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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,033 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Erick Setiawan Narrator: Marguerite Gavin Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Setiawan’s richly atmospheric debut chronicles the passions, betrayals, and complex domestic politics of three generations of women whose emotional lives manifest as supernatural phenomena.

In a nameless town in a timeless era, where spirits and spells are an everyday reality, sixteen-year-old Meridia has grown up lonely and neglected in a house literally haunted by the demons of her parents’ soured love. When she falls for the charming and boyish Daniel, she sees her first real chance for love and happiness. She moves in with his family, unaware that they are harboring dark secrets of their own. There is a grave hidden in the garden. There are two sisters groomed from birth to despise each other. And there is Eva, the formidable matriarch whose grievances swarm the air in an army of bees.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Setiawan’s] stately, elegant writing freely mixes fantasy with reality in a way that doesn’t alienate those of us who haven’t yet run across a mystical tale that we truly enjoy.”

    Arkansas Democrat Gazette

  • “Part love story, part family saga, and part fantasy, this story is rooted in the author’s childhood in Jakarta surrounded by storytellers and folklore.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “Marguerite Gavin’s riveting performance brings light and clarity to Setiawan’s provocative fantasy. Particularly creative and affecting are her renderings of the bees and Meridia’s empathetic voice. Her characterizations are on target, and her tone is tone is as intense as the unfolding drama, and her characterizations are on target.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “[A] heartfelt magical-realist story of two rival families living in a mystical world that transcends both time and place…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

  • “Gavin’s performance amplifies the mysterious and ironic undertones of the story.”

    AudioFile

  • “Writing with a fairy-tale sensibility, Setiawan cloaks every aspect of the novel in magic, spells, and ghosts both actual and imaginary. For readers who like their novels steeped in the fantastic, this is a marvel.”

    Booklist

  • “Experienced stage and screen actress Marguerite Gavin narrates and captures each character perfectly. She enhances the author’s brilliant character development and draws listeners in. She connects the readers with the characters in a deeper way than most might find in the simply reading the book.”

    SoundCommentary.com

  • Selected for the August 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Lynn Mcclelland | 2/3/2014

    " Disappointing...found it difficult to get through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Leslie Sheldon | 1/29/2014

    " This book left me shaking my head and wondering what in the world I was getting into reading this book. Since it was for a book club, I forged on and soon began to realize the meaning behind the "bees." I was intrigued by Meridia, the daughter in this story. She somehow was able to live in the insanity that took place in her house and make a life for yourself. It was a good story in that it makes us take a look at ourselves and how our actions affect others around us. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Teresa Marx | 1/27/2014

    " Amazing look into the lives of these characters! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jillian | 1/24/2014

    " i have a lot of mixed feelings about this "

  • > Show All
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About the Author
Author 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.