Mini-Review — Veiled in Smoke

12 Jun

I am traveling to Chicago in August to attend Jocelyn Green‘s Windy City Saga Tour. Yipee! So I knew I had to do a little bookish research before I got on that plane. Reading the books featured in the tour is a must, so I started at the beginning with Veiled in Smoke. Veiled in Smoke is set in the days leading up to the infamous Chicago Fire and in the months after during that city’s rebuilding. It is a great backdrop for the story of two sisters caught up in the wreckage of not only the flames but a war over a decade before. Meg and Sylvie are the grown daughters of Steven Townsend, Civil War veteran and bookseller. Their days are filled with keeping the business alive and their father calm and sane. The war may be over, but Steven relives it with every nightfall and loud sound. A POW in Andersonville, Steven has been wounded by the horrific treatment and the hard decisions he made there. I really enjoyed the history explored within the novel. The griefs of the past are all too real and the future of Chicago looked bleak, but Green infuses the story with hope. The story of the Townsend family could have been set anywhere — their struggles are common to all generations. There’s also romance and mystery and a very suspenseful ending — all of which kept me turning the pages.

If you are a historical fiction fan, then Veiled in Smoke is for you. I learned so much from this book. The novel is both fascinating historical fiction and a touching family drama.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults and Older Teenagers.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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.

Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage.

Her books have finaled in the Christy Awards and Inspirational Readers Choice Awards, and have won gold from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Complex and nuanced characters, rich historical detail and twisting plots make her novels immersive experiences. Her fiction has been praised by Historical Novel Society, Romantic Times, Library Journal, historians specializing in her novels’ time periods, as well as popular and acclaimed authors Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Sundin, Joanne Bischof, Julie Lessman, and more.

Jocelyn loves Broadway musicals, the color red, Toblerone chocolate bars, Mexican food, and well-done documentaries. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two children, and two cats she should have named Catticus Finch and Purrman Meowville.

Visit her at, and receive a free gift when joining her e-newsletter mailing list at

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