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
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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. (07/19/13)

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 (06/19/13)

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) (09/13/10)

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) (09/11/10)

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) (09/06/10)

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.
Jean O. (DePere, WI) (08/27/10)

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.
Iris C. (Hawaii) (08/27/10)

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.
Jo K. (Saratoga, CA) (08/23/10)

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.
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Beyond the Book:
  Religion in China

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