Review: Veiled In Smoke by Jocelyn Green

March 2, 2020

Title: Veiled In Smoke
Author: Jocelyn Green
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780764233302
Publication Date: February 4th, 2020

About the Book:
The Flames Took So Much.She Can't Lose Her Father As Well.

Meg Townsend and her sister, Sylvie, seek a quiet existence managing the family bookshop. Meg feels responsible for caring for their father, Stephen, whose spirit and health are both damaged from his time as a prisoner during the Civil War. Her one escape is the paintings she creates and sells in the bookshop.

Then the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago's business district. The fiery explosions and chaos stir up memories of war for Stephen as he runs from the blaze and becomes separated from his daughters. Days later, when the smoke has cleared, Meg and Sylvie manage to reunite with him. Their home and shop are lost, and what's left among the ashes may be even more threatening than the flames, for they learn that a close friend was murdered the night of the fire--and Stephen has been charged with the crime. After he is committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum, where they cannot visit him, Stephen feels as lost to them as the shop that now lies in rubble.

Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life but prove the truth of what happened that night, before the asylum truly drives her father mad.
My Thoughts:
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.

5 out of 5

About the Author:
Jocelyn Green ( inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King, Wedded to War, and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a BA in English, concentration in writing. Jocelyn lives with her husband, Rob, and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Visit her at

Thank you to the author, I received a copy of this book, in exchange for my honest opinion.

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