Customer Reviews for

City of Tranquil Light

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    My whole family loved this book!

    Fascinating for its American and Chinese characters and their evolving relationship and respect for one another. Wonderful portrait of a small Chinese village over the years of change. Recommended for men and women readers. And yes, book club discussions too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Story based on facts and real life experiences. Great read.

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  • Posted December 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    City Of Tranquil Light

    "City Of Tranquil Light" is the story of missionaries Will and Katherine Keihn. While it is a story of their missionary work in China, it is also a love story between two people who were married for 37 years.While life was never easy, dealing with sickness, a war torn country, and the death of their daughter, they never gave up, and never lost their faith in God. Will is 81, and living in a retirement home for missionaries in California, as he unfolds the journey of his life doing missionary work in China. Growing up as a Mennonite farm boy in Oklahoma, he never imagined himself as a missionary, but when God called him into the field he heeded the call, so at the age of twenty-one he finds himself on his way to China. He met his wife Katherine on that trip and thus begins their remarkable journey as missionaries in China. The story is told from two peoples perspectives, Will and his wife Katherine, whose voice is heard from the pages of her diary. Will says "He never read her diary while she was alive but knows the pages by heart," a statement in which you can feel the longing he feels for his deceased wife, and partner Katherine. While this story is a work of fiction, it is actually inspired by the authors grandparents' missionary work in China. While I was drawn into the story of Will and Katherine I also enjoyed learning a bit about Mennonite culture and getting a historical glimpse of China. A beautiful love story, filled with faith and hope. A story that is well worth reading! I read the hardback version of this book. Even though I was provided a review copy of this book by B&B Media Group for review it in no way alters my opinion of this book.

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  • Posted October 18, 2010

    Gorgeously evocative

    Gorgeous! Just that word .. it's a gorgeous story. The deep and true love and strength and faith through unimaginable poverty and hardships and loss ... This was a book that you really didn't want to put down. I felt myself drawn into these missionaries' lives (not as though I'd want to live them, however, as I'm a bit too used to running water, electricity, and food to want to live their lives), but feeling as they felt and seeing what strengths each of these characters had was an awesome journey.

    Both Will and Katherine are Mennonite missionaries who felt a call to serve when they were extremely young. Although they didn't know each other, in 1906, they joined Edward (Katherine's brother-in-law) on a journey across the sea with 3 others to serve the people of China. Not only must they both learn Chinese (an extremely difficult language to master), they cope with both expected and unexpected hardships, including people who look at most foreign missionaries as trying to "change them" and infiltrate their culture. They fall in love with each other, with their new country and with it's people. As Will ministers to the people, Katherine tends to them as a healer.

    This story is a sweeping look at a country in the middle of an epic upheaval. The Emperor will be overthrown, and decades of civil war will follow. Although Will and Katherine only plan to stay for a few years, their stay turns into decades as well, and this story is told through both Will's eyes and through the words in Katherine's diary. It is a plain-speak, but heartbreakingly poignant, look at many facets and levels of love. From the love of a husband and wife, to the love of God, to the love of a true friend, and even to the love of someone who should be an enemy. This book has bandits, and treachery, laughter and misery, loss and redemption, and it will leave you feeling good at the end.

    My only con: (and I hope that this is corrected in the final version), is that the foreword states that this story is based on the lives of the author's grandparents, although in reading the book, you find out that they didn't HAVE grandchildren. I think the publisher synopsis works best in stating that it is "inspired" by their lives.

    (I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of this title from the publisher to facilitate my review)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

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