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Reader reviews and comments on City of Tranquil Light, plus links to write your own review.

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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 16 reader reviews for City of Tranquil Light
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Loretta F.

A Refreshing Change of Pace
Our book club read this book some time ago, and it was one of the few books that everyone liked. We found the story about a missionary couple very interesting, without being "preachy." We thought the characters were believable, and we were caught up in the hardships they had to endure. The ending was bittersweet, and perfect for a novel of this type.
M. L. Stanton

reader opinion of "City of Tranquil Light"
The best book I've read in a very long time and the first ever Bo Caldwell novel for me. I'd never before read anything about missionaries to China, let alone Mennonite missionaries. The saga of hardship and enduring love both Will and Katherine had for Christ, along with their abiding love for each and for the people they ministered to in countless ways is indeed very moving, inspirational and poignant. I highly recommend this book be read by every Christian, especially those who feel called to the mission field.
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.
Power Reviewer
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.
Irene M. (Ashland, OR)

City of Tranquil Light
This novel is a true love story: the love of a young couple for each other; their love of their God and their faith in Him; and the love for their adopted country (China) and their village (Ch'eng An Fu) that became so important to their lives.

But it is also a story of loss: the loss of a child; the loss of a lifetime partner; the loss of an adopted country and a way of life, and at times, almost a loss of faith.

In short, a powerful story of man's kindness to man, and man's inhumanity to man.

This would bee a very good book for discussion groups and book clubs. I recommend it as a study of the way most of us, in our consumerism and self-centeredness will never live, but cannot help but admire.
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.
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