City of Tranquil Light

City of Tranquil Light

A Novel

Book - 2010
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"What ardent, dazzling souls emerge from these American missionaries in China . . . A beautiful, searing book that leaves an indelible presence in the mind." --Patricia Hampl, author of The Florist's Daughter

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'ingCh'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?

Told through Will and Katherine's alternating viewpoints--and inspired by the lives of the author's maternal grandparents-- City of Tranquil Light is a tender and elegiac portrait of a young marriage set against the backdrop of the shifting face of a beautiful but torn nation. A deeply spiritual book, it shows how those who work to teach others often have the most to learn, and is further evidence that Bo Caldwell writes "vividly and with great historical perspective" ( San Jose Mercury News ).

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805092288
Branch Call Number: FIC Cald
Characteristics: 287 p


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May 02, 2015

This is the best book I have read since Rohinton Mistry's epic "A Fine Balance". The characters are real, flawed, people who I would like to know. The story of loss, bitterness, forgiveness and surrender is powerful and poignant.

Apr 04, 2014

A very moving book. It flowed easily between the thoughts of the husband in the present day husband and the past journals of the wife.

Aug 26, 2012

I picked this book off of the shelf on a whim - - not knowing anything about it or the author. It turned out to be an incredible treasure. A book that touched my heart and mind beyond explanation.

Sep 20, 2011

A book about a pious Christian life.

debwalker Dec 07, 2010

An enthralling love story about Will and Katherine Kiehn, their adopted country of China, and their God--a deceptively straightforward tale told in powerful, profound prose. It's based on the life of Caldwell's maternal grandparents, who were missionaries in China and Taiwan from 1906 to 1961. In melding fiction and truth, we learn about remarkable lives, but also sense that we are discovering what Caldwell herself has learned of life and love and faith.

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