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babzilla41
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Registered: ‎05-04-2009
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I also take things very literally and think that's probably why I normally wouldn't pick up a book of this genre. Although I've enjoyed the book, I think I need more "practice" in figuring out all of the imagery.  In reading some of the posts, I realize that I've missed some elements or could it be that it's more in the reader's interpretation than in what's actually "right or wrong"?  
"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
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FrankieD
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Registered: ‎12-16-2007
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


babzilla41 wrote:
I also take things very literally and think that's probably why I normally wouldn't pick up a book of this genre. Although I've enjoyed the book, I think I need more "practice" in figuring out all of the imagery.  In reading some of the posts, I realize that I've missed some elements or could it be that it's more in the reader's interpretation than in what's actually "right or wrong"?  

 

I often have the same feelings about reader interpretations. Once I listened to an author...and I forget who...talking to readers and when they gave numerous interpretations of his use of a doorway he replied that when he wrote it it was "just a door".

The truth is...I think that authors may put a lot more into what they wrote when critics start interpreting their words for them and then the author starts believing what they say...sort of like believing what your therapist says...ha-ha-ha!!!

                                                             FrankieD :smileyhappy: 

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- Frank Lloyd Wright
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PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


FrankieD wrote:

babzilla41 wrote:
I also take things very literally and think that's probably why I normally wouldn't pick up a book of this genre. Although I've enjoyed the book, I think I need more "practice" in figuring out all of the imagery.  In reading some of the posts, I realize that I've missed some elements or could it be that it's more in the reader's interpretation than in what's actually "right or wrong"?  

 

I often have the same feelings about reader interpretations. Once I listened to an author...and I forget who...talking to readers and when they gave numerous interpretations of his use of a doorway he replied that when he wrote it it was "just a door".

The truth is...I think that authors may put a lot more into what they wrote when critics start interpreting their words for them and then the author starts believing what they say...sort of like believing what your therapist says...ha-ha-ha!!!

                                                             FrankieD :smileyhappy: 


 

I've been wondering if we are so busy trying to figure out what everything means that we are overanalyzing. Maybe it is what it is and we should sit back and enjoy. But then, if we did that, would we have anything to discuss? Kind of ruins the fun. I've been reading the chapters twice. The first time for pleasure, the second more critically.
"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Interesting idea!


lisaterwilliger wrote:
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?

 

 

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
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Paul_Hochman
Posts: 2,801
Registered: ‎03-23-2007

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

In my humble opinion, literature is all about personal interpretation. There are no rights or wrongs. Does the book speak to me at some personal level? Does it really make me feel?

 


babzilla41 wrote:
I also take things very literally and think that's probably why I normally wouldn't pick up a book of this genre. Although I've enjoyed the book, I think I need more "practice" in figuring out all of the imagery.  In reading some of the posts, I realize that I've missed some elements or could it be that it's more in the reader's interpretation than in what's actually "right or wrong"?  

 

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


To FrankirD..Its impossible for an Author to interpret what the critics might say,since most Authors are writing for themselves,and hope that readers will enjoy what he has written..Just a thought,therapists,that another form of interpretation ....Enjoy the book

PiperMurphy wrote:


FrankieD wrote:

babzilla41 wrote:
I also take things very literally and think that's probably why I normally wouldn't pick up a book of this genre. Although I've enjoyed the book, I think I need more "practice" in figuring out all of the imagery.  In reading some of the posts, I realize that I've missed some elements or could it be that it's more in the reader's interpretation than in what's actually "right or wrong"?  

 

I often have the same feelings about reader interpretations. Once I listened to an author...and I forget who...talking to readers and when they gave numerous interpretations of his use of a doorway he replied that when he wrote it it was "just a door".

The truth is...I think that authors may put a lot more into what they wrote when critics start interpreting their words for them and then the author starts believing what they say...sort of like believing what your therapist says...ha-ha-ha!!!

