Title: City of Tranquil Light
Authors: Caldwell, Bo
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 287
Year: 2010
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Language: English
Description: Kuang P'ing Ch'ing, City of Tranquil Light, becomes the adopted home of Mennonite missionaries Will and Katherine Kieh. Set in the early 20th Century, this is the story of their mission to Northern China; their love and commitment to one another and the people they serve, and the faith that sustains them.

Told in alternating voices, this is a captivating read where hardships and challenges abound, played out against the backdrop of a country at war with itself. Based on the lives of the author's grandparents.

Comments from Groups:

The book was loved by the whole group - not often do we all like the book. A book of love - love for each other and their faith. Interesting look at the history of China at that time. An easy read, good writing, very believable characters. Auckland 116

Most members enjoyed the book. All commented on the devotion to the work and people shown by Katherine and Will. Christchurch 091

This book was a popular choice. We all thought the alternative voice structure was compelling. The picture of China was painted exceedingly well. The characterisation was great. Tauranga 016

All who read this book, without exception, enjoyed it enormously. We thought it beautifully and carefully written without sentimentality. A great read. Wellington 041

Worthwhile read and generally enjoyed. Considerable realism but disappointment that it was not a true account. Thought provoking. Lower Hutt 008

Everyone thought it was a good read. However some thought that the sacrifices and hardships the couples endured were more than intolerable and pointless, after China forbade all Christianity in the northern parts of China, in 1926. Havelock North 008

This book was enjoyed by all members. Most enjoyed the historical aspect and details of the differece in culture. The religious aspect of the story was not sufficient to deter our group from the enjoyment of the book overall. A strangely compelling read. Hikurangi 001

An interesting read for a group which includes a vicar and an atheist! A deeply expressive love story between two exceptionally brave people. Fernside 001

Although several of us approached this book with misgivings (not sure about religious theme), we all enjoyed the story, structure and empathy the author showed. One of the best books this year. Invercargill 002

Our group members enjoyed this book very much, particularly its style and the two voices giving us additional information. There was good insight into China's political history, and changing attitudes towards missionary and European intervention. We also liked reading the notes in the final section which gave us a lot of information about the writer and her grandparents' lives, which provided the source of her story. Doubtless Bay 002

We had a heated discussion about the zeal of the missionaries, and how they took incredible risks with their lives (and that of their families) in order to spread the word of Christianity. Christchurch 145

Categories: Fiction, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Grief/loss, Historical, Inspirational, Love story, Relationships, Religion, Social commentary/perspectives, China, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups


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