City of Tranquil Light: A Novel by Bo Caldwell

A sweet friend who knows me well put City of Tranquil Light in my hands over a month ago and when I texted her early this morning saying I had finished it and loved it so, so much, she replied,

I knew you would love it.

I read a lot of books.  I read stories that fascinate me and histories that teach me.  I read facts that inform me about food and my body.  I read novels for book club that are fun and that take me away from my current surroundings.

But this book.

This book is one of those stories that I feel like I am a better person for having read.  Because the characters, Will and Katherine, who lived more life in ten of their years than I have lived in almost forty, are now a part of my heart, I expect and hope that I will be improved by their influence.

The books is a novel, but the author based the story on her grandparents’ history as missionaries in China in the early 1900s.  Bo Caldwell’s vivid writing strongly evokes the sights, sounds and smells of this time and country. I feel as though I have actually been to China and back in the last few days.

Towards the end, I could not put it down.  And yet I did not want to read it too quickly either and gloss other Will and Katherine’s experiences without digesting each one.  However, I think that this is what life was like, tumultuous events one of top of the other without time to recover in between.

I hope with all my heart that my life with Taido will mirror the story of Will and Katherine in some small way. Their sweet tenderness towards one another is as compelling as their faith and devotion to living and working in China.  In the end their love for each other is what truly makes the story so beautiful.

I am certain that there will be tears at yoga this morning as I think of it all over again.


  1. Just found it on Amazon for $5!! Can’t wait for it to get here 🙂

  2. Awesome! Let me know how you like it!! 😉

  3. […] followed City of Tranquil Light to Bo Caldwell’s other novel, The Distant Land of My Father.  This story was completely […]

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