Of Bees and Mist

A Novel

Of Bees and Mist

• An escapist’s delight: Readers of magical-realist fiction will instantly be captivated by this fairy tale that is richly evocative of the lives of women and their complex relationships. Of Bees and Mist takes place in a nameless town during a timeless era, where spirits and spells, witchcraft and demons, ghosts and clairvoyance—both real and imagined—are an everyday reality.

• Distinctive, outstanding women’s fiction: Part female-driven family saga, part love story, Of Bees and Mist centers on Meridia, who tries to escape her alienating childhood and mysterious parents by running away at sixteen to marry a tenderhearted young man, whose family is harboring secrets of their own. Setiawan takes readers through a tumultuous thirty-year journey of hope and heartbreak as Meridia’s capacity for love, courage, and sanity is pushed to the brink. Filled with fantasy and melodrama, Of Bees and Mist is an epic story of family and friendship, of secrets and magic—a story that is altogether touching, honest, and entirely memorable.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 416 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416596257 | 
  • July 2010
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Novelist Erick Setiawan Describes How He Came to Write Of Bees and Mist

Erick Setiawan's astonishing debut is a richly atmospheric and tumultuous ride of hope and heartbreak that is altogether touching, truthful, and entirely memorable.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Of Bees and Mist includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Erick Setiawan. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Of Bees and Mist takes place in an unnamed town in a timeless era, a place where superstitions and spells abound, spirits roam free, and even the mist harbors secrets. Here Meridia grows up in a household fractured by misunderstanding and haunted by grief. After a desolate childhood spent trying to understand her mysterious parents, she leaves at age sixteen to marry Daniel, an idealistic young man, and begin a new life.

Meridia quickly discovers that Daniel’s family is not what they seem. The formidable matriarch, Eva, who has a swarm of angry bees at her behest, maliciously manipulates those around her. Meridia increasingly challenges her mother-in-law’s authority, culminating in a battle to save her marriage and protect her husband and son…and bringing to light a long-held secret that connects their two families.

Spanning three decades, from Meridia’s birth through marriage, motherhood, and the years beyond, Of Bees and Mist is an intriguing family saga, a bit see more

About the Author

Erick Setiawan
Photo Credit: Maren Caruso

Erick Setiawan

Erick Setiawan was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents and moved to the United States in 1991. He is a graduate of Stanford University and currently lives in San Francisco.