This book reminds me very much of Angelina by Arthur Phillips --  the mystery, the harshness of the father, the vacancy of the mother.  That book is told from different points of view and gives some (remotely possible) insights into these parents and their child, and to their relationships and (mis-)understandings of each other. 

 

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

 

The mists are the isolation and separation that Gabriel and Ravenna feel from each other, from their former happiness, and from the future possibility of a happy family life.

 

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

 

I want Hannah to be a gift from someone trying to help Meridia come out of her shell.  I don't want her to be a ghost or a figment or a projection, just a little magical, non-reflective assistance that was sent along when needed.


Enjoying the book tremendously and can't wait to dive in for another few chapters!
-- C.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Joan,

 

If you cut and paste directly from a word document you'll get some formatting errors. In the future, copy from your Doc and then hit the "folder with the W on it" button (to the left of the smily button). That should fix the formatting.

 

P.

 


Read-n-Rider wrote:

 

Edit:  Hmmm, I had this post nicely divided into paragraphs and then when I submitted it the sentences were all run together.  I don't understand that, since I see that others' posts don't have that problem.  I'll fix it now--if it's still all one paragraph when I re-submit it, please realize that I DO know better!

Message Edited by Read-n-Rider on 06-01-2009 11:44 PM

 

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blkeyesuzi
Posts: 730
Registered: ‎01-26-2008

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 really didn't know what to expect from this book and I didn't want to do any reading about the book in advance in order to give this novel a truly "fresh" read.  I have been completely wowed from the get-go.  I've been completely spellbound by the book from the moment I read the first page and lately it takes quite a bit for a novel to grab me like this one has.  It's imaginative and even has a fairy-tale quality.  Loving it.  Loving it!

 

Elements of this book remind me of Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins. However, I believe I do like this book much more, actually! 

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
els
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els
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎05-06-2009

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 have to say I was expecting a horror story (and I was quite frankly surprised to find myself signing up for a horror story) but was thrilled to find out that the story is more mystical/magical and less horrific than I expected it to be.  This is my first on this genre.  I have not read any other book of this type so I cannot compare it with anything else.

 

 

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?

 

 The nurse is the only person who has given support and attention to Meridia. She is the protective force for Meridia.  I think Ravenna sent the nurse away knowing she was going to reveal the secrets of the family to Meridia.

 

 

Why does Meridia disappear in her own house?

 

I do not think Meridia literally disappers from her own house.  I think her parents do not see her because they are so wrapped up in their own problems and emotions.  Meridia feels and is treated as if she does not exist in the house. 

 

 

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?

 

The children always end up the victims in domestic squabbles and troubles in marriage.  The "cold war" between the husband and wife, their being so wrapped up in their own emotional delimmas leave Meridia without any emotional support and a very lonely person.

 

 

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

 

 I think the mists represents the emotions of Ravenna and Gabriel; of loyalty and deception, of love and hate and other conflicting emotions that has bonded and torn the family.  Meridia uses these mists to find out answers to her questions about her family and why her parents act the way they do.  In a way, by observing her parents emotions - Meridia is able to follow and understand somehow what each parent is struggling about.

 

 

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

 

I believe Hannah is Meridia's imaginary friend. She is a very lonely person who has nobody her own age who can understand her and what she's going through. I believe Hannah is so much a part of Meridia- her subconscious self- that part of her that is creative, fun-loving and care-free. 

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Shadowwolf36
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


CathyB wrote:

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

 

CathyB


 

EXACTLY!!
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VeraC
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Yes, that was in the line of what I was considering.  A mirror that shows things that haunt you... or glimpses into the family secrets!

 


PiperMurphy wrote:

VeraC wrote:

 

A have a different thought about Hannah.  What if she is of the real world, but Meridia and her family are not?  The mirror doesn't show real beings, it is meant to show us something else.  What else?  That's one of my questions...

 


Oh, what a neat idea! What if this all turns out to be Hannah's dream? Or a story that she's reading? Maybe this is like "Alice Through the Looking Glass"?

 

Maybe the mirror reflects all the things that haunt the person, things that they may not be able to identify for themselves.

 


 

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nhawkinsII
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

In of Bees and Mist it was interesting how quickly you suspend logic and accept the magical qualities of the story's setting.  As I read, I found myself fitting these qualities into the lives of the characters and satisfying my own questions about what is "real" and what is imaginary.

 

It's almost as if the characters themselves pull you into their world and then you are hooked...you want to keep reading...turning the pages to understand how their relationships have developed and what each character adds to the overall story as it unfolds.

 

 

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dhaupt
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

See, that's why I love this club because you really can teach and old dog new tricks. I usually never pay much attention to the cover thinking it only as art to get you to pick up the book and not really having that much to do with the content. Now I'll never pick up a book without trying to see what's there and why.

Thanks you guys. 

 

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mv5ocean
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Registered: ‎12-03-2008
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


dhaupt wrote:

Linda10 wrote:

Hello, everyone!  Well, the day is finally here!  There are already a number of things I would like to post just based on the five posts I've read so far.

