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Veiled in Smoke

Narrated by: Leah Horowitz
Series: The Windy City Saga, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
3.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2020 Recorded Books (P)2020 Recorded Books

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  • A+D
  • 06-02-2020

Must Listen/Read Historical Fiction!

I loved the historical facts mixed into this beautiful story of tragedy and hope. The insight into a Civil War Veteran dealing with Soldier's Heart (now known as PTSD) and his family was amazing. I felt the emotions of Meg and Sylvie, I felt the conflict between them as they had different ideas of how to care for their father. I understood the panic Stephen felt. The horrors of the asylum were so awful, sadly they were also true. The fire itself was so well described I could almost smell the smoke and feel the crowds of people pushing to escape the flames. The murder mystery was an unexpected element that I enjoyed very much! I don't give spoilers but the twists and turns kept me glued to this story. Part of one of my favorite quotes is, "Gratitude-expanded inside Meg, for the uncounted steps, small and large, they'd all taken to reach this point." I've said before that I always learn something when I read a Jocelyn Green book, this one is no exception. The narrator, Leah Horowitz, does a wonderful job with all the characters, accents and emotions.

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  • Kate
  • 02-03-2020

Fantastic Story!

I look forward to this time of year. Not because of spring, oh no, it's book season! Several of my favorite authors are releasing new books and it is the most wonderful time. One of my all time favorite authors, Jocelyn Green, just released her newest book. And goodness, what a story it was! I've only read one other historical fiction book on the Great Chicago Fire and it was very interesting. I was excited to see how the story in Veiled in Smoke would play out. I was not disappointed! Veiled in Smoke was a book that had the Chicago Fire as the main focus of the story, but the characters we follow deal with so much from before the fire all the way through the rebuild. This book was one that yes, focused on a huge tragedy, but it also a book that brought other historical tragedies into the spotlight as well. The Chicago fire took place not long after the Civil War ended. The men that survived are back home with their families, some fully, some only in body. Their minds were elsewhere. Meg and Sylvie are two grown sisters doing their best to get by running a bookstore and painting. They lost their mom a few years back, and their dad who served in the war is home, but has been injured mentally. Having been dealt a hard blow to the family, Meg and Sylvie are close, but they are complete opposites in every fashion. They each view things differently and when that happens, like it does in many families, it can cause tension, when thrown into a huge stressful situation on top of it, family ties are tested. Jocelyn Green was able to write and portray this struggle so well. It is something so many people have gone through, in some form or fashion, and you can see both sides of it when reading this book. Stephen, Meg and Sylvie's father has lived a hard life during the war. During this time, PTSD wasn't known about, wasn't studied, other then they didn't come back fully from the war and suffered a soldier's heart. Reading about Stephen and the struggles he faced and the internal battles he fights is heartbreaking. This is a struggle that many battle now and Jocelyn Green was able to spotlight the importance of care for someone who has been mentally hurt. You hurt for Stephen and the circumstance he is thrown into and for his family who are battling it in their own way. The emotional connection is strong with this story in so many ways. Nate Pierce was the strength and the steady head in a lot of this book. He was a reporter. He was after the truth and seeking out details. He tried to not let emotions get to him, but he offered a whole new perspective and visual then what Meg and Sylvie and their father had. He brought a balance to the story. He brought a unique look of the outsider, who wasn't affected by the fire personally, but it affected him through others. There is so much growth and depth in these characters. The background for this book is one that can be dark and depressing, but Jocelyn Green is able to write in and bring this story to one of hope. I'm so glad that this is the first book in this saga, I enjoyed getting to know the Townsend family and I wasn't ready to say good-by. This was just a stunning book in so many way. Thank you to the author, I received a copy of this book, in exchange for my honest opinion.

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  • Jenny Snow
  • 11-02-2020

Wow. This is why I read Jocelyn Green.

I loved the mystery, the unfolding romance, and the way Jocelyn handled each character’s growth and response to the devastation—from the Great Chicago Fire AND their own personal battles. Wow. So much depth. I also loved the ending. Some of the themes reminded me of what she shared about her life in her interview on with me on The Book Club Life YouTube channel. “She stood on the line between before and after.”