♥♥♥ Happy Release Day ♥♥♥
About the Book
Book: Veiled in Smoke
Series: The Windy City Saga #1
Author: Jocelyn Green
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: February 4, 2020
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 after Meg burns her hands in an attempt to save a family heirloom, they 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 not only died during the fire–he was murdered. Even more shocking, Stephen is charged with the crime and committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum.
Though homeless, injured, 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.
Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green is a superbly masterful story. Where do I begin?! The plot is excellent. I was immediately swept into the tension and anxiety of the days leading up the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Then the firestorm hits and I was right there with Meg, Sylvie, and Nate as they are desperate to escape the horrific flames. The pandemonium of the day, the chaos, the absolute sadness, the hopelessness — I experienced all these feels with the characters and more. The characters are unique, personable, endearing. I feel like I got to know them on a real, personal level, and I am genuinely going to miss them. I also enjoyed the very well-written mystery that kept me on my toes the entire read. And the themes are so poignant I am overwhelmed by the depth and complexity of this beautiful novel. There truly is SO much to love about Veiled in Smoke.
Meg and Sylvie are wonderful young women. They’re strong, intelligent, and independent. My favorite aspect of their character is that they keep moving forward no matter what life throws at them. Meg and Sylvie are not victims! When they were young, Meg and Sylvie’s father, Stephen, enlisted in the Civil War. While he was gone, Meg, Sylvie, and their mother had to keep moving forward and do life without a man. They had to figure out how to survive a war as women all alone. Stephen does come back and brings with him a case of severe Soldier’s Heart (PTSD) and some serious demons. And then their mother dies. Still, Meg and Sylvie move forward. Stephen keeps getting worse and worse. Then the Chicago Fire ensues and in minutes everything is gone. Meg and Sylvie are left broken, destitute, and homeless. They are worried about their father, their home, and their futures, but they don’t give up. Meg and Sylvie keep on keeping on!
Of the two sisters, I relate most to Meg. I relate to how Meg deals with things. Meg is what I like to call a wishful fixer. She wishes for something to be and then overworks to try to make her wish come true. Sure, she prays to God, but she is so busy trying to make what she wants a reality that she just can’t hear God. And, what she wants — to make her sister happy, to get her father back to healthy, to make enough money to help her family out of a tough situation, to put the pieces of her family back together again — are all good things. Why would God want all these things for her loved ones? I am the same. I wish for something good — for my mom’s sadness to go away, for my best friend’s cancer to disappear, for my daughter to outgrow her seizures — and then I work diligently to make these things a reality. Yes, I pray. I pray my heart out. But instead of waiting on God and allowing Him to lead, I just keep working. When nothing seems to be working the way I want, I work harder. I wear myself out until I am nothing more than a mess of tears and frustration. Like Meg, I, too, finally whisper to God, “I can’t.” The truth is, as Meg realizes too, I can never do enough. I can only do what God made me to do. In all my busyness to wishfully fix everything I step out of my bounds and cross into God’s space and take over. God is the Leader. He has my loved ones in His hands. I can’t fix everything, but He can in His time. That has to be good enough.
I could go on and on about this book. There is so much amazingness to discuss. But, I don’t want to accidentally spoil a thing. Truly, Veiled in Smoke is an excellent historical novel that I absolutely cannot recommend enough. If you are in the mood for a well-written, well-researched story to escape into, then purchase a copy of this novel today. You will not be disappointed that you did.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via her publisher, Bethany House, and NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green. My giveaway begins today, 2-4-20 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Saturday, 2-8-20 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!
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