Advance reader reviews of City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell.

City of Tranquil Light

A Novel

By Bo Caldwell

City of Tranquil Light
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2010,
    304 pages.

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There are currently 14 member reviews
for City of Tranquil Light
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  • C H. (Wauwatosa, WI)


    City of Tranquil Light
    This is a beautifully written book and one that I found captivating. I was captivated by the love of the missionary couple for each other, by their unrelenting belief and faith in what they were doing, and by their interest and selfless compassion for the people they came to know and love in China - a country they quickly took on as their own.
  • Debra P. (Belmont, NC)


    Awsome Story!
    Reads like a travel journal written about an incredible love story containing a powerful message of faith and grace. The author does an incredible job placing one in the story and more than once I had tears of sadness or joy as I read about the sacrifices and the impact faith had on so many people. We don't often have missionary stories told and I thank Bo Caldwell for sharing. Additionally, I loved the format of using diary letters written from Katherine's perspective which gave one the sense of the event as it actually happened partnered with Will's perspective more from his memories looking back. I will definitely recommend this book to my book group and others and it is going to be one I will think about for a long time. As a Christian, I keep thinking about a line in the book ... "I learned from what you did, not what you said."
  • William E. (Honolulu, HI)


    City of Tranquil Light not so Tranquil
    The book is hardly tranquil in its portrayal of the tumultuous years of China in the 20th Century. The remarkable relationship of Will and Katherine is juxtaposed against the hue and cry of China, I found very effective. The novel is also a great history lesson of the dialectic struggle laying the groundwork of the 21st Century superpower.
  • Iris C. (Hawaii)


    City of Tranquil Light
    I was away, and just finished reading this book Rather than reiterate the story line so well stated by previous reviewers, I will confine my remarks to the author, Bo Caldwell. Caldwell is a talented writer. She has received several awards, among them the Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford. The Stegner influence appears in the easy word flow , passion, and succinct descriptions of people, places and things. My only reservation is that Caldwell does not show the depth of fine detailing which brings vibrance and immediacy to Stegner's prose . Perhaps this is because Caldwell has never been to China. I look forward to reading her future novels and hope that she will rely on her own experiences and observations to bring forth her full talent.
  • Jean O. (DePere, WI)


    City of Tranquil Light
    The beginning of the book went slowly for me. My interest increased as I read. The use of two voices was a nice way to get the perspectives of the main characters. The story is lovely and an excellent voice for examples of dedication and devotion.
  • Jo K. (Saratoga, CA)


    City of Tranquil Light
    This is just the loveliest book I've read in a long time---Bo Caldwell has expertly written a very beautiful story of a young couple and their missionary work in China at the turn of the century that had me in the palm of her hand the whole time I was reading. Even a week later, I still can't get the characters out of my mind.
    An excellent read... I highly recommend it.
  • Daniel A. (Naugatuck, CT)


    City of Tranquil Light
    I very much enjoyed reading this memoir; it was both inspiring and informative about the struggles missionaries endured living in Mainland China in the early years of the 20th century. I highly recommend this book to whomever wants a read that he or she cannot put down and also spiritual in nature. The story is well written and I learned a lot about China.
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