Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:

13 / 30 books. 43% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (5)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware (1)
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (2)
- Indiana (2)
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (5)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania (2)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (2)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (2)
- Canada (2)
- England (10)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (4)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

34 / 51 states. 67% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

29 / 50 books. 58% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

50 / 52 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

29 / 40 books. 73% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

16 / 40 books. 40% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

11 / 25 books. 44% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

16 / 26.2 miles (2nd lap). 61% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

30 / 100 books. 30% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

74 / 104 books. 71% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

50 / 52 books. 96% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

83 / 165 books. 50% done!
Monday, February 22, 2021

Glittering White City Backdrop Makes Historical Mystery Especially Colorful and Compelling

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for Shadows of the White City, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from its predecessor, Veiled in Smoke.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

It's been over twenty years since 43-year-old Sylvie Townsend had her heart smashed to bits by a lying suitor.  She's never quite recovered, but she has found fulfillment in mothering her adopted daughter, Rose Dabrowski.  At 17, Rose is a headstrong young lady who yearns for independence and freedom.  Although Sylvie is trying to loosen the apron strings, she fears her impulsive daughter is headed for nothing but trouble.  When Rose launches a desperate search for her birth family, Sylvie tries not to take it as an affront.  Knowing she needs to be supportive, she attempts to push her anxiety and fears away and give her beloved daughter the space she so obviously needs. 

With the colorful, chaotic 1893 World's Fair in full swing right on their doorstep, Sylvie has warned Rose repeatedly to be very careful when out and about in Chicago.  Her worst fears are realized when her daughter vanishes without a trace.  Has the young woman been abducted?  Or has she run away from home to escape her mother's suffocating watch?  Sylvie cannot rest until she knows Rose is safe.  Enlisting the help of her sister, Meg, and a multi-lingual musician named Kristof Bartok, she combs the extensive World's Fair venue in frantic hope of finding her missing child.  While the search brings her and Kristof loser together, Sylvie feels herself drifting further and further from Rose.  Can she find her daughter before it's too late?  With Chicago growing more crowded and dangerous by the day, Sylvie fears she'll never see Rose again ...

Shadows of the White City, the second book in Jocelyn Green's Windy City Saga trilogy, takes place 22 years after the first book, Veiled in Smoke.  Although Meg and other characters from the initial installment are present in the second, it's really Sylvie's story.  While she and her cohorts aren't super original story people, they are sympathetic and likable.  I definitely identified with Sylvie, especially in her plight as an adoptive mother.  Her devotion to and desperate yearning for connection with her daughter felt all too real to me.  The World's Fair makes for an exciting backdrop to the story.  Green describes it vividly, dropping all kinds of fascinating tidbits about the event throughout the novel.  As far as plot goes, the tale remains compelling to the end, even though it's significantly longer than it needs to be.  The mystery of Rose's whereabouts is not very mysterious or surprising, but it still keeps the story interesting.  Like Veiled in Smoke, Shadows of the White City is a Christian novel, so it's clean, uplifting, and faith-promoting.  Although the book is overly long with a predictable storyline, I still enjoyed this engaging read.  I'm looking forward to the final installment in the trilogy, which features Meg's grown-up daughter and the way the 1915 Eastland Disaster in the Chicago River impacts her life.  Sounds intriguing!


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence, scenes of peril, and non-graphic references to prostitution, white slavery, opium abuse, etc.

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Shadows of the White City from the generous folks at Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


  1. This book feels understandably special to you, and warranted. There's nothing better than connecting to a character on a personal level.

    Lovely review, Susan.

  2. It's funny how the Chicago World's Fair is backdrop to so many novels. I guess it provides interesting historical fodder, busy scenes, etc.

  3. I enjoy novels set in Chicago during the fair. That's how I learned about the White City in the first place, believe it or not. Sounds like a good one.

  4. I love the setting of the Chicago World's Fair! This sounds like a compelling read and a poignant one.


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Homecoming by Kate Morton


The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive