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Shadows of the White City

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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. 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?


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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. 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?

30 review for Shadows of the White City

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I was utterly captivated by the glitter of the Chicago World's Fair brought to life under the expert pen of Jocelyn Green. While there is so much historical detail packed into the pages of this story, it does not read as a dry, historical account, but rather of an event that has been lovingly brought back to life within its pages. I felt as if I was given eyes to see and experience it in person. That is the true gift of great fiction, one that carries its readers to another time and place. While I was utterly captivated by the glitter of the Chicago World's Fair brought to life under the expert pen of Jocelyn Green. While there is so much historical detail packed into the pages of this story, it does not read as a dry, historical account, but rather of an event that has been lovingly brought back to life within its pages. I felt as if I was given eyes to see and experience it in person. That is the true gift of great fiction, one that carries its readers to another time and place. While the story of the Chicago's fair appealed to my history loving heart, I found Sylvie's story tugged at my heart in unexpected ways. It is a story of finding a place to belong, of family and trust. The age old story of a parent that must learn to give wings to their young, hoping that they will choose the love that will always be there. A love that does not cage another, but rather gives it the wings to fly. Tucked within the pages is an unexpected hero who will appease the reader's romantic heart. Within the mystery and romance is a gentle faith thread, one of self-less love and reliance on God to direct our paths that will stay with the reader long after the last page has been read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather Wood

    This is one of my most anticipated releases for 2021, as I am a fan of both Jocelyn Green and all things Chicago. So if this book disappointed me, I knew it was going to be a hard fall! But it truly wasn't. Set during the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, Shadows of the White City continues Sylvie's story from Veiled in Smoke- and she's now 43 and the single parent of an adopted teen. Shadows of the White City was a lot of things: -dripping with information, it is a very detailed and descriptive look a This is one of my most anticipated releases for 2021, as I am a fan of both Jocelyn Green and all things Chicago. So if this book disappointed me, I knew it was going to be a hard fall! But it truly wasn't. Set during the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, Shadows of the White City continues Sylvie's story from Veiled in Smoke- and she's now 43 and the single parent of an adopted teen. Shadows of the White City was a lot of things: -dripping with information, it is a very detailed and descriptive look at the World's Fair, per Green's usual style. -it is a mystery as the characters search for a missing person. -it is a (dare I use the words "middle aged?") love story, gentle and respectful. -it is a thoughtful, probing look into motivations of our own hearts, shines the gospel on them, and gives us the tools to love with a more selfless, pure, faith-based love. I liked that the characters were older, because they were more grounded and mature as they interacted and made difficult decisions; nothing about their story was about their raging hormones or physical attractiveness, which is a nice relief from a lot of romances. The secondary characters were anything but flat. Each of them added their own challenges to the story and had interesting growth. Having read all of Jocelyn Green's published fiction, I think the Windy City ones are some of my favorites, because although they don't protect you from the dark underbelly of the times, they are less graphic and gritty than her earlier works. We are told that young women disappear into brothels never to be found again, but we don't have to go see it for ourselves. This makes a far less traumatizing book for the reader and one of the reasons I enjoyed it. Shadows had a completely happy ending (even in the romance. Unlike *some* of Green's books😂), which is a huge plus for me. I loved seeing 1893 Chicago, although I imagine not every reader will care for the extent of the detail as much as I did. Shadows of the White City reminded me of everything I love about Jocelyn Green's writing. I love the thoughtfulness of it, I love her characters, I love the theology and the way she writes. I wouldn't have changed anything about this book. I received an advance copy from Netgalley and the publisher but I was not compensated or required to leave a positive review. All opinions are entirely my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    The setting for this book is the 1893's World's Fair, and it takes place in Chicago, Il. Through the words of the author we take in this spectacular event, and visit many of the expositions. We are given a bit of sweet romance, a kidnapping, a meeting with some dark character looking to receive their gambling winnings! We also have the dynamics of a mother and daughter relationship, and a brother and brother one also. You can see that trusting God helps in all the situations, and you will quickly The setting for this book is the 1893's World's Fair, and it takes place in Chicago, Il. Through the words of the author we take in this spectacular event, and visit many of the expositions. We are given a bit of sweet romance, a kidnapping, a meeting with some dark character looking to receive their gambling winnings! We also have the dynamics of a mother and daughter relationship, and a brother and brother one also. You can see that trusting God helps in all the situations, and you will quickly be turning the pages and looking for answers here, and hoping for the best out come. This is book that I became very involved in the characters lives, and in the end, I didn't want to leave! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shirley McAllister

    Freedom to Choose A wonderful story of love, understanding and forgiveness. The wisdom to know when to hold on and when to let go. A feeling of belonging which all of us need to have. In the background of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair we experience the lights, sounds and magic of the world's fair. The music, the food and the fashions of that time in history. So many different nationalities, so many different acts to see from a Polish restaurant to Houdini's act. We meet again the sisters Meg and Sy Freedom to Choose A wonderful story of love, understanding and forgiveness. The wisdom to know when to hold on and when to let go. A feeling of belonging which all of us need to have. In the background of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair we experience the lights, sounds and magic of the world's fair. The music, the food and the fashions of that time in history. So many different nationalities, so many different acts to see from a Polish restaurant to Houdini's act. We meet again the sisters Meg and Sylvie from Jocelyn Green's first novel About Chicago Veil of Smoke". We agonize over the challenge Sylvie has with her adopted daughter Rose. The choices she has to make and the heartbreaking decision to let Rose go, to give her the choice of freedom. We meet Kristof and his brother Gregor. The friendship between Kristof and Sylvie, and the struggles between Kristof and his brother. It is a story of life and relationships. A time for compassion and a time for strength. When letting go tugs at the heart and holding on is selfish. Love must be freely given and trust must be freely awarded. I enjoyed reading this story very much and would recommend it. I think you will like it as well. Thanks to Jocelyn Green, Bethany House Publishers, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy of the book for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sundin

