Hello reader friends! I am pleased to put the spotlight on Jocelyn Green and her books today. She is such a fantastic writer – oh my word this gal can write! She is one of my favorite historical fiction authors – wouldn’t you agree!?
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.
Mark my words, this book is going to end up on everyone’s favorites list of 2020. Yes it was that good! The emotions just sneak up on you and don’t let go. There was sorrow, fear, sadness, joy, love, respect, pity, and so much more. Green pulls the reader into the storyline, and makes them feel as if they are living it right alongside the characters. There were a few times I found myself holding my breath!
Green also manages to bring so many things to light. Things that are applicable today although they are in a historical novel. Soldier’s heart was not a term I was familiar with, but oh how it did touch my heart. I imagine it’s true of our soldiers today, and while they are not sent to the same treatments that were in this book, I can imagine that they are still not what our soldiers need. Stephen’s storyline affected me the most, and I’m so glad Green added his POV in the story. You only see it here and there, but it is enough to make a huge impact.
A theme that seemed to stay with me throughout the entire book was grieving. People grieve in so many differents ways, as did Meg and Sylvie. Both of them were completely stubborn in their ways, and while they claimed to have the right heart about stuff, they needed to understand that they were leaving each other out of the equation. Green hits the nail on the head with this point – we need communication. It grows relationships, clears misunderstandings, brings people closer together, and is vitally important in our everyday lives.
The other thing I love about Veiled in Smoke, is that I learned a lot about history. Honestly, I knew nothing about the great Chicago fires. I’m sure we learned about them at some point in school, but I just don’t remember. Green makes me want to go visit the library and find out more. I want to learn about real people that lived through it and hear their tales. I want to know what businesses were around and what happened to them. Don’t you love it when a book makes you want to learn? It almost makes you feel like a kid again!
Green has delivered readers a beautifully written novel that will move you to tears. But amidst all the fear, heartache and loss, is a powerful message of hope and prosperity. Tragedy doesn’t have to stay as something negative in a person’s life. We have a Maker who can turn it into something good. I highly recommend adding this book to your reading list!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“It was a lie, Meg had realized years ago, that the end of the war meant the end of suffering.“
“The sound of her name in his voice rippled through her. Was this how Jane Eyre had felt with Mr. Rochester?“
“You are a God who uses broken vessels. You are not afraid of human limitations or scars.“
“…we can never be who we once were, because we keep changing and growing. We’re not defined by out hurts, but by God’s grace we can overcome them.”
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.
The honors her books have received include the Christy Award in historical fiction, and gold medals 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, strawberry-rhubarb pie, 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.
Do you ever want to dive into the history books after reading a historical fiction novel?