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Petals From The Sky

3.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  567 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
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, "D
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Kensington (first published February 16th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,790)
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Ugh. It started out with a sort of a slightly jumpy literary-vibe, jumpy in the sense that the topics covered by the protagonist's POV tended to bounce around a lot. But it was okay, I've read worse...

Then when the protagonist goes to Hong Kong for a Buddhist retreat, I kept wondering if this was supposed to be some sort of facetious commentary or satire of commercialized Buddhism...except the main character's voice remained deadly serious. She spouted sound-bites of Buddhist philosophy, but hal
Jun 21, 2010 Kristina rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2010 Jenny rated it did not like it
This book was so disappointing! I was really enraptured the first few chapters. Meng Ning wanted to be a Buddhist nun and I was really hoping I'd learn some interesting things about Buddhism through this book.

Unfortunately, she meets a man right away in the book. He's super weird and clingy with her almost right off the bat so I kept wondering what his issues were.

The author then delves into a love scene which was so awkward I could barely read it. Meng Ning is so naive that it felt like she wa
Mar 13, 2010 Natalie rated it it was amazing
MingMei Yip writes a beautiful, lyrical story about a 30 yr old woman, Meng Ning who is torn between her love to be a Buddhist nun and Michael. Meng Ning joins a retreat to " test her karma to be a nun". When she pays her fee for the retreat, she is told that her $500 dollar bill is a fake. When she was in Paris, she had asked a friend to exchange her Hong Kong money in the black market. How could she have known it was fake? As she was trying to talk to the registration about her situation, a ma ...more
Feb 20, 2015 Angelica rated it did not like it

This one was recommended to me by my cousin. I'm not sure why.

Synopsis: Meng Ning, a thirty-year-old woman from Hong Kong, is determined to become a Buddhist nun. During a retreat, a fire breaks out in the temple and her life is saved by an American doctor. She falls in love with him, and questions her previous decision.

Overall enjoyment: To sum up this entire review in one word: nope. I don't think there was anything at all in this book that I liked. I did act
Melinda Elizabeth
Feb 22, 2013 Melinda Elizabeth rated it liked it
hrmm. I was a little disapppointed in this. Perhaps if I had read more of the synopsis I would have had a better idea of what it was all about. All I read was "buddhist nun, mother disapproves of choice" and I was like hellloooo this sounds interesting. But the reality of the novel was a little lacking. It was a little whingey, she went on and on about "oh what should I do" when really she'd already made her choices. Some of the supporting characters in the novel were superfluous and could have ...more
Jan 25, 2015 Mandewi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tentu saja lima bintang untuk usaha seseorang menemukan pencerahan mengenai arah hidupnya.

Berawal dari jatuhnya Meng Ning ke sumur lalu ia (merasa) ditolong oleh Guan Yin melalui tangan seorang biksuni yang kemudian menjadi mentornya, Yi Kong. Membuat Meng Ning, sejak itu, berkeinginan menjadi biksuni. Meskipun hingga usia tiga puluh, keinginan itu tak terlaksana juga.

Hasrat untuk menjadi biksuni kemudian goyah sejak perkenalannya dengan laki-laki berkebangsaan Amerika, Michael, yang juga tertar
Nov 21, 2011 Brandi rated it really liked it
Beautifully written story. I was not expecting to be drawn into the story and fall in love with the very sensitive characters, Meng and Michael. Although, overall the story was well developed, I felt that some of the supporting characters could have eitheR been excluded or better drawn; I would liked to have seen a little bit more development.

Don't want to give anything away, so open yourself for a wonderful journey into Chinese culture and Buddhism. Worth reading.
Mar 17, 2011 Nicole rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Melanie D, Melanie W, Margo
This one had mixed reviews on Goodreads so I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. It's a story of a Chinese girl who is torn between becoming a buddhist nun and marrying the American doctor she falls in love with. Good story with lots of bugghist stories and references.
Feb 19, 2016 hanna rated it it was ok
2/5 stars

This was an odd read for me; I don’t know what made me pick it up. Perhaps it was the alluring cover, none the less I read it with a bit of a struggle. It started off quite choppy and the protagonist often strayed from the subject at hand leaving you like “okay, okay hold on what are we talking about here?”. So we have Meng Ning, beautiful 20 year old who comes from a broken family. She’s attracted to Buddhism and respects the concept of leaving worldly desires and life to dedicating on
May 15, 2010 Michi rated it liked it
I felt like I was cheated after finishing this book. The summary on the book claimed that it went from the Buddhist temples to the streets of New York while detailing a woman's choice between the monastery and a last chance at romantic love.

