Petals From The Sky
Kensington, Mar 2010, $15.00
Thirteen year old Meng Ning fell into a well. She survived her ordeal, but also had a revelation that she was fated to be a Buddhist nun. Now an adult Meng has not yet taken her vows as her mentor encourages her to take some time and study abroad, which she does in Paris while her mother is horrified with her daughter’s decision.
At the Summer Buddhist Retreat, a fire places Meng in jeopardy until American Dr. Michael Fuller, who rescued her when her black-market monetary exchange proved counterfeit, carries her to safety. They become friends and companions. However, that ends when he proposes and she refuses as her dream is to be a nun not a wife. Although she changes her mind and accepts, she still wonders if she is making a mistake until a car accident opens her eyes.
This is an intriguing look at Buddhism in mostly Paris and Hong Kong; so there is a western flavoring. The story line is profound as Meng must choose between spiritual and mortal loves; while coping with pressure from others trying to influence her selection. Although Michael seems more like a stereotype of a westerner involved with an Asian woman whose belief system differs from his, fans will enjoy Petals From the Sky as Meng must determine the path her devotion leads her to.