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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

I still believe that Permony was the 'she' that Elias wanted Meridia to save.I think she could have been saved if Eva had less of an influence on Daniel but, as we found out, he is his mother's son.

 

Malin changed for the better. She beame a loving individual who could stand up for herself and those she loved. She will make a good mother.

 

With regards to Ahab, I anticipated as much based on Meridia's information about him.

 

I was quite disappointed in the Hannah outcome. I do not think that it resolved itself as Erick indicated that the many assumptions that people originally had were praobably incorrect - he alluded to some other possibility that no one had yet mentioned. Still don't see it.

 

I am not sympathetic to Daniel. That is all I can say.

 

I think that  the fireflies could be either Ravena or Noah - the hover protectively outside Meridia's window but, they also only attack Daniel (did I forget an attack on Eva?) and since Noah now 'hates' him, this could be his way of protecting his mother.

 

CathyB

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PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel


PiperMurphy wrote:

I originally thought that Elias wanted to save Eva, but neither Eva nor Permony were saved. I wanted Eva to realize the person that she had become in time to change herself. She eventually did understand the cost of her actions, but it was too late. I think that Elias himself saved Permony. That was the astonishing discovery that the midwife made. Ahab turned out to be exactly the person that I thought he would be. His name was great foreshadowing of his true nature. Even though I knew he was evil, I never envisioned anything as repulsive and horrifying as what he did to Permony.

 

I think that we are all going to have a different take on Hannah, and we will all be right. It took me until the last page to come to a conclusion about who I think she is. Her name being a palindrome suggests that she is a mirror image. I think that she is the part of Meridia that completes her so that she becomes her true self. Hannah showed up whenever Meridia was in transition, first at school when she discovered she wasn't invisible, again when she was trying to build her business, and then at the end when she wanted to rebuild her marriage. I think that she was the person that Meridia was trying to become all through the book, and when she finally became that person Hannah stayed because Meridia was complete.

 

I think that the fireflies are Ravenna's spirit protecting Meridia. They first showed up when Ravenna disappeared and they left when Meridia no longer needed them.


 

I had another thought on Hannah. Erick suggested that the reason no one could see Hannah was because Meridia didn't want them to. Maybe it was because Meridia was insecure and vulnerable about who she was and was trying to become. She wasn't ready for people to see her true self, or she wasn't ready to deal with Eva's response. In the end they didn't need to see Hannah because they were seeing the complete Meridia.
"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus~
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kboston
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎04-12-2008
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

Permony was the "she" that Elias wanted Meridia to save, I believe that Permony could have been saved. She needed someone to depend on, listen to and care about her other than her mother, that really cared about her.  When Permony was the only person in the house left Eva turned all of her attention to Permony bad and "good".

 

Malin will be a wonderful mother.  Growing up Eva wasn't the perfect mother to her either, she fed her lies and made her dislike Permony.

 

Ahab's character was odd, but I did not suspect anything as horrible as described in that scene (although, there were rumors about Ahab mentioned).

 

I understand that Hannah makes Meridia a stronger person and she appears when Meridia doesn't have anyone to turn to.  I'm still not sure if she's part of Meridia's imagination or if she's real (before we found out that Hannah returned, a chapter mentions the rumors that were being spread about Meridia and that many thought she was having an affair because of three sets of foot prints outside of her house and the luggage she was toting when she was with Hannah, but no one saw Hannah at those times)

 

The fireflies were Ravenna watching over/taking care of Meridia and Noah.

 

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Adeline79
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎03-17-2009
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel


vivico1 wrote:

Actually, I thought the fireflies were Noah's. You did not see them around Meridia before, they did not save her or those she loved before. But to me, fireflies would represent the "light" in Noah, the hope and were his magic. He is of the next generation and maybe a better one.

 

I love fireflies, and they have just starting showing here at night this week.


Noah the next generation... that comment could lead to a sequel. One in which Noah features as the protagonist. (Hint, Hint to Erick)

http://thereadingjourney.blogspot.com
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JerseyAngel
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎03-18-2009

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel


PiperMurphy wrote:

 

I had another thought on Hannah. Erick suggested that the reason no one could see Hannah was because Meridia didn't want them to.