While, yes, the book did include temples, I had gotten the impression that we were going to see more of them, as in part of the woman's desire to become a nun. I was looking for an exotic getaway from normal fiction. However, the romantic rescue touted on the
Sep 17, 2010 Kristina rated it it was ok
So far, I am enjoying this. The author smoothly transitions from present to past events. I'm a little unsure of the relationship between the narrator and Michael. Something seems off about Michael and I'm waiting to find out about his secret life or something sinister. We'll see how the rest of this story goes.

I just finished this. I was aggravated for, at least, half of this book. The story started out nicely and was enjoyable to read. But then it gets irritating how naive Meng Ning is. She spe
Yuska Vonita
Terinspirasi oleh temannya, Yi Kong, Meng Ning memutuskan untuk menjadi biksuni di usia yang masih muda. Ibunya melarangnya. Ia yang menganggap putrinya berparas cantik, mengharapkannya untuk hidup layak dan menikmati kemewahan yang seharusnya ia dapatkan, selain menikahi pria tampan yang mapan.
Namun keputusan Meng Ning sudah bulat. Ia memutuskan untuk menjadi seorang biksuni. Alasannya, ia ingin terbebas dari kekuasaan pria yang menghancurkan, mendapat spiritualitas, mengendalikan kehidupan dan
Oct 14, 2011 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: Dayanara T
Shelves: novels, pinjeman
karena saya tidak bisa buat review, jadi saya komen saja yaa. hahaha.

jujur, awal lihat covernya dan judul pengarangnya, saya kira ini novel Indonesia. Ternyata terjemahan. dan ngga nyangka juga ni novel tebal juga. Kirain semua novel gagasmedia tuh ga bakal tebel-tebel kayak gini. Oh ya, ceritanya juga romance yang berbumbu spiritual.

Buku ini mencampur adukkan emosi saya. hahaha. ga pernah saya merasa termotivasi, mencari, bingung, senang,
Lindsay Goto
Dec 12, 2010 Lindsay Goto rated it did not like it
When I picked up this book and read the first chapter, I was excited to continue. I thought that it would be a book that could touch and move me. Instead I found shallow characterizations, awkward dialogue and simplistic writing. Not that any of these things are deal breaking, but when they all came together... It was a mess to read. Despite the fact that she tried to add depth to each character, I found that the depth she added was either unbelievable or, was only barely touched on, like the in ...more
Jan 11, 2012 Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Not as good as I thought it was going to be. I had no idea it was going to be a romance. Here is the review given: "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, 'Dependin ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Em rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free
I can definitely say this wasn't one of my favorite books. The in depth description of the Buddhist nuns and monks was extremely interesting, but the rest of the story was very meh. I did like all the various nun and monk names, and it made me wonder what my Buddhist name would be, but that was about it.

The plot didn't always make sense to me. I didn't understand the main characters motivations for doing certain things. It seemed like if someone gave her any attention at all, she started to come
Tom LaVenture
Jun 11, 2012 Tom LaVenture rated it it was amazing
Petals From The Sky
Author: Mingmei Yip
Kensington Books, March 2010
$15.00 Paperback

A different kind of love story
A Book Review by TOM LAVENTURE

Petals From The Sky (Kensington Books) is the third novel from Mingmei Yip, who says she puts a lot of her own life into her stories whether as events or composites of people who have shared her life.
Petals From The Sky is a spiritual, physical and emotional journey with the central character, Du Meng Ning, drawing on her life of hard work and devotion to
Oct 13, 2013 Farfoff rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 27, 2013 Justine rated it it was ok
Shelves: asian-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
I learned more about buddhism from this story. Yip is very lyrical and descriptive. Vanity is prevalent throughout and seems to be the turning point (realization) in the main character's decision on the committments she makes.
It wasn't very gritty, as I believe Hong Kong and New York to be. Conversely, the reference to the kitten was very disturbing and inappropriate.
I found Michael to be too needy and unrealistic. Even with the devastation he suffered as a young man, his life was an oxymoron -
Jan 31, 2010 Suze rated it liked it
I did enjoy most of this book, but my eyes kind of glazed over a few times with all the Zen thoughts, feelings and descriptions. While I admire the peacefulness of Buddhism, I felt the book delved into the religious aspect of it too much at times, leaving the characters kind of hanging outside the story line.

