twooldfrts, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by twooldfrts)
This was one of the most unusual books that I read this year. It reminds me of the book Little Big. Full of magic and heartbreak. It was so good that I have recommended it to several people.
Kassidy, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Kassidy)
This has become one of my favorite books. It is simple, yet intricate, and holds a special place of reminiscence with a haunting past. I would recommended to anyone, especially those who enjoy family sagas.
Denise Morland, February 3, 2010 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
Of Bees and Mist is a magical tale of love and jealousy between two families across three generations. There are haunted houses, vengeful bees, concealing mists, and every sort of magic, good and bad, that you can imagine. The writing is richly descriptive and lyrical and the characters are drawn in detail with full, fantastic histories backing them up.
Magical realism is a favorite genre and I enjoyed Of Bees and Mist. It did seem that Setiawan was a bit unnecessarily harsh on his characters, the calamities are unrelenting and even the best of people can't seem to catch a break. They don't seem to learn much as they fight the same battles over and over throughout the book. Still, the characters were unique and interesting and the writing beautiful. An original debut novel, I look forward to seeing what Erick Setiawan writes next.
I listened to the audio version of the book and Marguerite Gavin captures the character's voices well. The swarms of bees and enchanted, enraged men especially come across in her narrative interpretation.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Jemima, January 10, 2010 (view all comments by Jemima)
I was blown away by this book! It was like nothing else I have ever read. Erick Setiawan's genius is in his ability to conjure up totally fresh metaphors that instantly depict the depth and complexity of human relationships. It is an ageless tale that seems to channel generations worth of stories, while also touching on contemporary themes. It has only been a few months since I first discovered Of Bees and Mist and I am already itching to re-read it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Jemima, November 9, 2009 (view all comments by Jemima)
This is my favorite read for 2009!It was very unique in that it described ordinary human relationships in a magical way. The writing style and the bizarre elements of the story really drew me in and caught my full attention. The characters were passionate and dramatic. The setting was vague and mystical. Most of all I loved all the imagery. This is a book I will definitely read again. There is such variety and depth to it that I would not get bored. I highly recommend it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (5 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
Simon & Schuster -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Setiawan's debut novel spans 30 years in this heartfelt magical-realist story of two rival families living in a mystical world that transcends both time and place. Meridia is a lonely child; a mysterious incident when she was an infant has torn apart her parents, leaving them sharing nothing but a cold, mist-filled home. Not until Meridia meets the charmer Daniel, at age 16, does she finally feel loved. They marry and move in with his family and at first Meridia loves her life in Daniel's home. But she quickly learns of matriarch Eva's deceitful, manipulative ways and her power, both natural and supernatural, which she uses to control her family. When Meridia rebels against Eva, finding unexpected support from her parents, the rivalry solidifies and a lifelong battle begins. As time passes, Meridia faces heartbreak and betrayal, becoming a strong, fiercely independent woman. While filled with fortune-tellers, ghosts and unexplained phenomena, the relationships between the various characters are true to life so that fans of fantasy and fiction lovers alike are sure to enjoy this magical tale." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child and Angels of Destruction,
"Of Bees and Mist is sheer enchantment. Erick Setiawan has created a magical world just outside of our own..."
by John Connolly, author of The Book of Lost Things and The Lovers,
"A beautifully crafted adult fairy tale of love, loss and loyalty that is at once witty, magical, and moving."
by Da Chen, author of Colors of the Mountain and Brothers,
"Of Bees and Mist is set in a secretive and mythical landscape where readers will yearn to be. A marvel of a novel."
Setiawan's atmospheric debut is a beautiful, engrossing fable of three generations of women in two families, their loves and losses, their destructive jealousies and deceptions, and their triumphs.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.