    From the opulence of the World’s Fair to the grittiness of the city’s underworld, Jocelyn Green paints a fascinating picture of 1893 Chicago. Sylvie and Kristof are endearing characters, each seeking significance through the lives of their loved ones – and when those loved ones fail them or reject them, who will they be? Their romance is warm and gentle, and may I say how refreshing it is to read a romance between characters with streaks of gray in their hair! There’s a reason Jocelyn Green is o From the opulence of the World’s Fair to the grittiness of the city’s underworld, Jocelyn Green paints a fascinating picture of 1893 Chicago. Sylvie and Kristof are endearing characters, each seeking significance through the lives of their loved ones – and when those loved ones fail them or reject them, who will they be? Their romance is warm and gentle, and may I say how refreshing it is to read a romance between characters with streaks of gray in their hair! There’s a reason Jocelyn Green is one of my favorite authors – Shadows of the White City is historical fiction at its best!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Shadows of the White City was a great read. Most of the story centered around Rose, Sylvie's adopted daughter, who was missing. One day she just didn't come home at all and there was no trace of where she could be. She enlists the help of Kristof, her tenant and upstairs neighbor who secretly cares for Sylvie.a great deal. He helps her in every way he can, and the girl does eventually return, and the mystery just seems to grow, instead of being truly solved. There is a great climax to the myster Shadows of the White City was a great read. Most of the story centered around Rose, Sylvie's adopted daughter, who was missing. One day she just didn't come home at all and there was no trace of where she could be. She enlists the help of Kristof, her tenant and upstairs neighbor who secretly cares for Sylvie.a great deal. He helps her in every way he can, and the girl does eventually return, and the mystery just seems to grow, instead of being truly solved. There is a great climax to the mystery and it has a happy ending for all. While it is a great stand alone novel, I realized at one point that this is second of a series of books and I had read the first one, Veiled in Smoke. which was also a very exciting book. I loved it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

    Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green takes place twenty-two years after Veiled in Smoke. Sylvie in now in her 40s and is raising a teenage orphan girl, Rose, that she adopted as a young child. The setting of the novel is the Chicago World’s Fair and Green’s detailed descriptions of the fair and the time make the reader feel as if they are a participant. The characters are dynamic and well developed. Kristof is a friend to Sylvie and offers her insightful encouragement when she is looking f Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green takes place twenty-two years after Veiled in Smoke. Sylvie in now in her 40s and is raising a teenage orphan girl, Rose, that she adopted as a young child. The setting of the novel is the Chicago World’s Fair and Green’s detailed descriptions of the fair and the time make the reader feel as if they are a participant. The characters are dynamic and well developed. Kristof is a friend to Sylvie and offers her insightful encouragement when she is looking for Rose who has gone missing at the fair. At one point Kristof tells Sylvie, “The opposite of fear is not courage. The opposite of fear is faith. You can’t take care of her (Rose), but we can still believe that God can, and will and is doing so right now.” The novel has a strong message of faith. Faith not in man or self, but in God. Faith that God is in control and our need to trust in Him and to allow God to walk along side us daily. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Bryant

    Shadows of the White City is a perfect addition to the Windy City Saga series. It is set in Chicago twenty-two years after the Great Fire which is chronicled in the first book Veiled in Smoke. In this beautifully written story of family relationships, love, and faith, Ms. Green once again demonstrates her superlative storytelling skills. The historical aspect of the story relating to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair is phenomenal evidencing extensive research! Vivid descriptions and sensory imager Shadows of the White City is a perfect addition to the Windy City Saga series. It is set in Chicago twenty-two years after the Great Fire which is chronicled in the first book Veiled in Smoke. In this beautifully written story of family relationships, love, and faith, Ms. Green once again demonstrates her superlative storytelling skills. The historical aspect of the story relating to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair is phenomenal evidencing extensive research! Vivid descriptions and sensory imagery put you at the scene whether it be “the Fair’s manicured lawns, sculptured fountains, and neoclassical buildings of monumental scale” or the “seedy, notorious streets” and “overcrowded tenements” of Chicago. Through these descriptions I could see the opulence of the architecture, hear the sounds and feel the excitement of the Midway, and smell the odors of the Stock Pavilion—a full sensory experience! The exciting plot keeps your attention with its twists and turns and unexpected and sometimes deceptive revelations. The fictional characters are wonderfully well-crafted and unforgettable and mesh seamlessly with real historical characters, events, and settings. The gentle, sweet friendship-to-love relationship of fortyish couple Sylvie and Kristof is heartwarming. Spiritual truths abound as characters learn to let go and trust God to calm their fears and doubts and provide for their needs. This emotionally rich story will definitely stay with you long after the last page is turned! I loved this book and highly recommend it as a must read. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I received a copy of this book in e-book form from the publisher via netgalley but am under no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Wood

