Saturday, June 27, 2009

review: of bees and mist by erick setiawan

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Of Bees and Mist takes place in an unknown location at an unknown time. The only thing that’s clear is things are not as they are in modern day America. The story centers around Meridia, who grows up unlike most children. Secrets about are kept from her and her most solid relationship is with her nurse, who leaves just as Meridia enters puberty. A few years later, Meridia meets Daniel and marries despite her father’s protests (her mother intervenes on her behalf). Unfortunately, the living situation with Daniel isn’t any better.

The story could be just that—a girl with an unhappy home life seeks love elsewhere only to find herself saddled with additional problems—but there’s more to it. There are fantastical elements that add to the secrets and mystery of the story. Meridia’s childhood home is incredibly cold and surrounded by mists. Daniel’s home has flowers that grow uncontrollably; his mother also complains so much that bees surround her words. There are a number of other mystical elements that leave the reader curious about this book’s setting. Although I wish some of these things were given more of an explanation, it is a good read once you accept that the rules of the universe as we understand them do not apply.
ARC Review
Review copy provided by Barnes and Noble First Look.

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