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Of Bees and Mist: A Novel por Erick Setiawan
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Of Bees and Mist: A Novel (edição 2010)

por Erick Setiawan (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
7667722,316 (3.76)54
Up in the house that sits on the hill, a strange spell is brewing... To Meridia, growing up with her father Gabriel, who vanishes daily in clouds of mist, and her bewitching mother Ravenna, the outside world is a refuge. So when as a young woman her true love Daniel offers her marriage, it seems an escape to a more straightforward existence. Yet behind the welcoming façade of her new home lies a life of drudgery and a story even stranger than that she left behind. Aged retainers lurk in the background; swarms of bees appear at will, and of course, there's her indomitable mother-in-law, Eva, hiding secrets that it will take Meridia years to unravel. Surrounded by seemingly unfathomable mysteries, can Meridia unlock the intrigues of the past, and thus protect her own family's future? An epic tale of two families told by an unforgettable voice. A modern fable, a gothic page-turner, but most of all, a passionate story about the power of love to conquer all that comes its way.… (mais)
Membro:strangetrails
Título:Of Bees and Mist: A Novel
Autores:Erick Setiawan (Autor)
Informação:Simon & Schuster (2010), Edition: Reprint, 416 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Of Bees and Mist por Erick Setiawan

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Mostrando 1-5 de 76 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I thought I'd like this more than I did based on reviews and synopses I'd read. As is often the case, I think my opinion was affected by having listened to the audio book rather than reading it myself. The narrator came off as a little arch, or insincere, which impression of course rubbed off on the characters, who perhaps didn't deserve it.

Some reviews used "magical realism" to describe this, but I'd call it fantasy. But it was interesting to contemplate how and why I felt it crossed the line. I think the setting, which was not any one identifiable time or place or culture, pushed it over the edge into fantasy. I may have liked it more had it stayed more firmly rooted in a realistic setting. Then its message about destructive family secrets and how they twist relationships over the generations might have struck closer to home. As it was, I kept thinking of the adage, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." The characters often struck me as incredibly obtuse about being deceived over and over again by the same person.

( )
  Charon07 | Jul 16, 2021 |
Meridia grows up in a house with ghosts in the mirrors, mysterious mists outside, and a staircase with strangely shifting dimensions. Also a cold, belittling father; a mother who often seems (possibly quite literally) to forget she exists; and vague, troubling memories of something very bad that happened when she was a baby. Eventually she grows up and gets away from that horrible place only to end up living with a mother-in-law who is a million times worse.

The fantasy elements here -- or maybe they're magic realism elements; I admit I've never been entirely clear on or cared all that much about the division between the two -- made this seem like it would be right up my alley. But while there were moments where those elements were interesting, mostly they just didn't do all that much for me. I get what the author is doing with them. There's a lot of taking the characters' personal issues and magically projecting them out into the world, so that marital infidelity might manifest as a descending mist, or the manipulative words of an abusive gaslighter take form as a swarm of bees. And that seems at least potentially interesting, but, I don't know, in the end it didn't necessarily feel like it added much to these characters' stories. And those stories themselves are just overwhelmingly awful, a constant cavalcade of oppressive, abusive nastiness. Which, again, could potentially be worth reading if I felt it was saying something really profound about abusive family dynamics or providing some moving emotional catharsis or something. I suppose I could see how some might find those things in it. But for me, mostly it was just... unpleasant. ( )
  bragan | Apr 3, 2020 |
From birth Meridia seemed different. She sees ghosts in the mirrors of her magical and mysterious home, and her parents treat her oddly for reasons unknown to her. Gabriel her father resents her, never allowing the girl to speak unless spoken to, while her mother, Ravenna, forgets she exists. Even her nurse acts weird and won't let her out of the house much, for fear of infections and a mist that never leaves their front door. Oh, how she longs to escape her miserable life.

When Daniel enters her life it's a magical moment of true love, and they soon marry, but with marriage comes another odd family, and poor Meridia seems to leap from one strange house
hold to another; swarms of bees appear at will, along with that colour changing mist again, but worse of all her mother-in-law, Eva, appears to only be happy when making Meridia and Daniel's life hell. Both sets of parents are as bad as each other, and will use whatever method they can to get what they want, regardless of the mental torture and troubles they put Meridia and Daniel through. How many secrets can these two families hold? Can Meridia fathom out what is going on, and stay one step ahead, before her own marriage is destroyed? And what will become of her own child who doesn't seem to stand a chance?