    “Where we are weak, God is strong. He can take our smallest offerings and make of them a feast. But for now we focus on finding her.” Shadows of the White City is the second book in the Windy City Saga series and takes place twenty-two years after the Great Chicago Fire that was in book one. Ms. Green is a master storyteller as she weaves a beautiful story of love, faith, and family. The amount of research that went into this book is incredible. The way the author describes the fountains, the bui “Where we are weak, God is strong. He can take our smallest offerings and make of them a feast. But for now we focus on finding her.” Shadows of the White City is the second book in the Windy City Saga series and takes place twenty-two years after the Great Chicago Fire that was in book one. Ms. Green is a master storyteller as she weaves a beautiful story of love, faith, and family. The amount of research that went into this book is incredible. The way the author describes the fountains, the buildings, I could hear the fountains, the footsteps of others, the music of the symphony. Each character had to learn to trust God and that He would provide for them even mending hearts. I highly recommend reading Veiled in Smoke and Shadows of the White City. Take a trip back to the World’s Fair. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    The title, Shadows of the White City, fits this book so perfectly. Nearly every character in this novel has a shadow of the past and or present that lingers alongside them throughout the pages. Like most shadows, they cause doubt, insecurity, grief, addictions, obsessions, a longing for love and belonging. Set in Chicago during the World's Fair the plot is centered around the disappearance of one of it's characters and the ongoing search to find her again. This is not a fluffy, light hearted rea The title, Shadows of the White City, fits this book so perfectly. Nearly every character in this novel has a shadow of the past and or present that lingers alongside them throughout the pages. Like most shadows, they cause doubt, insecurity, grief, addictions, obsessions, a longing for love and belonging. Set in Chicago during the World's Fair the plot is centered around the disappearance of one of it's characters and the ongoing search to find her again. This is not a fluffy, light hearted read...being a mother of daughters, frankly... it kept me awake at night. There is a strong message of learning to trust in God and believing that he is working on our behalf even when we aren't seeing "results' of his hand. If you enjoy books set during the World's Fair or stories with a bit of romance and a mystery to solve then I think you would enjoy Shadows of the White City. Thank you Bethany House and Net Galley for the free copy of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    I have only visited Chicago once but it was nothing as exciting as the Chicago Worlds Fair of 1893. The descriptions were exciting and thorough and we as readers definitely benefit from the author's complete research. The Ferris wheel , what a fascinating history. I will think about that spinning wheel next time I get on it. The story takes us from the seedier side of town in the bordellos to having a missing young woman's clothing turning up in thrift shops around town. The young woman in question i I have only visited Chicago once but it was nothing as exciting as the Chicago Worlds Fair of 1893. The descriptions were exciting and thorough and we as readers definitely benefit from the author's complete research. The Ferris wheel , what a fascinating history. I will think about that spinning wheel next time I get on it. The story takes us from the seedier side of town in the bordellos to having a missing young woman's clothing turning up in thrift shops around town. The young woman in question is none other than a young Polish immigrant who after being raised by her adoptive mother still feels incomplete and is searching for her birth family. See how a crocheted sock and a shawl figure into this mystery and if the adoptive mother will be able to let her daughter go if she finds her and the daughter chooses her long lost family. Wow! Excellent! Amazing! I really can't wait to read more by this author! Published Feb 02,2021. I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Geaney

