Shadows of the White City
by Jocelyn Green
If you like historical novels, then Jocelyn Green's books should be on your must read list! Green does an amazing amount of research and visits the locations she writes about. Her narrative is so natural that it feels as if the reader is walking down the street in another place and time. Shadows of the White City is no different, and is really more amazing because it is located in Chicago during the 1893 World's Fair.
This Fair was bigger than most because it celebrated the 400th Anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the new world and took place just 15 years after Chicago was decimated by fire (which you can learn about in the first book in this series, Veiled in Smoke). Sylvie Townsend, a book store owner and adoptive single parent, works as a tour guide at the Fair. Through her visits to the Fairgrounds we get a first hand look at the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the event. So many interesting tidbits are shared as Sylvie leads tour groups or visits with her family. The scale and scope of the event is beyond comprehension!
Sylvie's daughter, Rozalia, was saved from life in an orphanage when she was very young, but now a teenager, she wants to understand more about her Polish heritage. Then, without explanation she disappears. Unfortunately many young women were mislead and ended up in brothels at the time with little hope of escape. Sylvie and her boarder, Kristof Bartok, will leave no stone unturned to find out what happened to Rose.
This book is full of adventure and intrigue, and is another book that is hard to put down. It isn't necessary to read Veiled in Smoke first to know what is going on, but I highly recommend it because it's an amazing book! Those who have read it will find some old friends in this one.
About the Book (from the back cover)
The one thing Sylvie Townsend wants most is what she feared she was destined never to have--a family of her own. But taking in Polish immigrant Rose Dabrowski to raise and love quells those fears--until seventeen-year-old Rose goes missing at the World's Fair, and Sylvie's world unravels.
Brushed off by the authorities, Sylvie turns to her boarder, Kristof Bartok, for help. He is Rose's violin instructor and the concertmaster for the Columbian Exposition Orchestra, and his language skills are vital to helping Sylvie navigate the immigrant communities where their search leads.
From the glittering architecture of the fair to the dark houses of Chicago's poorest neighborhoods, they're taken on a search that points to Rose's long-lost family. Is Sylvie willing to let the girl go? And as Kristof and Sylvie grow closer, can she reconcile her craving for control with her yearning to belong?
About the Author
Jocelyn Green is the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King, A Refuge Assured, and Between Two Shores. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly and have been honored with the Christy Award and the Golden Scroll. Jocelyn lives with her family in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy. All opinions are my own.