If anyone believes themselves to have Mother-In-Law problems and they read this book, I guarantee they will feel so much better about their lives. Both Meridia's parents and her In-Laws wore me out with their conniving, scheming ways that almost tear the young couple apart, but that's what made me read faster in order to find out how the story ended. This is a
story of love overcoming everything, while at the same time it's also heart breaking. I found it to be something of a cross between a modern fantasy and a Grimm fairytale, which is down to the author's wonderfully bizarre imagination and his unusual upbringing; Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents. Of Bees and Mist is an atmospheric epic of a story. I loved the way Meridia and her husband learn to overcome the two forces that try to break them up and the clever techniques that the young girl is forced to put into place to protect her family from the atrocities thrown at them from both sides.

Overall: This engaging plot, along with Setiawan's captivating descriptions and ability to make the story flow in such a mystical and strange world, makes this tale one to recommend.

Review posted on Amazon UK. ( )
  SassyBrit | Nov 27, 2018 |
Generally, I liked this book. I liked the main character and her strength & resiliency. I was OK with all the symbolism in the beginning of the book (the bees & the mist), but it got to be a bit too much after a while. Who/what was Hannah supposed to be? I have my guesses, but I am not analyzing books here. The men in the book were total dolts as well. All of them. I wondered about the culture and the setting in the book. It wasn't clearly defined. Any insights would be appreciated! ( )
1 vote CSKteach | Jul 20, 2018 |
A friend lent me this book to read. This is an interesting (if depressing) read. The book is well written and flows well. It’s kind of a fairy tale-esque story about a couple generations of women whose hatred of each other (and slight magical abilities) destroy the lives of those around them.

This book definitely has a heavy dash of magical realism, from that aspect the tone reminds a lot of the Waverly family books by Sarah Addison Allen. The Waverly Family books are much more beautifully written though. Additionally, while the Waverly Family books leave you feeling hopeful and magical, this book left me feeling downtrodden and depressed.

I enjoyed the first few chapters of the book. The haunted house with a chilly mother and father that Meridia grew up in was beautiful, fascinating, and very fairytale like. However after Meridia grows up and marries things go downhill quickly for the story. For the next two third’s of the book the story is all about Meridia and her mother-in-law, Eva, trying to make each other’s lives miserable. I mean seriously I get enough of this dealing with people in real life...I don’t need to read about it.

There are no good characters in this book; aside perhaps from Meridia’s son Noah. Every character in this book is selfish, short-sighted and easily mislead. The magical realism throughout does not create a sense of wonder but instead shows the irritation and evilness perpetuated by these characters. Seriously not something I want to read about.

Overall this book is well-written and flows nicely. It’s also an interesting blend of fairy tale like magical realism and a story about generations of hatred. However, I really didn’t enjoy it much. There is just so much hatred and selfishness throughout this story; it left me feeling depressed and sad. Honestly this is a story I could have done without ever reading.

The style and magical realism reminded me a bit of The Waverly Family novels by Addison (although those books are much more well written and have a much more positive and magical feel to them). If you did enjoy the style of this book I would recommend The Waverly Family novels as a better written and more uplifting alternatives. ( )
  krau0098 | Dec 18, 2016 |
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Up in the house that sits on the hill, a strange spell is brewing... To Meridia, growing up with her father Gabriel, who vanishes daily in clouds of mist, and her bewitching mother Ravenna, the outside world is a refuge. So when as a young woman her true love Daniel offers her marriage, it seems an escape to a more straightforward existence. Yet behind the welcoming façade of her new home lies a life of drudgery and a story even stranger than that she left behind. Aged retainers lurk in the background; swarms of bees appear at will, and of course, there's her indomitable mother-in-law, Eva, hiding secrets that it will take Meridia years to unravel. Surrounded by seemingly unfathomable mysteries, can Meridia unlock the intrigues of the past, and thus protect her own family's future? An epic tale of two families told by an unforgettable voice. A modern fable, a gothic page-turner, but most of all, a passionate story about the power of love to conquer all that comes its way.

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