    Jocelyn Green is one of my favorite historical fiction authors! The beauty of her novels is how they could stand on their own if you were to remove the romantic elements. To me, this demonstrates the author's thorough grasp of the events, culture, and prevailing attitudes of the people she is striving to portray. When you read one of Green's novels, you are invited to walk beside her characters through a season of their lives. In Shadows of the White City, readers rejoin Sylvia and Meg Townsend Jocelyn Green is one of my favorite historical fiction authors! The beauty of her novels is how they could stand on their own if you were to remove the romantic elements. To me, this demonstrates the author's thorough grasp of the events, culture, and prevailing attitudes of the people she is striving to portray. When you read one of Green's novels, you are invited to walk beside her characters through a season of their lives. In Shadows of the White City, readers rejoin Sylvia and Meg Townsend 14 years after the Great Fire to take in the sights and sounds of the World's Fair. A great deal of this novel focuses on Chicago's restoration efforts, the size and grandeur of the World's Fair, and the disappearance of Sylvie Townsend's adopted daughter, Rose. As always, Green's writing oozes colorful details and depictions of her setting. The addition of a mystery was a new and welcomed element, even if I didn't find Rose to be a sympathetic victim. Still, her character highlighted the plight of immigrants while enabling the author to deliver a beautiful message about adoption. Even though romance is not the main thrust of the story, a touching friends-to-something-more develops between Sylvie and one of her neighbors that will warm your heart. Due to the amount of time that has elapsed in the lives of the Townsend sisters, I believe it is possible for this novel to stand alone. On the other hand, I wouldn't want anyone to miss the life-changing event that shaped the women you find in this story. Be sure to carve out time to enjoy The Windy City Saga! I received this book from the publisher through the NetGalley review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    Shadows of the White City is the second novel in The Windy City Saga by Jocelyn Green. It can be read as a standalone. Sylvie Townsend has been bringing up Rozalia Dabrowski (Rose) for 13 years since her parents died. However, Rose, now 17, is anxious to look for any Polish relations she might have and feels Sylvie is too controlling. In 1893, Sylvie is a tour guide at the Chicago World's fair, and her tenant, Kristof Bartok, is lead violin in the Exposition Orchestra. Kristof is also Rose's violi Shadows of the White City is the second novel in The Windy City Saga by Jocelyn Green. It can be read as a standalone. Sylvie Townsend has been bringing up Rozalia Dabrowski (Rose) for 13 years since her parents died. However, Rose, now 17, is anxious to look for any Polish relations she might have and feels Sylvie is too controlling. In 1893, Sylvie is a tour guide at the Chicago World's fair, and her tenant, Kristof Bartok, is lead violin in the Exposition Orchestra. Kristof is also Rose's violin instructor. While Sylvie tries in vain to keep Rose as her daughter and part of her family, Kristof is dealing with his wild, selfish, and out of control brother, Gregor. Their problems are compounded when Rose disappears. The descriptions of the Chicago World's Fair are fascinating and well researched. The underlying themes are letting go of the people you love, appreciating what you already have, and forgiving the hurtful actions of others. Different types of obsession are examined through many of the characters, particularly Ivan and Jozefa. Perfectionism, manipulation, and control are also shown through Kristof and Sylvie. My favorite quote: "I hope you have since learned you can stop striving to earn a place you've already been given. You're already a child of God. You can't perform your way into or out of His family." This is an interesting trip to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 combined with family struggles and a sweet romance. The author's note at the end provides more wonderful history of Chicago and the World's Fair.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Shadows of the White City I was privileged to read an advance copy of Shadows of The White City. What a lovely blending of themes. This is a historical peek into what it must have been like in the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. The story was so well researched that I felt my feet began to ache just thinking of the task of walking through all the exhibits, I could hear the music and all the various languages buzzing in the air. Loved the inclusion of all the cultures and tastes of a large multicul Shadows of the White City I was privileged to read an advance copy of Shadows of The White City. What a lovely blending of themes. This is a historical peek into what it must have been like in the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. The story was so well researched that I felt my feet began to ache just thinking of the task of walking through all the exhibits, I could hear the music and all the various languages buzzing in the air. Loved the inclusion of all the cultures and tastes of a large multicultural city. Yet it also clearly gave glimpse into the dangers lurking beneath the surface in such a setting. But best was the multifaceted look into complex personalities. I am not fond of romance stories, but enjoyed this look at late arriving love when it is slowly developing over time. There was mystery woven into the story as well. It made it a broader experience to have read Veiled in Smoke, the story of the Chicago fire with the same characters 22 years earlier. Jocelyn Green makes history alive with a talented blending of actual people who lived in a time and place and her vivid imaginary characters. Wonderful truths blend into this story that I could not put down. Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy. #NETGALLEY

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jager

    Jocelyn Green does the research to make her historical fiction come to life. I never fail to learn something about our history when I read her books. In Shadows of the White City, Green takes us on a journey set during the Chicago's World's Fair and how it was such a major part of the city's life. I find myself looking up different aspects of the story, not to fact check, but to learn more. I love a good historical book that does that, makes me want to learn more about that time period. I recomm Jocelyn Green does the research to make her historical fiction come to life. I never fail to learn something about our history when I read her books. In Shadows of the White City, Green takes us on a journey set during the Chicago's World's Fair and how it was such a major part of the city's life. I find myself looking up different aspects of the story, not to fact check, but to learn more. I love a good historical book that does that, makes me want to learn more about that time period. I recommend reading the first book, Veiled in Smoke, to get a great build up for this book. But honestly you do not need to read them in order to enjoy them for what they are, just a good read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    With a to-die for hero, a 43 year old heroine and an intelligent treatise on forged family, Green breaks many inspirational romance tropes and traditions to whirl us through a missing person's mystery set against the lush, beautifully researched White City of Chicago's exhibition. Pitch perfect historical details met with the author's considerable knowledge of the 19th Century windy city combine to provide a fast-paced whirl as loveable characters race against time to find a young woman and brin With a to-die for hero, a 43 year old heroine and an intelligent treatise on forged family, Green breaks many inspirational romance tropes and traditions to whirl us through a missing person's mystery set against the lush, beautifully researched White City of Chicago's exhibition. Pitch perfect historical details met with the author's considerable knowledge of the 19th Century windy city combine to provide a fast-paced whirl as loveable characters race against time to find a young woman and bring her home. Frosted with musical knowledge and a deep look at the immigrant experience in the mosaic of the city, Green is at home writing strong conversations, musical interludes and the type of romance so real it subverts a fairytale. Readers should know that this is inspirational romance and does contain a lot of spirituality and religion---perhaps moreso than in Green's previous books where spiritual truths were veiled more in theme than exposition. An absolutely lovely hero and an absolutely WONDERFUL heroine what great joy I got from this experience!!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Brown

