Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I had the privilege this year of being an INSPYS judge for the category of General Fiction.  I served with some wonderful people this year.  We had five wonderful books to read and review.  These five books will be reviewed over the next five days.  The winner was announced yesterday for General Fiction so I will start with that review.  To see the other winners please go to the INSPYS  site.

City of Tranquil Light - Bo Caldwell
Publisher:  Henry Holt & Co.
Pages:  304
Source:  Purchased
Genre:  Adult, General Fiction

From Goodreads:

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'ing Ch'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 Lightis 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).
My Thoughts:
The wonderful thing about this book is that the Christian and Non-Christian alike can and will enjoy this book.  It is not real preachy.  This is the story of Will & Katherine who answered a call made by God.  They live their faith.  Through this book we see the go through some of the same trials and emotions we go through.  No matter what comes their way, no matter how  right it would seem for them to just throw in the towel, they continue to rely on God.  If I could choose only one word to describe this book I would say it would have to be authentic.  It made me re-evaluate my own walk and ask, how much would I be willing to sacrifice for as close a walk with God as they had? 
This book is highly recommended to everyone.  There is something here for everyone to love.

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