“Shadows of the White City” by Jocelyn Green
Book 2 in the Windy City Saga// Historical Fiction
My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:
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?
Sylvie’s story is here at last! I have been looking forward to reading this story, and it did not disappoint. <3 I had a hard time with the first novel, mostly because of how Sylvie was treated, so I was so eager for her to have her own story, and it was such a good one. “Shadows of the White City” is a complex and artfully woven novel. It’s not one to rush through – the vivid details and wording of it all is sure to require your attention and paint the setting in your mind. Characters are always the best part of every story for me, so as you can imagine, that is where I spent the majority of my focus! This book takes place many years after the first novel, and Slyvie’s life hasn’t exactly turned out as she planned but she has cherished the pieces that she held on to, most dearly her adopted daughter, Rose. When Rose goes missing, Slyvie is confronted with more than just fear at losing her precious daughter – fear of losing everything that she has found her identity in. I loved seeing how Slyvie’s character grew throughout the story. She was such a strong character even at the beginning, but she grew even stronger throughout it, while still showing gentleness of spirit, and learning that it is perfectly good to rely on others at times too. We don’t need to be self-sufficient – and indeed, we are never really self-sufficient at all; God is our strength, and Slyvie learned this lesson for herself, learning how to let go and trust Him. It really was a beautiful message, and it played across the pages so naturally.Kristoff was the perfect gentleman! Truly a respectable and entirely loveable hero. He was never pushy or forceful, but always enduring, always loving – yet he had his own weaknesses certainly, and seeing his own journey progress alongside Slyvie’s was very enjoyable to be apart of. I truly enjoyed this book, and I think I can say it might just be my most favorite of the author’s works I’ve had the pleasure of reading so far. “Shadows of the White City” was beautifully written with fantastic characters, and a moving plot – a wonderful read for sure!!
*I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher for being on the launch team. I was not required to give a positive review.