Posted By trish on August 8, 2010
• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (July 6, 2010)
Of Bees and Mist is an engrossing fable that chronicles three generations of women under one family tree and places them in a mythical town where spirits and spells, witchcraft and demons, and prophets and clairvoyance are an everyday reality.
Meridia grows up in a lonely home until she falls in love with Daniel at age sixteen. Soon, they marry, and Meridia can finally escape to live with her charming husband’s family—unaware that they harbor dark mysteries of their own. As Meridia struggles to embrace her life as a young bride, she discovers long-kept secrets about her own past as well as shocking truths about her new family that push her love, courage, and sanity to the brink.
Erick Setiawan’s astonishing debut is a richly atmospheric and tumultuous ride of hope and heartbreak that is altogether touching, truthful, and memorable.
Erick Setiawan was born in 1975 in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents. A quiet, shy child, he was thankfully raised in a family of gifted storytellers, who taught him that while life might have an endless supply of conflict, not all of it translates into a good story. Due to the anti-Chinese sentiment prevalent in Indonesia, his childhood was often fraught with tension, which prompted him to take comfort in books and in the world of his imagination. To traumatize him further, his parents sent him to Catholic schools, where he learned from an early age to feel guilty about everything and that a grown man in a sash and a swishing robe with a ruler in his hand was in no way maternal.
At age sixteen, he left his family and moved to the United States. He knew three people and barely spoke English, yet was somehow convinced that he could compete with the top students to get into the best colleges. His resolution/delusion pushed him to work hard. The following year, his first choice, Harvard, rejected him, but fortunately Stanford had a lower standard. To this day, he believes that they admitted him by mistake.
In college, he wanted to study English, but his shyness and insecurity about his adopted language prevented him from enrolling in classes that required him to speak. Instead, he chose to major in Psychology and Computer Science, going as far as getting a Master’s in the latter. Bafflingly enough, studying about mental disorders and complex algorithms only increased his hunger for literature. Once too often, he shuffled aside his term papers and problem sets to lose himself in a novel.
After graduation, he began his tenure as a software engineer in San Francisco. By the end of the first year, he knew that his heart was not in it. Confronted with the risk of being a corporate burnout at twenty-six, he turned to writing in his spare time. To the exasperation of his bosses, he began coming to work late and taking longer and longer lunch breaks in order to write. Several years, two failed novels, and countless short stories later, he decided to quit his job to finish writing Of Bees and Mist. At the time, he had no book deal and knew no one in publishing, but he pursued his passion with the same stubborn resolution/delusion that had motivated him earlier. He sold Of Bees and Mist four years after he started it.
Erick Setiawan’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS
Thursday, October 7th: Rundpinne
Tuesday, October 12th: Life…With Books
Wednesday, October 13th: Ms.Bookish.com (author interview)
Thursday, October 14th: Books and Things
Tuesday, October 19th: The Whimsical Cottage
Wednesday, October 20th: Literary Feline
Tuesday, October 26th: YA Addicts
Friday, October 29th: See Michelle Read
Monday, November 1st: Missy’s Reads & Reviews
Tuesday, November 2nd: Chaotic Compendiums
Wednesday, November 3rd: Jenny Loves to Read
Thursday, November 4th: The Lost Entwife
Tuesday, November 9th: In the Next Room
Wednesday, November 10th: Fyrefly’s Book Blog
Thursday, November 11th: YA Bookshelf (author interview)
Friday, November 12th: The Brain Lair
Monday, November 15th: Ashley’s Bookshelf