                                                             FrankieD :smileyhappy: 


 

I've been wondering if we are so busy trying to figure out what everything means that we are overanalyzing. Maybe it is what it is and we should sit back and enjoy. But then, if we did that, would we have anything to discuss? Kind of ruins the fun. I've been reading the chapters twice. The first time for pleasure, the second more critically.

I agree with babzilla41.This is your first book of this genre.so its understandable that it might get some getting used to.Just enjoy the Fantasy,which to me is all part of a quite realistic view,through Ericks writing,and try to take a chapter and think of looking through a childs eye,then growing up..its not so unusual if you look at it that way,we can all find a bit of our lives in the book

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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dragonfly_yayn
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎05-10-2009

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

This is my first 'First Look' and also the first book that I have been able to read in over 3 years due to having small children and a busy life.  I love to read because books leave it up to our minds to create the images unlike movies.  I didn't know what to expect but am very pleased and entranced.  I received my book on a Friday and had the first 9 chapters read by Saturday morning, then had to stop myself on many occasions so that I could participate in the discussions without giving spoilers.  That said the first chapter was a little difficult to grasp the happenings and get into it but BOY did it capture my attention.

 

I had a slight disliking of the nurse until I realized that she was protecting Meridia from much more than germs and was very sad for her to have left.  There were so many things and possibilities of what she may have enlightened Meridia too.  I think that Meridia disappears because Gabriel blames Meridia for the failure of his marriage and the both of them are to wrapped up in the entangled mess to see their daughter.  Hannah was the one who was able to help Meridia to find herself, but I do believe that Hannah was an imaginary friend and that is why she could not be seen in the mirror. 

 

I can't wait to read more!

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Bedelia
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Of Bees and Mist is not what I expected - it is SO MUCH BETTER!  I almost didn't sign up for this book, because I didn't think I would like reading it.  I'm so happy I did sign up; it's a joy to read.  So different but such a story - the kind you sit up late to read, because it's so interesting you can't bare to stop. 
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libralady
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎09-23-2008
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Paul, I totally agree!  There are no rights and wrongs and that is what makes this book discussion so interesting, the many different observations and interpretations.  We are all reading the same book, however, the interpretations are not the same!  I am loving this discussion!
PaulH wrote:

In my humble opinion, literature is all about personal interpretation. There are no rights or wrongs. Does the book speak to me at some personal level? Does it really make me feel?

 


babzilla41 wrote:
I also take things very literally and think that's probably why I normally wouldn't pick up a book of this genre. Although I've enjoyed the book, I think I need more "practice" in figuring out all of the imagery.  In reading some of the posts, I realize that I've missed some elements or could it be that it's more in the reader's interpretation than in what's actually "right or wrong"?  

 


 

"Sow today what you want to reap tomorrow"
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DSaff
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I wonder if there is a way to test your theory. hmmmmmm


LoBugs wrote:

 

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?


 

 

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
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Paul, you are absolutely right! That is one of the reasons I love the FL group. We get perspectives from ALL over the spectrum. I am forced to stretch sometimes, but it is good to stretch. :smileywink:


PaulH wrote:

In my humble opinion, literature is all about personal interpretation. There are no rights or wrongs. Does the book speak to me at some personal level? Does it really make me feel?

 


babzilla41 wrote:
I also take things very literally and think that's probably why I normally wouldn't pick up a book of this genre. Although I've enjoyed the book, I think I need more "practice" in figuring out all of the imagery.  In reading some of the posts, I realize that I've missed some elements or could it be that it's more in the reader's interpretation than in what's actually "right or wrong"?  

 


 

 

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
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lmpmn
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎11-08-2006

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

I've really enjoyed reading all the other posts in this thread.  Especially the ones pointing out the hidden pics on the front & back of the book.  Reminds me of the hidden pics on the cover of one of the other First Look books, The Monsters of Templeton.

