Shadows of the White City is the second installment in the Windy City Saga. This particular storyline is set in Chicago during the World’s Fair and follows Sylvie, the younger of the two Townshend sisters.
Sylvie Townshend is the proprietor of Corner Books & More. She has spent the first part of her life caring for her ailing father who fought in the American Civil War. A survivor of the Great Chicago Fire, Sylvie is resilient. She is determined to make her own way, independently. And yet, Sylvie is missing something. Enter Rose, a sweet child that Sylvie takes in so that she does not have to go to the children’s home. Sylvie raises Rose as her own, but like Sylvie, Rose is missing something as well. But when Rose herself goes missing, both women find exactly what they need.
Jocelyn Green really knows how to a take a reader back in time. Personally, I am very unfamiliar with the World’s Fair. Jocelyn’s writing allows for me to see just how grand this event truly was. Like with her Heroines Behind the Lines series, this storyline is unique and contains several twists and turns.
This book left me curious about the plight of those living in the poor areas of Chicago. I am also in awe of how orphans were treated in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is terrible to think many people just assumed they were worthless because they lost their parents! Not only that, but the fact that girl orphans could be bought and raised in a brothel?!? (A point that is also mentioned in Amora.)
-Jocelyn’s descriptions of the setting and historical research is always wonderful!
-The characters realize that you’re never to old for romance and family is not limited to blood relations.
-Treatment & living conditions of the orphans and poor is terrible. (And historically accurate.)
-Rose goes missing and Sylvie decided to visit the area of “ill-repute” to search for her. This is tastefully done but still, depending on the reader, this may be difficult to read.
Side note: I pre-ordered this book back in the fall and then found out that the first 250 pre-orders received a sign bookplate! Insert serious fangirl excitement!
I also had the privilege of participating in a virtual author even where I listened to Jocelyn Green share more about the creation of this book and a tiny teaser about the final installment coming next year! Oh the agony of waiting!!
Fun Fact: It was called the White City because all of the buildings were made out of white marble/stone!