    In this, the second book in the Windy City Saga, the self-reliant Sylvie Townsend sees it as her duty to look out for those close to her. Conflict ensues when Rose, the orphaned immigrant Sylvie has dedicated her life to raising, pushes back. Rose wants to find her “real” family. Then Rose disappears. Did she run away? Or was she abducted at the 1893 World’s Fair, the “White City” where too many young girls vanished without a trace? Longtime friend and neighbor, Kristof, supports Sylvie, modelin In this, the second book in the Windy City Saga, the self-reliant Sylvie Townsend sees it as her duty to look out for those close to her. Conflict ensues when Rose, the orphaned immigrant Sylvie has dedicated her life to raising, pushes back. Rose wants to find her “real” family. Then Rose disappears. Did she run away? Or was she abducted at the 1893 World’s Fair, the “White City” where too many young girls vanished without a trace? Longtime friend and neighbor, Kristof, supports Sylvie, modeling unselfish love and faith in God’s sovereign care for His children. Although the book begins slowly, the pace picks up with Rose’s disappearance. The many characters can make the story challenging to follow at times. However, each character has a vital role in the narrative, contributing to the many twists and turns of the plot. The author’s extensive research of the 1893 World’s Fair brings this event to life in vivid detail.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This book is a beautifully guided tour of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair intermingled with a captivating story of Sylvie Townsend’s life 22 years after the Great Fire of 1871, where we first met her in book one of The Windy City Saga series. Once again Jocelyn Green artfully brings to life a story that blends fictional characters with historical events, settings, and people. Now in her early forties, independent Sylvie still runs her bookshop and has raised Rose, a young Hungarian orphan, for the This book is a beautifully guided tour of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair intermingled with a captivating story of Sylvie Townsend’s life 22 years after the Great Fire of 1871, where we first met her in book one of The Windy City Saga series. Once again Jocelyn Green artfully brings to life a story that blends fictional characters with historical events, settings, and people. Now in her early forties, independent Sylvie still runs her bookshop and has raised Rose, a young Hungarian orphan, for the past thirteen years on her own. Living in the apartment above Sylvie are the Bartok brothers; steady, solid Kristof and Gregor, handsome and a bit wild. Both brothers play for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Exposition Orchestra at the Fair. When Rose disappears one day at the Fair, Sylvie finds she may need the support and assistance of the steady Kristof more than she could ever imagine. Sylvie and Kristof must decide if Rose’s disappearance intertwines with Gregor’s wild life style. Drawn closer together while they try to piece the puzzle together, the pair finds comfort in each other’s presence and in the comfort of close friends and Sylvie’s sister, Meg and her family. As control and fear dictate Sylvie’s choices, she works on learning to trust the Lord’s timing during difficult times. One of the most importance lessons Sylvie and Rose both come to understand is the value of the gift of choice. Sylvie, Rose, Kristof, and their friends and relatives explore the true value of family of choice. Come and spend some time exploring the 1893 World’s Fair with a guided tour by Rose, listen to a concert where Kristof plays beautiful classic music, and take a ride on Mr. Ferris’s Wheel! See the sights, smell the Parisian perfume, taste the hot chocolate! Don’t miss this great piece of history woven throughout the story. This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susie Finkbeiner

    Jocelyn Green consistently provides an immersive experience in her historical fiction. Her deep research lends itself to vibrant settings, engaging prose, and authentic characters. Shadows of the White City transported me to 1893 Chicago to experience the Worlds Fair along with the characters and I found myself Googling pictures of the sights Green describes. She did such a great job chronicling a wonder of history. Not only that, she wrote a story for us full of adversity, authenticity, and hope Jocelyn Green consistently provides an immersive experience in her historical fiction. Her deep research lends itself to vibrant settings, engaging prose, and authentic characters. Shadows of the White City transported me to 1893 Chicago to experience the Worlds Fair along with the characters and I found myself Googling pictures of the sights Green describes. She did such a great job chronicling a wonder of history. Not only that, she wrote a story for us full of adversity, authenticity, and hope. All which she does so well. She gently weaves in faith, which was such an encouragement while I read. Great for those who love historical fiction written from a Christian worldview!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    From the opulence that is The White City, to the intrigue that lurks beneath the surface, this novel is a sure winner. Having gone to Chicago for many field trips as a child, I was glad I was able to visit some of the former sites of the World’s Fair. Ms. Green has done extensive research and has brought this era to life in the characters of Sylvie, her sister Meg, Rose, her adopted daughter and Kristof. I especially liked the references to A Tale Of Two Cities and Mansfield Park and how they we From the opulence that is The White City, to the intrigue that lurks beneath the surface, this novel is a sure winner. Having gone to Chicago for many field trips as a child, I was glad I was able to visit some of the former sites of the World’s Fair. Ms. Green has done extensive research and has brought this era to life in the characters of Sylvie, her sister Meg, Rose, her adopted daughter and Kristof. I especially liked the references to A Tale Of Two Cities and Mansfield Park and how they were used to illustrate a point. Sylvie experienced The Great Fire in book one of Windy City Saga. Here we see her years later as a book store owner and part time tour guide at the Fair. This was an exciting story with many turns that I did not anticipate. It was flawlessly executed. The characters were realistic, as were their spiritual struggles. “Where we are weak, God is strong. He can take our smallest offerings and make them a feast.” Kristof was a very patient, godly hero who was a true friend. He also struggled in his relationship with his brother Gregor. “Doing the right thing often means doing the hard thing. That takes courage. And faith to believe...” The bulk of the story centers on Sylvie and Rose as they search for her biological family and the ensuing complications. This was a complex, enthralling and moving story. I can’t wait for book three. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  21. 5 out of 5

