Veiled in Smoke
Series: The Windy City Saga #1
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date February 4, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Mystery, Clean Romance
Setting: Illinois Reconstruction Era – US – 1863 – 1877
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-34
Written for: Adults
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.
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers, Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: Shadows of the White City
Heartbreaking and heartwarming – this is such a beautiful story!
I loved the way the author tied the Great Fire of Chicago together with the struggles of the soldiers returning from Civil War suffering from what had been known as “soldier’s heart”; or as we call it today, PSTD.
Stephen, Meg and Sylvie’s father, was probably my favorite character. Broken by the war and his time in the prison camp, he had returned a mere shell of himself. Despite the moments where he lost touch with reality, he had a heart that yearned for the Lord and was filled with compassion for those in need. He was, in fact, obsessed with hunger. Seeing the inside of the horrible asylum through his eyes was so. . . real.
Historically factual details from the fire and the reconstruction of the city fill this fictional account. And unless you are already familiar with this period, you might find yourself, as I did, quite surprised by some of the challenges faced by those attempting to rebuild their city and their lives.
Some very colorful characters appear here along with the main ones, such as the young entrepreneur who began selling relics from the fire. The types of objects he found were amazing!
There was a mystery surrounding one of the characters. I went back and forth, certain at one point I knew he was bad and what his secret was. Then, I was ashamed of myself for doubting him. But then. . . Again, I questioned him and continued to vacillate until the truth was finally revealed!
The Townsend family knew the Lord and had been raised to understand Scripture yet until their faith was tried, literally, by fire, that knowledge wasn’t truly taken to heart. Stephen’s experience was the most dramatic. He knew the Lord, has Scripture memorized and cried out in his distress. Yet he had to come to a place of brokenness, complete surrender before he was able to begin to trust God for his deliverance.
Breathtaking descriptions and masterful turning of phrases make Veiled in Smoke a pleasure to read.
Jocelyn's Veiled in Smoke Pinterest Board(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)