Tuesday 25 August 2009


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 facade 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?

This is Erick Setiawan's first novel. I was so impressed that I can't wait to see what else he's got to offer in the future.

At the core of the story is the life of Meridia and the people who come in and out of her life as she grows from an insecure child, into a very clever and strong woman. It all starts with her very strange parents and the cold house with ghosts in the mirrors and shadows on the walls. Then follows her life with the family she becomes a part of after she marries the love of her life, Daniel. Growing up in a home where her mother often forgot her, and her father disappeared in a cloud of mist every night, living with Daniel's family should be a change for the better, right?

Unfortunately, with a mother-in-law that uses bees to enrage the members of her family - as well as plays them agaisnt one another - Meridia soon discovers that her new home is as full of secrets as the one she grew up in.

I loved this book so much that I couldn't wait to get back to it every time I had to put it down, and had to read it in long stretches. I just couldn't put it down! It was well written, unique, lyrical, and so filled with emotion that I found some scenes overwhelming. The antagonist does such horrible things and puts her family through so much that I kept hoping she would fade away, like other characters did.

This is an outstanding book, a total keeper that is very hard to categorise because of it's unique, atmospheric, and very touching story about the trials of family, spun in a remarkable web of fantasy.

Of Bees and Mist is a captivating book that'll sweep you up into a cloud of mystical wonder and keep you glued from start to finish by the vivid imagery, interesting characters, the magic of every word, and the constant heartbreak of the central character.

Of Bees and Mist, August 2009, ISBN 0755348540, Headline Fiction Paperback (C)

No comments:

Favorites More