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Veiled in Smoke

(The Windy City Saga #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  741 ratings  ·  307 reviews
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 atte
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers (first published February 2020)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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Jocelyn Green
Dec 28, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Times of disaster in our nation's history have always fascinated me, because of the change those disasters bring to cities, political boundaries, landscapes, economies, and most of all, people. The Great Chicago Fire wrought incredible change to Chicago and its residents. For the main characters of Veiled in Smoke, it was a refining process both painful and necessary for them to become the best versions of themselves. My hope is that readers will find some inspiration in their stories, some litt ...more
Amanda Geaney
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
December 2020 - The second time around I listened to the audiobook version that was available through RBDigital. The story was as good as I remembered and the narrator gave a nice performance. I'm looking forward to reading Shadows of the White City in 2021.

December 2019 - I can't wait for you to meet my new friends Meg, Sylvie, and Stephen Townsend—owners of Corner Books & More. Yes, I know they are fictional characters, but I have walked through flames with these people! As you might expect,
Rachel McMillan
read for endorsement:

In Veiled in Smoke, Green frames a story of loss and redemption with sensory details, a nuanced historical backdrop and an intelligent eye for flawed and utterly engaging characters. Shadows of the ongoing War Between the States as well as a deep literary resonance underscore what is, at core, a study of the fallacies and strengths of the human heart. Green’s eye for suspense is coupled with her passion for an American city on the rise. For as much as my head was turned by M
Becca-Rae Weidel
As someone who loves historical fiction I get excited when I discover a new read that covers less-explored history. Veiled in Smoke takes readers on a journey through the flames of the 1871 fire that swept through Chicago. As if cleaning up and rebuilding in the aftermath weren't enough, Meg and Sylvie find themselves in a desperate battle to clear their father's name of murder. As their world seems to be falling apart around them, the girls fight to persevere.

I was highly impressed with the cha
Jeanne Alfveby Crea
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must-read if you like authentic historical fiction! When I picked up my first Jocelyn Green book, I was hooked. I proceeded to read all the books she has written. I love her stories and frequently find myself googling the history she writes about after I finish her books. Veiled in Smoke grabbed my attention and never let go. Her real portrayal of the awful Chicago fire practically had me looking over my shoulder ready to run. The story of Meg & Sylvie Townsend and their civil war veteran & An ...more
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This book was really intense and it got very deep and spiritual at parts too. My heart was hurt, broken and warm all at the same time. PTSD and mental illness is a topic that runs very strong in my heart and this was the definition of banning together and doing whatever it takes to save your family. Meg and Sylvie will stop at nothi
Shirley McAllister
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Great Chicago Fire

The great Chicago Fire of 1872 changed the lives of many people. It destroyed over 17,000 buildings killing 300 and leaving 100,000 homeless.

This is the story of one family, the Townsend family, and how their lives changed after the fire. It is also a mystery because there is the murder of a family friend of whom Mr. Townsend is accused during the fire.

The daughter's Meg and Sylvia must find a way to solve the murder and prove her father innocent. Nate a friendly reporter t
Glorious story. Can I give it 20 STARS?!

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 c
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
....I’m not afraid of storms, for the One who made the sea is in my boat with me. - Meg’s mother

