Petals from the Sky

Petals from the Sky

Mingmei Yip

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: B019TM2H64

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

From the acclaimed author of Peach Blossom Pavilion comes a lush and lyrical novel of East and West--and of one young woman's search for her heart's true calling. . .
When twenty-year-old Meng Ning declares that she wants to be a Buddhist nun, her mother is aghast. In her eyes, a nun's life means only deprivation--"no freedom, no love, no meat." But to Meng Ning, it means the chance to control her own destiny, and to live in an oasis of music, art, and poetry far from her parents' unhappy union.

With an enigmatic nun known as Yi Kong, "Depending on Emptiness," as her mentor, Meng Ning spends the next ten years studying abroad, disdaining men, and preparing to enter the nunnery. Then, a fire breaks out at her Buddhist retreat, and Meng Ning is carried to safety by Michael Fuller, a young American doctor. The unprecedented physical contact stirs her curiosity. And as their tentative friendship grows intimate, Meng Ning realizes she must choose between the sensual and the spiritual life.

From the austere beauty of China's Buddhist temples to the whirlwind of Manhattan's social elite, and the brilliant bustle of Paris and Hong Kong, here is a novel of joy and heartbreak--and of the surprising paths that lead us where we most need to be.

Praise for Peach Blossom Pavilion

"Lovely and poignant. . .a novel of heartache, but also one of hope as the strong heroine never gives in." --Curled Up With A Good Book

"Beautiful and evocative, real and heart-wrenching. . .insightful and memorable." --Romantic Times

"A rare peek into an exotic culture that is thrilling, captivating, and moving." –Shobhan Bantwal

















Doesn’t talk and went to China.” “Because she wants to practice meditation on the mountain?” “No.” Chan Lan chuckled. “She went back to see her boyfriend.” This was not what I had expected to hear. “Ah-po, I think you’re mistaken, for she doesn’t have a boyfriend. She’s a nun!” Chan Lan nodded emphatically, like a child trying to prove her innocence when accused of lying. “She does; he died long time.” I muttered to myself, “Dai Nam went to China to see her dead boyfriend?” Chan Lan turned

whispering to the eye-twitching nun, who knelt next to her. I felt a rush of relief. Then I noticed that her torn robe revealed her smooth-skinned shoulder. It was the first time I’d seen this much of her; my cheeks felt hot. Several other nuns and monks gathered around her, muttering and watching intently. Michael walked up to the van and said to the ambulance men in English, “I’m a doctor. Can I take a look at her?” After he had checked Yi Kong’s breathing and felt her pulse, he said, “She’s

curious about this stranger who shared my interest not only in Buddhism, but also in rare texts. I asked the librarian to introduce us. She arranged for us to meet in her office on a Saturday morning, a time when the library was mostly empty. Dai Nam was already there when I arrived. The first thing I noticed about her were her eyebrows—a weak and flattened Chinese character “eight,” as if executed when the calligrapher was depressed. Then, as I sat down opposite her, a shaft of sunlight entered

books. He always said life is too short to learn about all the things he’s interested in. This guy never wastes a minute and works like a dog to get what he wants. Back at Johns Hopkins, often he didn’t even bother to eat, so I’d bring him back pizzas or Chinese takeout.” I enjoyed watching Philip’s facial expressions swim effortlessly from one emotional zone to another. How many more faces did this Romeo have? He continued. “Michael went to Hopkins on scholarships, you know, because his

Nam’s neck, listened to her breathe, then read and signed the chart. When we followed him outside the room, he said, “The patient has hemorrhage and edema of the larynx, so she shouldn’t talk or eat anything solid for a while.” He paused to adjust his glasses. “Besides, she’s still emotionally unstable, so watch out for her and avoid saying anything she has to answer.” After the doctor had left, I asked the young nun, “Is Shifu still upset over eating that cake?” “I suppose so.” After a pause,

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