 

I'm totally engrossed by the language the author uses and engrossed by the story itself.  I'm able to read and concentrate even with the tv on which I can never do!

 

Referring to the posters directly above me talking about just enjoying the read without over-analyzing it (which I definitely tend to do)--I think I've been able to do both at the same time.  I enjoy while I read, and then I go back and analyze later.  I have so many questions about the symbolism in the book, I just don't know where to begin.

 

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

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DSaff
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Great observations!


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


 

 

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
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Lil_Irish_Lass
Posts: 163
Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


PiperMurphy wrote:

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.


 

There's something about Daniel that rubs me the wrong way, he's too apathetic. In a town that seemed wrapped around mysticism Daniel is a nonbeliever. He's not the norm in this case. And especially knowing the bee problem that his family is living with you can't say that Daniel just doesn't have "magical" experiences.

Plus, when Meridia meets Daniel for the first time as she steps on his foot and then searches for him over the next day she describes a burning heat that comes off of him - which can easily be likened to teenage hormones and desire... but could it possibly be taken at face value; that Daniel can in fact make Meridia feel as if she's touched an open flame?

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).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing match of words with a woman." - The Woman in White
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Sassy398
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-03-2008
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

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.

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jclay26
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


jabrkeKB wrote:

This is not the type of book I would normally choose to read, but I am enjoying it immensely.

 

As I read the first nine chapters I keep thinking about Erick's letter to us--he says that the purpose of writing this book was to put words to the daydreams that saturated his silences in childhood.  Wow, what does that mean. It will be interesting to have him join the discussions.

 

I also love the cover and the hidden objects in the vines.

 

 


I wonder who created the cover. It is beautiful and as intriguing as the novel itself!

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
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Paul_Hochman
Posts: 2,801
Registered: ‎03-23-2007
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9

Bravo! These are excellent observations indeed. I'm sure the numbers are significant.

 

Any numerologists on the board?

 


lmpmn wrote:

I've really enjoyed reading all the other posts in this thread.  Especially the ones pointing out the hidden pics on the front & back of the book.  Reminds me of the hidden pics on the cover of one of the other First Look books, The Monsters of Templeton.

 

I'm totally engrossed by the language the author uses and engrossed by the story itself.  I'm able to read and concentrate even with the tv on which I can never do!

 

Referring to the posters directly above me talking about just enjoying the read without over-analyzing it (which I definitely tend to do)--I think I've been able to do both at the same time.  I enjoy while I read, and then I go back and analyze later.  I have so many questions about the symbolism in the book, I just don't know where to begin.

 

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


 

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jclay26
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Sticking to the schedule


Sunltcloud wrote:

I agree with you, Stephanie.

At first I didn't see the reason why we couldn't just read the whole book and make sure we didn't discuss more than the scheduled chapters. But as soon as I started to read I knew that it would be impossible to keep all the magical events separate, and that to read ahead would spoil my own speculations. I like being surprised.


JerseyAngel wrote:

As a sidenote, I can clearly see now why Paul suggested that everyone stick to the reading schedule. This book is filled with so many questions & so much speculation that I imagine it would be difficult to participate if you already knew all the answers. Particularly hard without accidentally giving something way. It would definately have taken away some of the enjoyment for me to post if I knew the answers already.

 

Thanks Paul for giving us that heads up!

 

Stephanie


 


I learned this early on with First Look. It is so hard for me to stop reading a book especially one as mysterious as this one. But, I knew I wouldn't be able to participate in the discussions without accidentally putting a spoiler in. 

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
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Read-n-Rider
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎01-29-2007
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


PaulH wrote:

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.

 


Thanks, Paul!

 

Joan


 


 

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jclay26
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters, 1-9


blkeyesuzi wrote:

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! 


I have to agree I am completely taken by this book. It is amazing and VERY hard to put down so I could stay with the reading schedule. I don't know how many times I sat and stared at the book just itching to pick it up and keep reading!

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