 

But -- I am going to start at the very beginning (and I do mean beginning) with the cover of the book.  Did any of you find the hidden pictures?  Did you find the two sets of eyes?  How about the baby?  Or the diamond ring?  Or the spade or shovel?  Or what appears to be perhaps the fawn that we read about in chapter six?

 

This may sound silly; but as soon as I saw this, I thought, "We are in for a nice surprise if someone put this much into just the cover!"

 

 

 

Hi Linda, and thanks. No I didn't notice that because I'm one of those readers who don't really judge a book by it's cover, so I don't usually really notice covers. But thanks to a heads up first looker now I do see it and I have to say I really agree with you about it.

 

 


Same for me! Now I just can't wait to get home and look at that cover a little more closely...........

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mv5ocean
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


Linda10 wrote:

First off, thank you, Paul, for finally fixing the computer glich!  I was biting my nails, wondering if we were going to be able to post today!

 

Like a lot of other posters thus far, I, too, am having trouble understanding what is going on in the story.  I tend to take things literally; so I think with this book we're going to have to read with our right brains instead of our left brains!  I also think our questions are what add to the story.  If we knew what the mists really were, for example, the mystery would be solved and the "fun" would end.  It's that literary carrot being dangled in front of our noses!

 

I feel so sorry for Meridia!  This strange, unhappy home environment and then, as we end Chapter 9, it looks like she's jumping from the frying pan (Ravenna's?) into the fire with this marriage.  Is Meridia going to have the mother-in-law from hell in Eva?  The second sentence in the book talks about a battle between Meridia and Eva.  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?...........

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bookworm_gp
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I just read the first chapter and was pleasantly surprised. The book is not at all what I expected. I had no idea it was a fantasy but I love the genre so I'm sure I'll enjoy it. And when the cover was mentioned I had to go back and look. I can see I will have to pay close attention when I read this book.
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Lil_Irish_Lass
Posts: 163
Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I don't believe Daniel is who he makes himself out to be. It generally carries out through life that those who grow up in unhappy households with continue the trend through their adult life. Meridia is not built for the fairy tale romantic ending and I feel that there will be some bombs dropped in the next couple of chapters to seal her fate.

Daniel's parents had mentioned that they hoped the union of Meridia and Daniel would stop the bees - yet on her wedding night they were still humming. By blowing off the fortune teller and his crystal ball did Meridia and Daniel truly manage to curse themselves? They appear to be happy but there's a tension brewing under the surface.

I wonder if the bees and the mist are on the same side of the magic scale or if they are opposites, which would then mean for one to continue existence the other has to die. Perhaps instead of it being the bees or the mist it's Daniel or Meridia who must sacrifice their life so that the other can survive.
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ponkle
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-30-2009

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

We have a anytime anywhere fantasy here yet did you notice no cars, no phones, no computers.  There are  dowrys. These things gave me a picture of a time with long dresses , and a long ago time period. Especially walking everywhere to confront people or just to go places. Or we could have an alternate reality in the current time or future. I really liked this aspect but I found that the idea of the dowry made me feel it was in the past.

 

I found the title of Bees and Mist curious. Is one good and the other evil? Or is it telling us that inside of the bees and mist we have good and evil. Or am I way off base.

 

As I said before I love this book from page one but sometimes I got the feeling that Meridia wasn't real. Maybe she did die at birth and this is an imaginery story by another. That's why she becomes invisible. No, I don't think this is the case but one of the things I liked about this book is with all the imagery and "magic" you can interpret in many ways.

 

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babzilla41
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I hadn't really paid attention to the cover of the book until I happend to notice the baby...then I started really looking at the cover and found several things that related to the book.  Although I don't think they will all make sense until the end of the book.
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DSaff
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Interesting thought. We will have to see how it turns out.


Lil_Irish_Lass wrote:

I wonder if the bees and the mist are on the same side of the magic scale or if they are opposites, which would then mean for one to continue existence the other has to die. Perhaps instead of it being the bees or the mist it's Daniel or Meridia who must sacrifice their life so that the other can survive.

 

 

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lisaterwilliger
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I agree. I also wonder if, like Isabel Allende and Amy Tan's books, the mysticism is a cultural way to explain events that people don't understand. For example, are the mist colors real or are they a reflection of the time of day, etc?
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PiperMurphy
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


Lil_Irish_Lass wrote:

Daniel's parents had mentioned that they hoped the union of Meridia and Daniel would stop the bees - yet on her wedding night they were still humming. By blowing off the fortune teller and his crystal ball did Meridia and Daniel truly manage to curse themselves? They appear to be happy but there's a tension brewing under the surface.


I also wondered about them ignoring the fortune teller. Meridia didn't want to. Daniel was the one who didn't believe. I think that they did alter their future, but for the better or worse? One of them is right and one is wrong. I'm hoping that it is Daniel putting an end to the superstition.

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LoBugs
Posts: 34
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I also didn't have any expectations about this book and wanted a fresh read. I have to be honest, I have been disapointed with the book, I don't feel drawn in by the people at all. I will keep reading but I feel like the story is very flat, I'm having trouble finding any deepth to it.

 

I did wonder if the mist would act like smoke to the bees. Bee keepers use smoke to clear bees from an area, would the mist have the same affect?

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