The opportunity to learn more about little known historical events is one I greatly appreciate. Once again this author does not disappoint, weaving a story around the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that puts the reader right in the middle of this horrific conflagration. The refining of the various characters was incredible to follow as they all strove to become better versions of themselves. The resilienc
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Veiled in Smoke" by Jocelyn Green focuses upon the lives of Union Civil War veteran, Stephen Townsend, and his daughters, Meg and Sylvie. He suffers from “soldier’s heart”, now called PTSD, which has a profound effect upon his family. The reaction of his daughters to his illness, who work in his book store, rings with hope, love and acceptance. When their father’s troubles overwhelm, they rise to the challenge especially when those in authority inflict the unthinkable upon their father. After i ...more
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an exciting story!!! A very clean, but exciting story of two sisters and their father who is struggling with his survival of Andersonville prison camp during the civil war..Nate, a reporter from the newspaper, enters their life and he finds he is deeply attracted to Meg, the oldest sister. The younger sister, Sylvie, meets the young and handsome nephew of their family friend, but is he everything he seems? The great fire of Chicago, a murder, a lost will, all comes together in this tale of ...more
Deanne Patterson
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Deanne by:
Whenever I read a Jocelyn Green novel I know it's going to be impeccably researched.
Reading this I've been transported to the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871.
So many interesting facts learned not just about the fire and the Civil War.
We also learn a previously detail about the fire we have all probably heard has just been made up to see newspapers at the time.
The authors brings to life this time period with her vivid descriptions and we can feel the desperation of the characters as they are invol
Joanne Sher
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating, suspenseful, engaging read set during the Great Fire in Chicago. Compelling characters, exciting and page-turning action with twists and turns and an excellent capture of the setting and individual problems of each main character. I felt like I knew and understood each of them. And the hope thread throughout was masterfully woven in. Kept me turning pages from beginning to end, and occupied my thoughts when I had to be torn away. Highly recommended!

*I received a copy of this book
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Persevering in the face of tragedy:
An interesting yet somewhat depressing tale. It tragically deals with the fire that destroyed much of Chicago
as well as PTSD and the terrible treatment of those with mental health issues. However it also highlights the resiliency of the residents and how many were able to persevere by relying on their faith. It was a reminder that when all seems hopeless God is there, He cares and intervenes on our behalf.
Whilst I enjoyed the elements of mystery and intrigue;
Rachel Scott
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've always been a fan of Jocelyn Green's stories because she is such a phenomenal storyteller!!!! (Yes all the exclamation points were necessary ;) So when I started reading Veiled in Smoke, I was immediately captivated by her imagery. She painted the scenes with such amazing strokes of brilliance that I could almost smell the smoke of the Great Fire of Chicago and glimpse its devastation.

The characters were well-developed and beautifully flawed. And can I just say that Stephen's journey broug
Sarah Sundin
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rich in historical detail, Veiled in Smoke casts light on a significant event and also on “soldier’s heart,” what we now know as PTSD. Meg and Sylvie are appealing heroines, as they struggle with their father’s condition and with their losses from the fire, each in her own way. Both sisters have to confront errors in thinking that have created a wedge between them, and their journey is realistic and touching. Once again, Jocelyn Green has penned a must-read novel.
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of my biggest fears has always been losing all of my material possessions. Over the years, I've seen and heard countless news stories of entire homes being destroyed by fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and other disasters. I myself have been through more than one hurricane/tropical storm in my lifetime, but my family and I never lost that much. In 2003, Hurricane Isabel knocked two trees on our house...but, my cousin, who was and still is a local contractor, and his crew made quick wo ...more
Amanda Hupe
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads, netgalley
I absolutely adore Jocelyn Green's books, like A Refuge Assured. When I saw Veiled in Smoke, I had to get it. The book takes place in 1871, in Chicago. Sylvie and Meg are sisters. Meg is a painter and Sylvie runs her father's bookstore. Their father Stephen, is a war veteran and has what doctor's call a soldier's heart, or what we know today as PTSD. One night, a glow shows up in the sky of Chicago. Only it isn't a glow. It is a fire, a fire that would destroy almost the entire city of Chicago. ...more
3.5 stars

Honestly, I have been mulling over my review for awhile because I'm not really sure what I thought about a number of things. First, the story starts with the fire and that's some really gripping storytelling, with graphic details about the fire that honestly had me putting the book down to settle my stomach. But then the scene switches suddenly to a completely different scene and we have the girls getting used to life in a fancy house. Then again it’s back to the bookstore lot and every
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Great Chicago Fire was quite a moment in American history. Almost a third of the rapidly growing city burnt down, destroying over 17,000 buildings. With a city in ruins, thousands upon thousands were left homeless. What did they do? Rebuild. Fast. Veiled in Smoke tells a story of a family in this very setting. I learned quite a bit of history reading this book. I also have to say that Jocelyn Green handled the topic of PTSD better than any book I’ve ever read. Good, biblically accurate, spir ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I love that Jocelyn Green's novels have a heavy emphasis on history. In Veiled in Smoke, the setting is the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871.

