About the Book
Title: Floating Petals
Author: Leela Devi Panikar
Publication: NanaDon, 2007
Summary: Collection of fourteen short stories.
What I Think
I reread Floating Petals in order to write this review and enjoyed it just as much the second time as I had done the first. The story which shares its name with the title of the book remains my favourite. 'Floating Petals' is about Ma-Ling, an older Chinese woman, who refuses to have her feet amputated despite warning from the doctor that the gangrene may kill her.
The last scent of blossoms was still in the air. She was five when her mother and the servants gathered around her on the east terrace, close to the Kwan Yin altar. On the altar, among the offerings of dumplings, fruit and flowers, joss sticks and candles, was a very special item - a pair of hand-embroidered red satin shoes. (p.10)
Leela Devi Panikar is a gifted storyteller with the ability to create and transport us into different worlds, whether they be other countries, other relationships or even other realities. She does this with apparent ease as her prose flows gently and beautifully. Some of her stories are sad, some are humourous, but what they have in common is that they are all deeply human - even 'Moon' which is based around the moon travelling to the earth - and evoke strong emotions.
I would highly recommend this to any lover of stories, short or long.
About the Author
Leela Devi Panikar is a fiction writer and author of two published short story collections: Floating Petals and Bathing Elephants. After twelve years of writing it is still a surprise to her that I she is writer. She comes from a business background and has owned and operated businesses in several countries and in Hong Kong: boutiques, antique shops, and pub/restaurants. She has travelled a great deal and has lived in Penang, Malaysia; Wales; and Vietnam. Currently she lives in Hong Kong.