|Of Bees and Mist|
Simon and Schuster
Meridia grew up in a household with a mother who rarely remembers she's alive and a father who wishes he could forget she'd been born. For the first 16 years of her life she wonders if all families are like this or if there's a chance she might find someone who loves her. In Independence Plaza she finds Daniel and she finally gains her freedom. When she meets Daniel's parents she notices two things; it's warm in his house and there's no mist hovering outside. They marry three months later and she moves into their home. Quickly she realizes that although the Orchard Road house is not surrounded by mist, it's infested with bees. They aren't present all the time, only when Eva, Daniel's mother, decides she's losing control or not getting enough attention. The bees are a result of her incessant complaints. Everyone but Meridia appear to be blind to Eva's fault and Meridia soon becomes an outcast and has to take drastic measures to save her marriage.
My ThoughtsOf Bees and Mist has elements of magical realism as Setiawan gives the mist and the bees human characteristics. Setiawan also incorporates ghosts, spirits and other out-of-this-world beings Many times Setiawan switched so quickly between fantasy and reality it was hard to follow what was happening. You also had to be aware of the time change as the author attempted to weave in Meridia's parents past. I found it a struggle to get through Of Bees and Mist. I became bogged down in the details as I tried to separate what could be a function of the character's imagination and what was really occurring. My confusion was deepened by my lack of feelings for any of the characters. I just wasn't interested in what happened to any of them and much of what did seemed like it was there for the shock value. After crawling through the 400 pages I felt the ending was rushed. I didn't get a sense of resolution and was left with many questions. So many problems were wrapped up neatly and others just ended.
About the Author
Several years, two failed novels, and countless short stories later, he decided to quit his job to finish writing Of Bees and Mist. At the time, he had no book deal and knew no one in publishing, but he pursued his passion with the same stubborn resolution/delusion that had motivated him earlier. He sold Of Bees and Mist four years after he started it.
Erick Setiawan - Facebook
Of Bees and Mist - website
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TLC Book Tours and Simon and Schuster for this finished copy.