Historical Fiction Book Review: Veiled in Smoke

Title: Veiled in Smoke
Series: The Windy City Saga (Book 1)
Author: Jocelyn Green
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

Click here to purchase a copy of this novel for yourself. 

Publisher's Description

"Meg and Sylvie Townsend manage the family bookshop and care for their father, Stephen, a veteran still suffering in mind and spirit from his time as a POW during the Civil War. But when the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago's business district, they lose much more than just their store.

The sisters become separated from their father and make a harrowing escape from the flames with the help of Chicago Tribune reporter Nate Pierce. Once the smoke clears 

away, they reunite with Stephen, only to learn soon after that their family friend was murdered on the night of the fire. Even more shocking, Stephen is charged with the crime and committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum.

Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life, but prove her father's innocence before the asylum truly drives him mad."

My Review

Veiled in Smoke, by Jocelyn Green, is the first book in The Windy City Saga. Set in Chicago immediately before and after the Great Fire of 1871, this well-written novel is thoughtful and honest as it boldly and effectively explores very difficult topics such as loss, trauma, and anxiety. Yet, through the despair, it leans into a hope that is raw and authentic. It is a tender story of the power of faith and the value of friends and family. It is a thoroughly captivating, emotionally-stirring, and truly thought-provoking novel. 

Page after page, I could not turn away. I found this book and the perspectives contained within it to be incredibly compelling. Ms. Green has skillfully crafted authentic characters who are vulnerable, flawed, and achingly realistic. More than once, this novel broke my heart as I grieved for those who actually lived this story beyond the world of the printed page. As shown throughout history, and as illuminated in this story, the human capacity for survival and perseverance against great odds is nearly immeasurable. This book also reflects upon the truth that where there is great loss there will also be the possibility of significant renewal, restoration, and redemption.

Veiled in Smoke is truly an outstanding novel from beginning to end. Ms. Green's talent for immersive storytelling is undeniable. Her writing is well-researched, descriptive, and very engrossing. Within every paragraph and page there is deep meaning, real truth, and thoughtful purpose. This story is utterly moving and wholly unforgettable. I recommend it wholeheartedly.  

*I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.

My Reflection

Throughout this novel, Ms. Green illustrates the capacity of God’s gracious love to heal wounded hearts and broken lives. This story never fails to affirm the promise that God is near to everyone at all times. It is He who makes a way when no way can be found. Even in moments of regret, even in situations that seem desperately bleak, and even in the midst of significant trauma, fear, and pain there can be found an unshakeable hope when trust is placed securely in the promises of a trustworthy, 
compassionate God.

About the Author

Description: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
"Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage.

The honors her books have received include the Christy Award in historical fiction, and gold medals from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. 

Complex and nuanced characters, rich historical detail and twisting plots make her novels immersive experiences. Her fiction has been praised by Historical Novel Society, Romantic Times, Library Journal, historians specializing in her novels' time periods, as well as popular and acclaimed authors Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Sundin, Joanne Bischof, Julie Lessman, and more.

Jocelyn loves Broadway musicals, the color red, strawberry-rhubarb pie, Mexican food, and well-done documentaries. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two children, and two cats she should have named Catticus Finch and Purrman Meowville." –Biography from Jocelyn Green's author page on Amazon.com.

Click here to visit Jocelyn Green's website. 


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