Jul 3, 2010

Book Review: Petals from the Sky by Mingmei Yip


Title: Petals From The Sky
Author: Mingmei Yip
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington; 1 edition (March 1, 2010)
Genre: Fiction, Multi-Cultural
Source: Library

Summary: Twenty-year old Meng Ning decides to be come a Buddhist nun, against the wishes of her mother. She travels abroad to study Buddhism and meets a young American doctor at a Buddhist retreat in Hong Kong. They become close and as they say, the rest is history. Or maybe not...Meng Ning must choose between the young doctor and her wish to emulate the life of a Buddhist nun who had influenced her during her childhood. The book takes place in Mainland China, Manhattan, Paris and Hong Kong.

Comments: I learned more about Buddhism from this novel.The story of the Buddhist nun, Yi Kong, Meng Ning's mentor who inspired her to study Buddhism, showed how women fit into the religion. I thought Meng Ning's story could have wrapped up sooner, however. The tension in her relationship between the American doctor Michael Fuller versus Yi Kong her mentor dragged on a little too long, though I enjoyed it as a love story and a story of a young Chinese woman's contact with the life and ideas of the West.

Author biography: Mingmei Yip grew up in Hong Kong and immigrated to the United States in 1992. Her debut novel, Peach Blossom Pavilion, which tells the story of the last in the Chinese tradition of poet-musician-courtesans, was published by Kensington in 2008.

Her new novel, Petals from the Sky, was inspired by Mingmei's life since she befriended powerful Buddhist nuns in her youth and was once groomed to be one.(Amazon)

My rating:  3 1/2 to 4 stars.

Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge, China Challenge, Support your Local Library Challenge

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7 comments:

  1. Thanks for this review. I teach young children, mainly Indian and Chinese, in a school in the United States. Many of their parents are the first generation in their families to come to the US. I am always interested in books about finding one's way in another country to help me understand what they are going through.

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  2. Sounds like an entertaining and informative story - thanks for the review :)

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  3. Ooo. I had not heard of this book, but it sounds intriguing. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the review!

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  4. Thanks for the book review.
    The title: Petals From The Sky, sounds both engaging and interesting.

    We all come to that bridge sometime in our lives where we have to make a tough choice -- the choice one has to make following the true calling of one's heart or the one pulling on our heart strings.

    Thanks will look into this engaging author.
    Joanny

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  5. Thanks for highlighting this book which is a new one for me. I come from Sri Lanka where the predominant religion is Buddhism and Buddhist nuns are also commonplace. I will try to find this book.

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  6. Glad to see my book on your site!

    Petals from the SKy is a story inspired by my own life befriending powerful Buddhist nuns during my youth. Enjoy!

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  7. Mingmei: Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting on my post. I enjoyed Petals from the Sky and am looking forward to reading your first novel, Peach Blossom Pavilion, as I'm interested in another good story and Chinese instruments and music. I see the book is in its 4th printing.

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