    MJSH

    "Healing doesn't mean forgetting the loss, nor does it mean enshrining it. Healing, at least for me, has meant holding both the blessings I once had and the blessings I still do, but holding them loosely in open hands." This is book 2 in the Windy City Saga and it continues the journey of the Townsend sisters in 1893 Chicago, some twenty-two years after the Great Fire and the first book. Because of the gap in time, this book can be read as a stand-alone, but reading the books in order will allow "Healing doesn't mean forgetting the loss, nor does it mean enshrining it. Healing, at least for me, has meant holding both the blessings I once had and the blessings I still do, but holding them loosely in open hands." This is book 2 in the Windy City Saga and it continues the journey of the Townsend sisters in 1893 Chicago, some twenty-two years after the Great Fire and the first book. Because of the gap in time, this book can be read as a stand-alone, but reading the books in order will allow for better appreciation of who Sylvie is and what shaped her young adulthood. Jocelyn Green has a way of drawing her readers into her incredibly detailed and delightful world; this time she takes us into the heart of the Chicago World Fair and the music that surrounds the White City. The writing is beautiful as always. The characters are flawed, raw, down-to-earth and the plot is intriguing, engaging, and oftentimes heart-wrenching. The faith journey is rocky yet rewarding and fulfilling. It's another winner from Jocelyn Green! Sylvie is now a woman in her forties raising a seventeen year old Polish orphan as her own. Sylvie is independent, practical, hard-working, and satisfied with her life until her Rose leaves their home under strange and mysterious circumstances. Sylvie's anxiety and fear as a mother frantically searching for her child is heart-breaking and totally relatable. Kristof, a Hungarian violinist who rents his apartment from Sylvie, is a gentle, compassionate, tender soul who strives for perfection. When he runs into trouble with his brother Gregor, Kristof and Sylvie both realize their similar struggle for control and for finding a place to belong. The disparity between Chicago's immigrant poor and its middle class is astounding and eye-opening, especially surrounded by the glitz and opulence of the World Fair. The intrigue following Rose's disappearance offers gasp-worthy twists and turns to the plot as Sylvie and Kristof unravel clues to find her. As they work together, their long-standing friendship blossoms into a sweet, steadfast, and patient kind of romance that is sigh-inducing. I also enjoyed reconnecting with Meg and Nate, whom we met during the first book. This historical fiction has it all - captivating writing, great plot, enchanting setting, lovely characters, and themes of grace, acceptance, and freedom. If you're a historical fiction fan, you will absolutely love this book. I received the book from Bethany House Publishers and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Jocelyn Green is a fabulous storyteller. In Shadows of the White City, readers return to Chicago in 1893 when the city hosts The World's Fair. This is the second of the series. The first novel, Veiled in Smoke, is set in 1871 when a massive fire occurs. Meg is married with children. Sylvie remains single and has an adopted daughter, Polish immigrant Rose. All of their lives seem to be humming along. Sylvie continues on the family book store with Rose assisting and taking violin lessons. Sylvie al Jocelyn Green is a fabulous storyteller. In Shadows of the White City, readers return to Chicago in 1893 when the city hosts The World's Fair. This is the second of the series. The first novel, Veiled in Smoke, is set in 1871 when a massive fire occurs. Meg is married with children. Sylvie remains single and has an adopted daughter, Polish immigrant Rose. All of their lives seem to be humming along. Sylvie continues on the family book store with Rose assisting and taking violin lessons. Sylvie also serves as a tour guide at the World's Fair. The details about the fair were fabulous to devour. Unknown to Sylvie, Rose becomes increasingly interested in her roots in Poland and begins to distance herself from Sylvie. At the same time their relationship is deteriorating, neighbor and violin instructor Kristof Bartok is going through his own difficulties with his brother Gregor. There are multiple layers and messages in the novel including adoption, family bonds, women's rights and financial desperation. Each of these were told with care in an engaging fashion. I was enraptured by this novel and as the parent of two teenagers valued the message of giving children the freedom to make their own decisions despite how difficult that is as a parent. My gratitude to publisher Bethany House for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Hupe