 

I do recall that when Meridia left Daniel, he stayed outside but nobody could see him but Noah. Even when Daniel ran up to them or pounded on the windows. It wasn't until Noah allowed Merdia to see him that he could be seen. I am wondering if it was this same concept that kept Hannah hidden.

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pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

I am disappointed in the ending.

 

Hannah  didn't have the big ending I thought was coming. Hannah just moved in. We didn't learn much about her character.

 

I would have liked Eva to have a stronger ending. Everyone turning away from Eva worked out OK. But did they turn away or by turning away did they just become mean and evil like Eva.

 

I liked that the fragrance theme was continued in the last section. I liked the fragrances and I thought that the use of fragrance was well thought out the book. I think it was the best theme.

 

pen21

 

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pode
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎01-30-2009

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel


pode wrote:

 

I kind of figured Erick might have trouble ending this grand tale. 

 

It was difficult for me to be sympathetic to Daniel after all the weaknesses he'd shown off and on throughout the story.  BUT.......I think Meridia could have  been more mindful of herself as wife as well as daughter and mother.  With that thought, I think it's okay that Meridia and Daniel get back together at the end.  Somehow the end still didn't quite satisfy me.  Or maybe the message is that being together is always going to be a compromise in the end--love, strengths, weaknesses....

 

I have a favorite passage. Page 295, Meridia had won an argument with Daniel by threatening to leave and take Noah with her.  "For the moment she had won, but every victory, as she well knew, came at a price that no one could predict."

 

Thanks, Erick, for the book.  What an interestingly told classic story of love, hate, passion, strength, weakness, evil and good!!

 

Pode


Sorry--needed to correct a couple typos.

Pode

"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?"
â Henry Ward Beecher
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PiperMurphy
Posts: 174
Registered: ‎09-19-2008

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel


pen21 wrote:

 

I would have liked Eva to have a stronger ending. Everyone turning away from Eva worked out OK. But did they turn away or by turning away did they just become mean and evil like Eva.

 

 


I think that Daniel and Malin turned away because of what she did, how she treated them, and mostly because of Permony. By doing that, they went on to a better life. On the other hand, Meridia saw that she could become like Eva. When she followed Eva through the market, she realized how much she had learned from Eva. She did learn some valuable things about business. But, she also realized how easily she could take on Eva's evilness. I think that's why she cleaned Eva up in the end and told Daniel that she needed help. Eva wouldn't have done that.

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
~Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus~
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ImBookingIt
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎05-01-2009

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

Malin seems to have really looked within herself and her past, and she understands what she's done and why-- intensive self-therapy.  She will really appreciate her child.  I think she may well make a good mother.

 

We were set up to know something was off about Ahab.  I had no idea of the kind of monster he was.  Ick.  No one else had a transformation into that kind of monster, although Gabriel was monsterous at the end, and Eva was a monster from day 1.

 

I don't understand Hannah any better.  Somehow, I don't care as much as I did.

 

I'm sympathetic to Daniel, yet still unforgiving.  The first time he listened to his mother over Meridia, I sympathized and forgave him.  After that, he should have understood heart and brain where his loyalties should lie, but he allowed her to pull him in again.   Then he further went into his affair.  I'm sorry, but you can never blame an affair on your mother.

 

Meridia's resilience won the day, over Eva's fierce will.  As it should be.

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Lil_Irish_Lass
Posts: 163
Registered: ‎11-21-2008
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

Malin - I love her story arc and that Setiawan chose to allow her to grow up. While not every mean, spiteful child grows up into a normal, caring adult, many do. I also think in many ways that she will do a better job raising Permony's baby than Permony would have done. (Don't get me wrong I thought Permony was a sweetheart and a strong female but Malin has more dimension).


Daniel - Is a pansy, I'm actually upset that the novel ends with Meridia telling Daniel to come back. She doesn't need him nor does he deserve her. Sure he was blinded by Eva's bees but a stronger person would have been able to resist at least once in awhile. Even Elias was able to see the truth and he was attacked far worse than Daniel.

Eva - I don't like Eva's ending, it was too... human. Though I'm not exactly sure what kind of ending I was hoping for with Eva.

Meridia - I think she found a way to take the best aspects of both Eva and Ravenna (and Gabriel) and make them her own. 

Noah - I didn't think about the fireflies being from Noah until it was mentioned on here, but I really like the idea. I always had a feeling that Noah would play a huge role in Meridia's life outside of the normal being her child.

