PETALS FROM THE SKY
Buddhism and China are an intriguing backdrop for Yip's novel about a woman's journey to her true self. But while the book has rich cultural details, the story becomes mired in stilted dialogue and flat characters.
After falling in a well as a young girl and surviving, Meng Ning is sure that her destiny is to become a nun. Years later, a fire at a Buddhist retreat literally throws Meng Ning, who still has not become a nun, into the arms of an American doctor. With him, she discovers feelings that she never imagined she'd have.
The two become inseparable and soon Michael proposes. Initially, Meng Ning refuses, and even after she agrees to marry, she is unsure. It takes a visit to a mysterious temple and a car accident for her to see a new truth that enables her to find happiness and her destiny with Michael. (KENSINGTON, Mar., 352 pp., $15.00)