Read advance reader review of City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

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City of Tranquil Light

A Novel

by Bo Caldwell

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell X
City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2010, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2011, 304 pages

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There are currently 13 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."
  • 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.
  • Denice B. (Fort Bragg, CA)


    City of Tranquil Light
    I loved this quietly powerful book, even though it was not "compelling" in the typical, cliff-hanging way. While I have mixed feelings about "missionary work," this story gives real life details about the dedication and difficulties of two such workers. The love story of an enviably close and sweet marriage built on Faith is such a refreshing break from the self-centered, crass stuff of our modern culture. The book also offers a very interesting (compelling?) way to learn of China's civil unrest in the early 1900s.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates simple but elegant and profound story-telling.
  • Sherrill B. (Columbia City, In.)


    City of Tranquil Light
    I wasn't sure at first if I liked this book. It was different than most novels. The characters and their trials and tribulations were so real and believable that I decided I liked it after all. also there is romance that is very real and facts about China in the 1900's that seem like real facts. I think I learned a lot about China. It was an interesting book and I would recommend it.
  • Darra W. (Walnut Creek, CA)


    A Quiet Masterpiece
    This simply, but exquisitely written novel tells the story of two young Mennonites, Katherine and Will Siehn, who journey to mainland China in 1906 to offer their lives in missionary service. The narrative is told from two viewpoints: his recollections as an elderly man returned to America, and hers through her diary. The resulting "weave" is a quietly powerful story of a marriage, commitment, and a land moving from imperial rule toward an uncertain political future.

    It's now almost mid-August. Since January 1, I have read 88 books, a list that includes contemporary literary fiction, quality non-fiction, and acknowledged classics. "City of Tranquil Light" is the best so far, and I look forward eagerly to Ms. Caldwell's next work.
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Beyond the Book:
  Religion in China

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