Meg Townsend has enough problems in her life. She already has her father to look after, who has never been the same since he returned from the Civil War. She already has her sister Sylvie who disagrees strongly with Meg over their father. She already has a reporter from the Chicago Tribune nosing around whose intentions she has yet to discern.
Then the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago and burns everything to the ground. And her father disappears into it.
The same night, their oldest friend is murdered.
And it’s up to Meg to rebuild her world with hands so badly wounded they may never create again.
Oh. My. Goodness. This book. The characters are so deep! I was amazed by the layers she managed to give to every member of the Townsend family—Meg, who just wants her father back the way he was and her undying loyalty to him, Sylvie, who desperately needs to feel loved and is more prone to action and the logic of things, and even Stephen and the ache that lies deep in his confused mind.
Better yet, the way she brought them all into conflict and showed that in such a real way left me astounded. While I tended to relate to Sylvie more than Meg (other than one very irrational thing Sylvie did that I can’t mention here because of spoilers), I was able to see the good and the bad in each of their viewpoints and even wound up rooting for Stephen at the end.
The plot kept me guessing right up until the end. Halfway through, I was sure I had it figured out, but then the last third made me second guess all my assumptions. The climax was brilliant, with equally brilliant symbolism woven in. Did not disappoint in the least.
Also, I think I could live at Corner Books and More. Just saying.
Veiled in Smoke will easily make my list of best reads for 2021. I highly recommend this first book in The Windy City Saga series.
Hi there! Rachel again. Check out this section for book reviews and cover reveals of some of my favorites!