Shadows of the White City (The Windy City Saga)

Written by Jocelyn Green
Review by Linda Harris Sittig

This novel is set against the dazzling backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Sylvie Townsend’s life had taken an unexpected turn back in 1880 when she stood outside a Chicago orphanage. She was approached by a man down on his luck. He asked for help dropping his daughter off at the orphanage because he could no longer provide for her. Sylvie made a snap judgment and agreed to care for the little girl, Rozalia, until the father got back on his feet.

Thirteen years later, Rose, now 17, is still living with Sylvie. For Sylvie, a single woman who has always wanted a child, Rose is her dream come true. At the Fair, Sylvie becomes a tour guide, meets Kristof, a musician, and enjoys life. But Rose longs to find out about her parents and her family back in Poland.

Then Rose meets a Polish actress named Jozefa, who befriends her with ulterior motives. A week later, Rose disappears. Sylvie and Kristof search for her in vain, both fearing that she has become a victim of the white slave market operating in Chicago.

This superbly told story offers tension throughout and many unexpected plot twists. The descriptions of the 1893 World’s Fair and the excellent map at the beginning help readers orient themselves within the Fair. A well-paced story with credible characters; highly recommended.