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By Mingmei Yip

From the acclaimed writer of Peach Blossom Pavilion comes a lush and lyrical novel of East and West--and of 1 younger woman's look for her heart's actual calling. . .
When twenty-year-old Meng Ning publicizes that she desires to be a Buddhist nun, her mom is aghast. In her eyes, a nun's lifestyles skill basically deprivation--"no freedom, no love, no meat." yet to Meng Ning, it skill the opportunity to manage her personal future, and to stay in an oasis of tune, paintings, and poetry faraway from her parents' unsatisfied union.

With an enigmatic nun often called Yi Kong, "Depending on Emptiness," as her mentor, Meng Ning spends the subsequent ten years learning in a foreign country, disdaining males, and getting ready to go into the nunnery. Then, a fireplace breaks out at her Buddhist retreat, and Meng Ning is carried to defense through Michael Fuller, a tender American healthcare professional. The extraordinary actual touch stirs her interest. And as their tentative friendship grows intimate, Meng Ning realizes she needs to make a choice from the sensual and the religious life.

From the austere great thing about China's Buddhist temples to the whirlwind of Manhattan's social elite, and the intense bustle of Paris and Hong Kong, here's a novel of pleasure and heartbreak--and of the incredible paths that lead us the place we so much have to be.

Praise for Peach Blossom Pavilion

"Lovely and poignant. . .a novel of heartache, but in addition considered one of desire because the powerful heroine by no means provides in." --Curled Up With an exceptional Book

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

"A infrequent peek into an unique tradition that's exciting, attractive, and moving." –Shobhan Bantwal

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It vibrated softly but sonorously, reverberating within the cupboard, increasing into the room, then lingering for some time sooner than departing into silence. happy by means of my bemusement, Yi Kong eagerly confirmed me her different collections. She pulled open a drawer in her table from which she took out a small wood field. “Smell…this is a really useful type of eaglewood incense, that you may simply get in China, no longer in Hong Kong. ” Yi Kong diminished her head to scoop the incense. i'll in actual fact see the twelve scars on her scalp’s bald floor. So around and so naked. A ensure that no hair can develop back in those spots. an explanation of religion during the willingness to be marred. a logo of a direction of no go back. what's it like—this course of no go back? How a lot did it damage while the burning incense scorched this flesh? What had she been pondering whilst her grasp did this to her? Did she hesitate even a tiny, tiny bit, upon leaving this mundane global? Now, while she scorched her disciples’ scalps, what may she take into consideration? i needed to grasp all yet didn’t have the braveness to invite. in the end those years, Yi Kong nonetheless remained an enigma to me. I felt a pull within; I nonetheless desired to research all of the mysteries alongside this esoteric direction. Now Yi Kong conscientiously placed the incense right into a small silk bag and passed it to me. “Take this and provide it to Buddha on a daily basis. ” Then becoming a joking tone, she requested, “By the way in which, are you continue to very busy together with your writing and learn? whilst are you coming to play with us? There’s continually plenty of enjoyable occurring the following. ” As i'd by no means study the mysteries alongside the forbidden direction of a nun, Yi Kong, equally, might by no means flavor the excitement of a man’s warming hand on her breast, his smooth eyes eagerly discovering their resting position in hers. I was hoping she didn’t see the recent crimson crawling up my cheeks. I’d inspiration she’d guessed already. How may I face disappointing her, telling her that rather than abandoning the area and striving for Buddhahood, I had fallen in love with a guy, flirted dangerously with one other one, and even…had intercourse with a girl? I hesitated, inhaled the piquant incense, and acknowledged, additionally in a half-joking method to hide up my guilt and embarrassment, “I recognize there’s plenty of enjoyable occurring the following, yet I…I…” I paused, then involuntarily blurted out, “Someone…is looking ahead to me. ” used to be I so convinced of marrying Michael? At that second, I felt like a college woman looking ahead to the primary to determine I had misbehaved. Yi Kong picked up and fondled the incense burner in her arms, head decreased, now not talking. the single audible sound was once the restive pounding of my middle opposed to my ribs just like the damn of bars shaken via a prisoner. I watched her carefully, for the 1st time with guilt rather than excitement. mins handed. Yi Kong nonetheless caressed the burner together with her stylish palms, appreciating it from diversified angles. She grasped the burner firmly, as though fearing it is going to slip from her hand. even supposing I couldn’t see her expression, I knew good she might hinder issues from breaking instead of need to decide up items later.

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