Book Review, Book Tour, Historical

Book Review – Shadows of the White City

Shadows of the White City

by Jocelyn Green

The Windy City Saga – #2

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?

My Thoughts

This story is absolutely phenomenal! This is my new favorite of all of Jocelyn Green’s novels.
In this story, Ms. Green branches out a bit from her normal style and writes a mystery into this lovely historical story.
The main characters are Sylvie and Rose. (If you’ve read the first book, you will be glad to get to know Sylvie a bit better) Sylvie, an old maid, became Rose’s guardian when Rose was quite a young girl. Rose always had a feeling of not belonging, and of wanting to know who and where she came from.
When Rose disappears, Sylvie is heartbroken and lost. This is where the story gets interesting. Sylvie gets mixed messages…she thinks Rose has been kidnapped, then she thinks, perhaps….she ran away… nothing quite makes sense, and things just don’t add up.
Their boarder, Kristof willingly offers his assistance, and he and Sylvie do all they can to figure out what happened to Rose.
This lovely story is set in Chicago, in the time frame of the World’s Fair. I’ve always been so fascinated and intrigued by this setting, and I absolutely loved getting to know more about it.
Ms. Green included so many details, lots of information about the booths and exhibitions at the Fair that I could almost see it. (And I found it ever-so-fascinating to read the part in the epilogue where she states that Frank Baum took his inspiration for his wonderful Emerald City of Oz from the World’s Fair).
This is a story about family. And how needing a sense of belonging is such a huge part of us. Family is about more than blood. Both Sylvie and Kristof, in addition to Rose, have much to learn, and I appreciated the way the author gently leads them through all of the hard things they have to face.
Yes, I just loved seeing these characters grow and change as this story progressed.
This story has some completely unexpected turns of events. Just when I thought I had it figured out…well, then things would change again!
I think I said this at the very beginning, but this book is just fabulous and it is my new favorite of Ms. Green’s. I’m fairly certain it will be a favorite of mine for this year.
I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys reading historical fiction!

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 2 likes

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

And now, for something fun…here is a video from the publisher showing how they make the final choice for the book cover.

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