Overall I really liked how this novel ended (aside from Meridia telling Daniel to come home). This was a great, quirky, magical read and one I will make sure to recommend to everyone.
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"No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing match of words with a woman." - The Woman in White
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LoBugs
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎03-10-2009

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

Was Permony the "she" that Elias wanted to save? Could she have been saved?

 

That would mean that Eva had been plotting for Ahab to meet Permony before Malin's wedding even took place, which is possible. No I don't think she could have been saved. Permony had more than enough of a chance to reconsider her desition to marry Ahab when Meradia confronted her about her desition, I don't know if it was a spell that drew her to Ahab or if she was just naturaly drawn to the bad boy type on her own. Permony had said that she didn't think that he was that attractive, and yet she felt a need to be with him. I prefer to think that Elias wanted Meradia to save Eva from her own undoing. Knowing that she would drive everyone away with her wicked ways and end up alone and at some point in need of help in her old age and he wouldn't be there to care for her.

 

 

How would you describe Malin's character, now that we've gone through so many changes with her? What kind of mother will she be?

 

She has done the most growing up in this book, and she does it gracefully. Malin doesn't seem to fight the changes she goes through in this book. She goes from being this young selfish brat, constintly pickin on her sister,  to a compasionate, loving, genuine person and she embraces the people in her life. Malin has also lost the most during these chapters, she loses her father, her baby, her sister and finally her husband. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I beleive that Malin has learned this very well and will make a great mother, even a single mother.

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jabrkeKB
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎11-15-2008

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel


CathyB wrote:

 

I was quite disappointed in the Hannah outcome. I do not think that it resolved itself as Erick indicated that the many assumptions that people originally had were praobably incorrect - he alluded to some other possibility that no one had yet mentioned. Still don't see it.

 


I totally agree, I expected a "bombshell" about Hannah at the end.

 

 

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mamawli
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎03-13-2009

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

Elias wanted Meridia to save Permony.  He knew that she had strong feelings for the girl and tried to comfort her from Eva.  Meridia made up stories with her and gave her the positive attention that she needed.  During Malins wedding celebration Elias saw Ahab and seemed to recognize him.  He knew that Ahab was interested in Permony and he also knew something  troubling about him.

 

 

Malin has become a strong likable women at the end of the story.  Somehow, Malin's raising Permany's baby brings the family story full circle.  This is a reminder that Patina lost a child and took Eva to be her child.  As the family cycle continues, this time the child will grow up to love and to respect Malin, the mother who will raise him. 

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LoBugs
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎03-10-2009

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

Hannah returns! Do you feel you understand her character any better? Do you have a conclusion about her?

 

I have always thought that Hannah's personality is a small part of Meridia's own personality. The part that she wasn't taught by Ravenna, it's the part she was born with, the part that makes her unique.  Meridia has spent her childhood waiting for her parents relationship to work itself out, she has been taught to be patient, strong and silent. I don't think that she was ever comfortable being a spectator in her parents house. This is why she is so happy to see more of Hannah showing up. Hannah is open, say's what she thinks, she's independent, free spirited, she gets things done, these are the qualities that she wants for herself. Hannah is who Meridia longs to become, but isn't sure that Hannah's personality is always appropriate. She is trying to learn how and when to best use these skills. She finally gets the chance to test these qualities when she takes Noah and leaves Daniel to live on her own. She gets to asert her independant side through having her own home, her own job, and a way to use and show her own strength and creativity. She comes to realize that she does not need to run home to Gabreil when things in her life don't go well, like when she left Daniel the first time. This is how she comes to the conclusion that she is strong enough to stand on her own.

After seeing Eva lying in her own fith she also realizes that being strong does not mean having to be cruel. In the end she won the battle with Eva. She made sure that she was taken care of properly by her son with no disgrace to the family and in doing so not only mad Eva angree, but won the respect and devotion of her husband by being strong enough to let him go and do what he needed to do to be able to live with himself. If she had not let Daniel tend to his mother and had kept them apart ,she would have become the very thing that she despised in her mother-in-law. I think that she learned the differance between selfish and strength.

