MLA Gold Award Site

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

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

City of Tranquil Light

A Novel

by Bo Caldwell

City of Tranquil Light
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2010, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2011, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 2 of 2
There are currently 16 reader reviews for City of Tranquil Light
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Power Reviewer Daniel A. (Naugatuck, CT) (08/15/10)

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) (08/14/10)

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) (08/12/10)

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.) (08/10/10)

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) (08/09/10)

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.
Eileen C. (Arlington, TX) (08/08/10)

A Love Story
I found this book was one that I never wanted to put down. Two young missionaries in love with God, fall in love with each other and with the people of early 1900 century China. They face hardships of war, isolation, bandits, and death; yet, they find that God sustains them and their love for Him and each other deepens. A wonderful look at the lives of Chinese peasants in the tumultuous time between the end of the Manchu dynasty and the rise of communism . I highly recommend this book.
Patricia K. (Oak Park, California) (08/04/10)

City of Tranquil LIght
"City of Tranquil Lights" is a beautifully written novel. I read this book in two days, any time I put it down, I felt the book tug at me to pick it up and keep on reading. So much about this book kept my attention, from the description of life in China in the early 1900s to selfless service Will and Katherine gave during their missionary life. I highly recommend this book.
Susan S. (Lakeville, MA) (07/24/10)

An Inspiring Love Story
The book arrived on Thursday afternoon. 48 hours later, I finished it. It was inspired by the author's grandparents who spent 56 years as Mennonite missionaries in China. I was disappointed and surprised when I learned that it was, in fact, fiction because it is so well-written. The author does, however, list a number of books in her Acknowledgment that she used in her research for this piece, which I fully intend to read. Anyone who has an interest in Chinese culture and/or history would be interested in reading this or anyone who just wants to read a good, old-fashioned love story. I had a lot of things to do today, but the book held my attention to such a degree that I got up early and spent most of my day in my reading chair because I couldn't put this book down.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2

Beyond the Book:
  Religion in China

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Everybody's Fool
    Everybody's Fool
    by Richard Russo
    Written from multiple viewpoints, Everybody's Fool features an ensemble cast of inhabitants ...
  • Book Jacket: The Strings of Murder
    The Strings of Murder
    by Oscar de Muriel
    As Jack the Ripper eludes the police at Scotland Yard in London and all efforts to catch the most ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Was Your Girl
    If I Was Your Girl
    by Meredith Russo
    Who defines us? Do we ourselves, or does the society in which we live? Meredith Russo's ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Since She Went Away
    by David Bell

    A chilling novel of guilt, regret, and a past which refuses to die...

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Life of the World to Come
    by Dan Cluchey

    Smart, sad and crackling with wit, a book about love, life and what happens after.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.