As Meng Ning and Michael come to know each other better, their characters change fairly significantly and in ways that make them seem to be completely removed from who they were at the beginning of the book. Although Meng Ning's decision whether to marry Michael or to turn her back on family and the material world is a serious one, her constant waffling makes for tough reading. And the plot is completely anachronistic when she travels to New York and meets Michael's "friends." Certainly, Yip has done a reasonable job portraying a woman who has been hovering without making a decision for more than 10 years but there was just something a little off-putting here. The descriptions of the Buddhist life, its necessary intersections with the outside, material world, and the culture clash that is inevitable in a cross-cultural relationship are all interesting but they just can't quite carry the novel.
Thanks to LibraryThing Early Reviewers for sending me a copy of the book to review.