Yip certainly has a lyrical way of describing things, almost like poetry, but it seemed excessive enough in some areas of the book that it detracted from the heart of the story. I generally
Kate McDougall Sackler
Not really what I was expecting. Interesting information about Buddhism and nuns, but I thought the story would follow the description in the book jacket. Instead everything in the book jacket has already happened. Instead, this is a personal struggle about a sheltered Chinese woman who is trying to decide if she should marry or join the nunnery. The guy is s jerk which didn't help.
Sep 26, 2013 Kathy rated it did not like it
Mother believed all women’s unhappiness was caused by men in one way or another.

Although I didn’t know her well enough to judge, Dai Nam gave me the impression more of an escapist than a seeker.

Our lives are like shadows fleeting past the splendors of this floating world.

My friend looked completely enthralled by the diversity and animation of the market. Her large eyes took in everything. Her pink lips let out excited oohs and aahs. So young and energetic, she really should have had som
Jan 14, 2014 Irene rated it did not like it
Although the book was well written I don't have any background knowledge in Buddhism, Chinese art, or poetry and I couldn't relate to the main character at all. At times, the story reminded me of a Victorian historical romance. I chose to read this novel because I thought that Meng Ning's struggle to find herself and her place in the world, as she chose between either becoming a nun or marrying a foreigner, would be interesting. Since I didn't relate to the main character, though, I didn't reall ...more
Mar 19, 2010 Angela rated it did not like it
I'm kind of sad I didn't like this book, I hoped I would. The author really grabbed me in the first few chapters and she was amazingly descriptive, but I felt like it was missing a voice I could relate to.

The protagonist never really expressed her feelings in regards to the man she loved, leaving me to wonder if she even loved him. She expressed a lot of feelings about art, zen, budhist temples, nuns, monks, etc . . . but for a book about choosing between a monastic life and romanitc love it se
Klara Monika
Waktu awal melihat cover dan sekedar baca sinopsisnya, saya kira ini novel Indonesia, bukan terjemahan. Begitu dibaca, kok ada yang aneh ya, ternyata benar terjemahan.
Saya termasuk orang yang anti baca novel yang sudah diterjemahkan, lebih enak kalau baca dari bahasanya langsung. Tapi karena sudah terlanjur, apa boleh buat saya teruskan..
Terus terang sampai sekarang masih belum menamatkan buku ini, karena bahasanya membuat saya bingung, dan banyak adegan-adegan yang 'kurang pantas' seperti adega
The more I read Mingmei's work the more I grow to enjoy the authenticity underlying her work. This story is about a woman who dreamed of becoming a Buddhist nun and the whole process of her final decision. Throughout, I kept thinking "wow, she went through that?" I have no idea if she did or didn't, but Yip wrote this as if she had experienced it.

Having been around Buddhist monks and nuns, I know that her research (or experience, whichever it is) could be true. I appreciate that plus her abilit
Sharon Li
Feb 24, 2011 Sharon Li rated it it was ok
A book about a Chinese girl from a poor, dysfunctional family who prepared to become a nun, but while at a Buddhist retreat, gets swept away by a rich old American sugardaddy. Um yeah... I know Mingmei Yip probably did not meant for her story to turn out sounding like this. She probably wanted to portray the protagonist (Meng Ning) as an innocent, somewhat confused girl just looking for herself. However, the book's awkward dialogue and prose turned Meng Ning into an annoying, frustratingly dumb, ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Mingmei Yip was born in China, received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, and held faculty appointments at the Chinese University and Baptist University in Hong Kong. She's published five books in Chinese, written several columns for seven major Hong Kong newspapers, and has appeared on over forty TV and radio programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and the U.S. She immigrat ...more
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