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FrankieD
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Registered: ‎12-16-2007
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

As I mentioned during out mid-book discussions I think Eva was to be saved...and the only way to do it was to show her kindness...and ultimately death. With her death and Daniels final release from her there was a chance for Meridia and him to reconcile...although Noah would proabably always hate him.

Hannah...now she's an interesting character...or perhaps merely Meridia's other self...the "imaginary" friend that she needed to get her through things. Hannah always arrived at times of greatest need.

I loved the ending...which was really just a new beginning...a sequel? Of Fireflies and Mist or perhaps Noah's Ark.

Whatever the case...it was a great read for me...thanks for the opportunity to experience it.

                                                                    FrankieD :smileyhappy: 

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- Frank Lloyd Wright
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LoBugs
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

Have you reached any conclusions about Daniels character? Are you sympathetic to him?

 

There where times that I felt bad for him, but there where times that I just wanted to kick him in the pants and say wake up your a man! In all fairness to Daniel some times it is hard to see the forest for the trees.  

 

 

Why again see the Festival of the Spirits?

 

Other than to walk Meridia down memory lane and draw her back to Eva and finally to Daniel I don't know.

 

 

 

What are Meridia's fireflies?


I believe that the firefly's are the bright silent, strength that the matriarch of Meridia's family holds and passes from generation to generation.

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emmagrace
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-04-2008

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

It is my belief that Elias asked Meridia to save Permony from her mother, Eva. He could have also meant for Meridia to save Eva from herself as many others have posted.

 

Malin grew so much throughout this novel. She has become a very good friend to Meridia and I found myself admiring Malin for defending her sister and making sure that Ahab would never see his child. I think that she will be a wonderful mother to Permony's child.

 

I knew from the start that something was off where Ahab was concerned. He was obviously a pervert. I did not imagine that he would turn out to be such a monster. I was glad to see him go.

 

I still believe that Hannah was a product of Meridia's imagination. Hannah is Meridia's way of working through her problems. When things were getting bad for Meridia and she seemed a little lost, Hannah would show up and help Meridia figure out what she needed to do.

 

I am glad that Daniel finally saw the light. I am upset that he took so long to "see" what was going on. He finally saw his mother for what she was and he realized that he desperately loved Meridia. I do sympathize with him in many ways, but part of me is angry that he let his mother blind him so much that he cheated on his wife and was so horrible to her.

 

I think that Eva's will and Meridia's resilience played equal roles in this novel. The novel was much more interesting with their "battle" with one another.

 

The festival of spirits was where when Daniel and Meridia first met and the fortune teller pretty much told them that their relationship was doomed. I think the return of the festival reminds Meridia of the love that she has for Daniel despite all that has happened.

 

Meridia's fireflies could be a product of her strength. I really liked what vivico1 said:

 


Actually, I thought the fireflies were Noah's. You did not see them around Meridia before, they did not save her or those she loved before. But to me, fireflies would represent the "light" in Noah, the hope and were his magic. He is of the next generation and maybe a better one.


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pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel

I like your interpretation of the fireflies. It gives Noah a positive, I think hopeful future.

 

pen21 


vivico1 wrote:

Actually, I thought the fireflies were Noah's. You did not see them around Meridia before, they did not save her or those she loved before. But to me, fireflies would represent the "light" in Noah, the hope and were his magic. He is of the next generation and maybe a better one.

 

I love fireflies, and they have just starting showing here at night this week.

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USwede16
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel


rkubie wrote:

 

Why again see the Festival of the Spirits?

 


I think that seeing the Festival of Spirits again brings everything back full circle. It seems to signify the love between her and Daniel. In the beginning the festival brought her and Daniel together. At the end, right after the mentioning of the festival Meridia takes Daniel back.  The festival seems to rekindle Meridia's spirit in that whenever it is mentioned it makes her happy in some way.

"Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly."
Langston Hughes
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nicole21WA
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎03-22-2009

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel


jabrkeKB wrote:

CathyB wrote:

 

I was quite disappointed in the Hannah outcome. I do not think that it resolved itself as Erick indicated that the many assumptions that people originally had were praobably incorrect - he alluded to some other possibility that no one had yet mentioned. Still don't see it.

 


I totally agree, I expected a "bombshell" about Hannah at the end.

 

 


I feel the same.  I was very disappointed to have not resolved who Hannah was.  I don't think even the re-read that I'm planning will help me understand the Hannah character.