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Veiled in Smoke

(The Windy City Saga #1)

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  41 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
Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by Bethany House Publishers (first published February 2020)
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Average rating 4.58  · 
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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 ...more
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
Amanda Geaney
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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, considering they are bookstore owners, the Townsend sisters have saturated their minds with good literature, so in reading their story you're likely to encounter some of your own literary friends—Alcott, Bunyan, Brontë, and Pyle to name a few.

Meg and Sylvie are complex
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
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 ...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
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
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
Glorious story. Can I give it 20 STARS?!

My full review will post during release week!!!
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 ...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
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;
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
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
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
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, ...more
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
Maureen Timerman
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
As a reader who enjoys historical fiction, this book hits the mark, and then some.
We are there for the great Chicago fire, and we learn facts about the survivors of both the fire and the Civil War, and also learn some previously held thoughts were not true.
Although this story is fiction, wow, it really could all be true and we meet those who were involved.
This story has a little for everyone, of course with the fire, we are shown survival, a bit of romance, perseverance. We learn facts about the
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
Nancy Larimer
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Veiled in Smoke " by Joselyn Green is the first in the Windy City Saga series. Stephen Townsend is a POW of the Civil War. Stephen has a bad case of post traumatic stress and struggles to come to grip with the horrible events He saw. He suffers with nightmares and anxiety. It is sad to see how traumatic the war was on him. The book shows the Great Chicago fire. The people involved had to run for their safety. It was very difficult to survive the bad fire. Also those that survived struggled to ...more
“There is beauty in the imperfect too. You are a God who uses broken vessels. You are not afraid of human limitations or scars.”

Filled with authentic historical detail and interspersed with literary references, this compelling novel explores the Great Fire of Chicago in a very personal and emotional way. The story combines the tragedy of the Great Fire with a very emotional element dealing with the traumatic after effects created by the Civil War for many people. Jocelyn Green is
Ashley Johnson
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Once again Jocelyn Green has delivered a richly detailed historical that transports the reader to the setting of novel with her descriptive writing style. Each character in this story was trying to overcome a unique obstacle and yet they were all connected in a way because of the Chicago Fire. There were several character Points of View that were written in this book, however the transitions were smooth and I never got confused as to who was being featured. I was expecting the Chicago Fire to ...more
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 ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written tale of a disastrous and difficult time in history. The characters are so real and as the book progresses, the hearts are unveiled as we come to know these characters and watch them grow and learn.

The setting is well done, the plot fascinating and compelling. A story I stayed up late into the night to read and savor.

There was something intangible in this book that just made it almost impossible to put down. Perhaps, like Stephen, I as a reader suspected something. I wasn’t
Paula Shreckhise
A brand new series from Jocelyn Green starts with Veiled in Smoke a story of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Ms Green has done extensive research into this significant tragedy. I’m so glad that she included information about other fires that occurred that day such as the Peshtigo, Wisconsin fire. I lived in Marinette County, Wisconsin for a number of years and visited Peshtigo and it’s Fire Museum. She has woven many interesting facts into her story, among them quotes from songs penned after the ...more
Anita Ojeda
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Even though the Civil War ended ten years ago, and their father returned home, life for Meg Townsend and her sister Silvie has not returned to normal. Their father, Stephen, has left them emotionally—trapped in his memories of prison camp and battlefields. When their mother passes away, the young women take on the business of survival by running the family bookstore.

Meg, a talented artist, makes extra money selling paintings of her favorite authors, leaving Silvie with the burden of keeping
Becky Lewis
"It was a lie, Meg had realized years ago, that the end of the war meant the end of suffering.” The Civil War is over, and the boys and men who survived are home. Yet Meg and her sister, Sylvie Townsend, discover that Stephen Townsend’s time in notorious Andersonville has wreaked havoc with his grip on reality. Meanwhile, Nathaniel Pierce of the Chicago Tribune interviews Stephen as a veteran. Life becomes murky when the city catches fire and Stephen’s best friend is murdered, leaving Stephen ...more
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-be-read
Veiled in Smoke is by far Green's best work yet! This novel depicting the Townsend family during Chicago's Great Fire and the early rebuilding of the city is impressive! If you enjoy the works of Lynn Austin and Kristin Hannah you'll love this novel!

I found the characters to be true to life and personalities are detailed in depth. Their life challenges are believable and include circumstances that are well described and realistic. This is history related through fiction. The author researched
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Meg and Sylvie Townsend run their family's book shop in 1871 Chicago and try their best to care for their father, Stephen, who still suffers from his time as a prisoner of war at Andersonville. Meg paints portraits of book characters to supplement their income. Nate Pierce is a newspaper reporter who interviews Stephen for a series of articles on Civil War veterans and finds himself drawn to this family, especially Meg. Beautifully written, this book is at times difficult to read as we ...more
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Veiled in Smoke
By Jocelyn Green
Sisters Meg and Sylvie along with their dad are navigating life post-civil war. With Stephen suffering from undiagnosed soldiers’ heart (PSTD) the girls struggle to manage their household. In the midst of their family distress, the city of Chicago experiences the Great Fire leaving them homeless. Following the fire, their father is charged with murder causing an uproar of emotions from the sisters. Stephen is taken to an asylum. Life seems to be falling apart piece
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