Friends, this book sat on my shelf for YEARS without me ever reading it. Not even a ‘read a few pages and put it down’ read. Never. Do you know what made me finally pull it out and give it a try? Running across an old email from my sister in law, recommending a few books (thanks Michaela!) , and this was on it.
This story pulled me in right from the start and I quickly fell in love with Will, Katherine, Chung Hao and the descriptions of China. When Will Kiehn feels God call him to go to China as a missionary, he leaves his family’s farm in the Midwest and goes. He falls in love with a fellow missionary, Katherine, and after they wed, they move to Kuang P’ing Ch’eng – City of Tranquil Light – and settle in to offer medical and spiritual help to the people there. As the years go by, they endure much hardship – war, famine, floods, bandits – will their faith be enough to help them?
Caldwell writes in an enchanting memoirlike way – alternating between Will and Katherine’s perspectives, each come alive in a remarkable way. And as these characters reminded me strongly of a former pastor and his wife, it added another depth of emotion to it , as I could so easily see these people doing what Will and Katherine did – living a hard life in response to their God’s call.
I highly recommend this book, although perhaps not for younger teens as some of the violence is described. I am planning on getting Caldwell’s first novel, The Distant Land of my Father, next time I get to the library!