I highly recommend this remarkable work of imagination, empathy and storytelling to anyone who wants a fast-paced plot and deep, insightful background that teaches us much about China's spiritual life. Meyer convincingly creates multiple worlds--of pre-war China, missionaries, Japanese detention camps, postwar America, and reform-era China--that are rich and imaginative. Built around two strong women, the novel immerses us in Chinese and Christian religious communities, showcasing the author's deep knowledge of China, religion and faith. Holding it all together is a riveting plot--a kidnapping whose effects span decades and continents. ---Ian Johnson, Pulitzer-Prize winning writer covering China for Baltimore's The Sun and The Wall Street Journal, and author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao
Jeffrey F. Meyer presents an interesting blend of West meets East, as generations of the traditional familial unit transition from tragedy to fulfillment. A study of family, coming of age and religion/spirituality, A Call to China evokes a sense of exploration fictionally reminiscent of Chang’s Wild Swans.
A Call to China leads the reader into deep reflection about family, destiny and the search for an appreciation of self amid the hypocrisy and incongruity of the times. The real tragic history of 20th-century China and the Cultural Revolution is brought back to life as the Waymans attempt to find their individual sacred place, seeking immortality and wisdom in their own distinct fashion. By providing compelling characters, a driving rhythm and a rich plot, Meyer produces an intriguing tale of humanity struggling to recover its indigenous allegiance to one’s own faith as each sees appropriate. “The color of the cat doesn’t matter, black or white, as long as it can catch the mouse.” --- Lisa Aquilina, J.D., LL.M, Publisher, Author, and Arizona Authors’ Association President
In Jeffrey Meyer’s debut novel, A Call To China, East meets West as two sisters who have grown up in separate cultures find their way back to each other. Bu’er, born to American parents but kidnapped and raised in rural China to be the leader of a secret sect called the FourOne Society, and Olivia, a professor raised in urban America, come to realize that beyond a vast cultural divide, the two sisters are related in more ways than one.
Temples, incense, caves, mountains, the Buddha and the Dao on one side; on the other, missionary compounds, university, divorce, death, Jesus and Socrates. Jeffrey Meyer’s poetic and sharp prose explores both worlds and leaves readers with a tale that is moving and unforgettable, a tale of familial and spiritual love that transcends all cultures. ---Dr. Chris Brawley, author of Nature and the Numinous in Mythopoeic Fantasy Literature
Americans are only starting to learn about the turbulent history of China in the 20th Century. Jeff Meyer’s novel artfully delves into the drama and strife of China’s vast lands. He convincingly narrates a story of quest for connection, both on a grand political scale, and on a personal level of a woman’s brave search for her sister kidnapped decades before. This is a journey far and beyond, but even more so, it is a journey into the heart. ---Christopher Radko, Author and Holiday Designer