Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bo Caldwell's City of Tranquil Light ~ Reviewed

City of Tranquil Light: A Novel
Bo Caldwell
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (September 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805092285


Will Kiehn is seemingly destined for life as a humble farmer in the Midwest when, having felt a call from God, he travels to the vast North China Plain in the early twentieth-century. There he is surprised by love and weds a strong and determined fellow missionary, Katherine. They soon find themselves witnesses to the crumbling of a more than two-thousand-year-old dynasty that plunges the country into decades of civil war. As the couple works to improve the lives of the people of Kuang P'ing Ch'eng-- City of Tranquil Light, a place they come to love--and face incredible hardship, will their faith and relationship be enough to sustain them?


I had this book in my stack for months before I picked it up and began to read. Once I was two pages in, I was hooked and had trouble putting it down.

Told through the eyes of Will as he recounts the story of his life, and Kathrine as she journaled throughout her years as a missionary in China and their homecoming. The detail, the lives, and the hearts of the characters come to life and pull the reader into a time and culture warp.

Heartache, sorrow, struggles, horror fill the days of Will and Kathrine in the early 1900’s. But there is also blessing after blessing as they do what they are called to do and reach out to people that they come to love. Smells, sounds and sights jump off the page. My heart connected with them in their struggles and their joys. City is not an easy book to read, but it’s hauntingly beautiful.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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