Buy Of Bees And Mist
Special $9.99 (Regular price: $15.00)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Reviewer: Melissa on November 24, 2010
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Of Bees And Mist is the beautiful and enchanting first novel of Erick Setiawan, an American immigrant who was born in Indonesia to Chinese parents. Writing in the tradition of magic realism, he tells the story of three generations of women, but focuses much of his attention on Meridia and the mythical town where spirits and spells, demons and witchcraft, and prophets and fortune tellers are a reality day after day. Meridia grows up in a very lonely home until she meets and falls in love with Daniel at the age of 16. She thinks that her life will be very different when she marries him and moves into her mother-in-laws home, but she soon realizes that even this “happy” home has dark secrets that she never imagined possible.
It’s rare that I read and review adult novels on YABookShelf.com, but I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to check out this one and to share my thoughts about it with you today. So many of the novels that receive large followings within the YA community feature ghosts and monsters, like vampires and werewolves, and while OfBeesAndMist doesn’t feature these creatures, the haunted houses and Indonesian demons that pop up again and again will certainly appeal to the teen audience. When accompanied by the magically-infused moments, such as staircases that grow and shrink at random, mist that batters visitors of Meridia’s childhood home, and bees that have the power to persuade others of falsehoods, this novel will definitely entertain readers of all ages. For myself, however, it is the mixture of magic and mystery with an amazing story of the familial ties that both bring together individuals and bind them to one another.
Strong female characters and the conflicts they have with one another are at the center of this family saga, and perhaps this is one of the clearest reasons why it spoke to me. From Meridia’s beginning as a young girl who believes that she’s invisible because she doesn’t get any attention, she later grows into a woman, who doesn’t need the attention of others, but instead can and does fend for herself whenever the opportunity presents itself. She overcomes the constricting presence of her mother-in-law, but it isn’t like Eva is only the selfish and in some ways, evil, woman that is presented to us. One of the things that makes Setiawan’s novel a full and engrossing tale is that both the good and bad characters face odds that demonstrate their humanity and show how and why they deserve our pity at times. It is by his talent for breathing life into these characters that the author permits readers to not only come along for the ride, but also to feel the depth of emotions that this family must go through before the conclusion.
Despite the fact that there are some adult scenes presented in these pages, I believe that both teens and the young at heart will equally enjoy this magical tale of one family and the ties that bind them together. And of course, Of Bees And Mist‘s beautiful cover will have you – and anyone you read it around – in awe as well. Pick it up today for yourself or as a gift.
Buy Of Bees And Mist today!