All three main characters are beautifully written. Stephen is a Civil War Veteran that continues to suffer from what he experienced during the war and Andersonville specifically. His young adult daughters, Meg and Sylvie, long for the return of the father they knew prior to the war. Meg and Sylvie are both practical and pursuing professions while caring for th
Jen. (JenGalaxy4 Christian Book Reviews)
"There is devilment afoot..."

Have you ever hugged a Kindle? It's not as comfy as hugging a paperback, but still...I had to hug this story.

Wow. Wow!

This is such an impressive novel! History is brought to life across the pages of this touching story. It's impossible not to remain on the edge of your seat during the chapters that dealt with the Great Chicago Fire. As the city's rebuilding begins and the Townsend sisters struggle to pick up the pieces, secrets are brought to light and they must w
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"We will thank God as soon as we can."

Devastated barely begins to describe Meg and Sylvie Townsend's demeanor after losing virtually everything but their lives following the Great Fire that swept through the streets of Chicago like a demonic locomotive in the fall of 1871. Their home and their business gone. Their battle fatigued and mentally fragile father lost in the masses.

Finding respite in the home of a family friend, the disappointments continue to multiply when they discover that their
I was totally captivated by Jocelyn Green's fictional account of Chicago's Great Fire. Through her skillful pen, Ms. Green's lyrical prose transported me to the fire. I could hear the bells ring of alarm, feel the heat and hear the crackling of the fire, see the colors of destruction, the birds falling out of the sky as the masses fled. Her historical research is top-notch, not only of her account of the fire, but of the plight of the many soldiers who still suffered physically, mentally and spi ...more
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book!!! Chock full of adventure, mystery, a touch of romance and best of all interesting HISTORY! I really felt every emotion of the characters. This might be my new favorite by Jocelyn Green. Loved the historical facts afterwards. I learned new things today by reading this book!
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it

I struggled a bit with this one. While the story and writing were fine, I found it a bit too drawn out and thought it could have been tightened up.

The story takes place around the Great Fire of Chicago and has a two-pronged plot line, a murder mystery and one family’s struggle to keep their faith through the aftermath of the murder and fire. While the murder mystery was fairly transparent, I found the family’s struggles and interactions, while sometimes annoying and tiresome, also quite
Susie Finkbeiner
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Jocelyn Green delivers a well tended story. Expertly researched, this novel helps readers to see, feel, hear, smell, and even taste history that we might not have studied in school. But even better, the characters are easy to love and feel so very real. Another beautiful book from Jocelyn!
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
FAN-tastic! Yes I’m a fan and yes it was fantastic- can I say we need more stars, as five isn’t enough. Impeccable research and impressive writing skill draws you into the story and keeps you there to the very end. I was torn between wanting to get to the end and never wanting it to end. You will feel like you are in the midst of the great fire and watching the sparks fly and the ashy remains. The strength the characters show amidst adversity while holding on to their faith to see them through i ...more
Jocelyn Green's debut book in her new series captured my attention right from the beginning. Filled, as always, with her attention to historical detail, complex characters, and plot driven suspense, I can't wait for the rest of the books in this series.

With a wonderful focus on a long standing side effect of war, PTSD, that can be traced as far back as war in Biblical times, we get a startling glimpse into the treatment of the men who fought in the Civil War as well as those who were placed in
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I admit to being a cover snob and this one completely draws me in. The sepia tones and the haze of smoke shrouding the city's ruins...just wow...totally sets the mood. And with the heroine standing on the edge -- visual imagery of the precipice she's teetering on as her whole life tumbles down around her. Whew! What a powerful lure to the unsuspecting reader. (And I might be a tad giddy over the embossed lettering on the cover. I'm tactile nerdy that way.)

This is the first book in The Windy City
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