    Thank you Bethany House Publishers, Jocelyn Green, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book! I finally have been having moments where I can focus. I miss reading but my mind is so scattered. Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green is the second book in The Windy City Saga. This is the perfect book to get back into a routine. Sylvie Townsend and her sister survived The Great Fire in Chicago and now it is the year 1893, the year of The Great Columbian Exposition. Sylvie never married Thank you Bethany House Publishers, Jocelyn Green, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book! I finally have been having moments where I can focus. I miss reading but my mind is so scattered. Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green is the second book in The Windy City Saga. This is the perfect book to get back into a routine. Sylvie Townsend and her sister survived The Great Fire in Chicago and now it is the year 1893, the year of The Great Columbian Exposition. Sylvie never married but raised a young girl named Rose as her own. Rose is anxious about learning of her roots which are causing conflict between her and Sylvie. One day, Rose does not come home. Girls have been vanishing in large numbers throughout the city. Sylvie gets help from her tenant Kristoff, who is a violinist with the Columbian Exposition Orchestra and has insights into the area. He also has a brother with a gambling addiction…could the debt and Rose’s disappearance be related? Or did Rose venture off in search of long-lost family? So it is 1893. People are disappearing. Was I the only one hoping for an HH Holmes serial killer plot twist?! No…just me? I know, probably a little too dark but the timeline adds up perfectly. Although that is the beauty of the history around Chicago, there are so many options! The mystery surrounding the main plot is intriguing and will keep readers guessing until the very end. The resolve did extend a little longer than I would like but overall I enjoyed the mystery and suspense. I did love the fact that Sylvie doesn’t need a man in order to feel successful and supported. It is also refreshing to have a love story between two characters who are more middle-aged, rather than 19-20 years old. Love can come at any age. Love also doesn’t have to be romantic. The main focus is that family does not need to be a blood relation. Familial love is just as important and complex as romantic love. Overall, this is a wonderful addition to the series and I hope that there are more books to look forward to! I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    This was an excellent historical novel, taking place during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. While this one is the 2nd in the author's Windy City Saga, this one could definitely stand alone. The events of this novel take place 22 years after the first one and while the main characters (sisters Meg and Sylvie) are the same, they are clearly not the same people so to speak. The events of the first novel come up in this one, so it is helpful to have the background, but enough history is given that This was an excellent historical novel, taking place during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. While this one is the 2nd in the author's Windy City Saga, this one could definitely stand alone. The events of this novel take place 22 years after the first one and while the main characters (sisters Meg and Sylvie) are the same, they are clearly not the same people so to speak. The events of the first novel come up in this one, so it is helpful to have the background, but enough history is given that it's not essential. In this novel, Meg has married and has a family and Sylvie is an "old maid" who has adopted a young Polish immigrant whose father was taking her to the orphanage. The theme of adoption is prevalent through the pages of this book, which is one that is near and dear to my heart. I enjoyed seeing the sisters as older and it was nice to see a romance develop between a couple in their 40s as well. This book had all the makings of a good historical novel - good character development, an interesting historical setting, a mystery that had lots of twists and turns, and internal conflict galore. In addition to the adoption theme, there were also themes about forgiveness, perfectionism, prodigals, and relying on God. The faith thread was solid throughout. If you enjoy a good inspirational historical novel with a light romance thread and a solid family message, I'd strongly recommend this one. Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Sher

    This story, set during the 1893 World Fair in Chicago, held my attention from beginning to end. The characters I had grown to know and love from the first book in the series - Veiled In Smoke (you don't HAVE to read it first, as this story stands alone, but I would probably recommend it) - are back, and just as engaging and real, along with some new additions that will also grab you. Green does an excellent job of developing characters and setting, and keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering This story, set during the 1893 World Fair in Chicago, held my attention from beginning to end. The characters I had grown to know and love from the first book in the series - Veiled In Smoke (you don't HAVE to read it first, as this story stands alone, but I would probably recommend it) - are back, and just as engaging and real, along with some new additions that will also grab you. Green does an excellent job of developing characters and setting, and keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. I didn't know until the very last chapter exactly what was going to happen (and that is the best way to experience a book, in my opinion). And she sure knows how to weave hope into a story. Highly recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    “Just because you can’t control everything doesn’t mean it isn’t being handled. Trust the One who is far better at orchestrating every detail than we could ever be.” In Shadows of the White City, the second book in The Windy City Saga, Jocelyn Green brings the simple message that God is in control, and even though we don’t know His timing or His plans, we need to trust Him, to surrender all to Him. Even if that could mean losing those we love most. Green shows this message throughout the story tha “Just because you can’t control everything doesn’t mean it isn’t being handled. Trust the One who is far better at orchestrating every detail than we could ever be.” In Shadows of the White City, the second book in The Windy City Saga, Jocelyn Green brings the simple message that God is in control, and even though we don’t know His timing or His plans, we need to trust Him, to surrender all to Him. Even if that could mean losing those we love most. Green shows this message throughout the story that follows Sylvie Townsend, no longer the young lady she was in Veiled in Smoke, but a woman in her forties who has committed her life to raise the daughter of Polish immigrants who passed away. With her daughter, Rozalia, now seventeen, the trial of being a parent to a child, not physically her own rears its ugly head, and brings with it worry, fear, and a lack of confidence, but also a chance for growth and new beginnings. This story is a journey filled with heart-wrenching choices I was glad Sylvie had to make and not me. The theme of love also wove its way throughout the story, the love between a child and the parents she lost, an adoptive mother and child, love of family and friends, and a budding romance in a time of Sylvie’s life where she wouldn’t have thought romance possible. It was sweet and tender, yet showed the dirt beneath the nails. And just to keep you on your toes, the author added in a mystery to be solved, one that dragged you through twists and turns until the secret was finally revealed. There were times when I thought I had it figured out, but then my question came up in print and was turned down as a possibility…until it wasn’t. Oh, Jocelyn Green is good, let me tell you. She would throw out bombshells that literally made my jaw drop, and my mind would end up following the path she wanted me to follow instead of the one I thought I should have been on. She kept me guessing, and because of that, reading. This was a powerful story set among the backdrop of the Chicago Worlds Fair. I enjoyed reading about the fair, and because of the details Green so carefully revealed, I felt as though I was there with them, in a place I had never before seen but longed for. I appreciate the author’s ability to bring her world to life, and that is done through the extensive research I know she has done on the subject. If you’re into historical fiction, love a good intrigue, and enjoy a story that knows how to pull at your heartstrings, then I would highly recommend Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green. I received a copy of Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley. Opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kailey

    This book was excellent! I think I loved this one more than the first one! Jocelyn Green’s descriptions are so detailed that this story just came to life for me! I’m eagerly awaiting the next book! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Scott

    I know when I begin a Jocelyn Green novel that I'm going to be submersed into a story rich with description and brimming with historical goodness. Shadows of the White City certainly had that and more! First off, I'm thankful the author gave Sylvie Townsend her own story. After the heartbreak Sylvie endured in Veiled in Smoke, I really REALLY wanted to see her get a happily ever after. The author did such a brilliant job of setting that I felt the Chicago World's Fair had become a character itself I know when I begin a Jocelyn Green novel that I'm going to be submersed into a story rich with description and brimming with historical goodness. Shadows of the White City certainly had that and more! First off, I'm thankful the author gave Sylvie Townsend her own story. After the heartbreak Sylvie endured in Veiled in Smoke, I really REALLY wanted to see her get a happily ever after. The author did such a brilliant job of setting that I felt the Chicago World's Fair had become a character itself. The scenes were painted in my mind with all the vibrancy and excitement that goes along with such a place. Impeccable research! But I expect no less from a skilled storyteller like Jocelyn Green! Another thing I absolutely LOVED was the characters' journey. Sylvie had an amazing character arc - you can experience her growth! Same can be said for Rose and Kristof. And can we take a minute to celebrate older heroes that possess maturity, tenderness, and the capability to make a reader fan her face? In case I didn't make myself clear, I just ADORE Kristof. Take all this literary awesomeness and toss in a twisty turvy mystery, and you have a story worth all the accolades! *I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    This story picks up thirteen years after the Chicago fires mentioned in book one. I was gripped from the start as I was able to connect with characters from Veiled in Smoke (book1). It was fun to see Sylvie and her sister had become parents and the paths their lives were on. I liked how quickly the author emotionally grips the reader and sucks them into this grand adventure. “Sylvie hadn’t always leapt to the worst possible conclusion. But being a parent seemed to enlarge her imagination as much This story picks up thirteen years after the Chicago fires mentioned in book one. I was gripped from the start as I was able to connect with characters from Veiled in Smoke (book1). It was fun to see Sylvie and her sister had become parents and the paths their lives were on. I liked how quickly the author emotionally grips the reader and sucks them into this grand adventure. “Sylvie hadn’t always leapt to the worst possible conclusion. But being a parent seemed to enlarge her imagination as much as it did her heart.” I appreciate the authors research for this project as she makes this spectacular event shine helping us imagine what the fair was like in all its glory. I loved how she walks readers around the 1893’s World’s Fair taking them to some intriguing, memorable events. The author states…”I only had room to share with you a small fraction of what I learned in my research.” I liked how she spelled out what was fact and what was fiction in author notes, here are a few notes; “there really was an Exposition Orchestra and their contract was broken, the plight for women’s suffrage was real along with Chicago day and the record-smashing crowd of 751,026.” Wow! I liked tagging along with Rose as she plays in the Exposition Orchestra at the fair. I enjoyed that aspect of the story, along with the restoration efforts still underway in Chicago. I was surprised by the disappearance of Rose, who was Sylvie Townsend’s adopted daughter. I liked how the author lets readers walk into some cultural events at the fair all the while tracking down clues as to Rose’s whereabouts. This story would work well for your next book club pick, it’s such a rich story with complex characters there is much to discuss. It also has the perfect blend of adventure, mystery, and a splash of romance. There are discussion questions to use at your meeting. It’s a win win for your book club and reading experience. Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! The Book Club Network blog www.bookfun.org

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Alfveby Crea

    With the backdrop of the magnificent 1893 Chicago World's Fair, author Jocelyn Green captivated me from the very first page of her newest novel 'Shadows of the White City'. Her impeccable research and expert story-telling bring this story of family, belonging, and letting go, to life. This story finds Sylvie from 'Veiled in Smoke' now in her 40's living with Rose, her 17-year-old adopted daughter. Rose is really struggling and searching for her roots trying to find where she belongs. All the peop With the backdrop of the magnificent 1893 Chicago World's Fair, author Jocelyn Green captivated me from the very first page of her newest novel 'Shadows of the White City'. Her impeccable research and expert story-telling bring this story of family, belonging, and letting go, to life. This story finds Sylvie from 'Veiled in Smoke' now in her 40's living with Rose, her 17-year-old adopted daughter. Rose is really struggling and searching for her roots trying to find where she belongs. All the people in their circle of friends and family add a beautiful dimension to their lives. I love how they help one another through difficult times. I fell in love with Kristof, their tenant, and friend, who is a man of incredible kindness and integrity who supports Sylvie in many ways, especially during her really tough moments. Sylvie also helps him with a struggle he has with his brother. Such a sweet relationship between Sylvie and Kristof. I found the story compelling and truly enjoyed the backdrop of the Chicago World's fair, with the fascinating exhibits, events, and people that were there. Some of my favorite quotes from Shadows of the White City. "Some families we're born into, and some are of our own choosing." "She could imagine herself like a character in the middle of a book, with the first half of the chapters wiped out, and the rest of the chapters yet unwritten. It was disorienting being so untethered to either past or future." "Just because you can't control everything doesn't mean it isn't being handled. Trust the One who is far better at orchestrating every detail than we could ever be." "Waiting is such hard work", he said. 'But remember, just because we are still doesn't mean that God is. We can rely on him." "It wasn't romance she craved, but love, belonging, knowing, and being known. " I highly recommend this outstanding example of inspirational historical fiction! Thank you very much to the author, publisher, and Net Galley for letting me read an early copy. It was truly my pleasure! All opinions are my own.

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