Meg Townsend and her sister, Sylvie, seek a quiet existence managing the family bookshop. Meg feels responsible for caring for their father, Stephen, whose spirit and health are both damaged from his time as a prisoner during the Civil War. Her one escape is the paintings she creates and sells in the bookshop.
Then the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago's business district. The fiery explosions and chaos stir up memories of war for Stephen as he runs from the blaze and becomes separated from his daughters. Days later, when the smoke has cleared, Meg and Sylvie manage to reunite with him. Their home and shop are lost, and what's left among the ashes may be even more threatening than the flames, for they learn that a close friend was murdered the night of the fire--and Stephen has been charged with the crime. After he is committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum, where they cannot visit him, Stephen feels as lost to them as the shop that now lies in rubble.
Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life but prove the truth of what happened that night, before the asylum truly drives her father mad.
This story is has many historical facts written into it, but the actual main characters are works of fiction. From the historical point of view this story was interesting. However I struggled to read this book, as it seemed to be all bad news for this family. It just wouldn't capture my imagination and I will admit to putting the book down a few times.
However I perservered and I found that by the last third of the book I was starting to enjoy the book a bit more. The love story between Meg and Nate was the only uplifting thing to me in this book. This is the first book in The Windy City Saga, and I hate to say this I don't think I will be reading the rest in the series.
Star out of 5 : 2.5 When reading a book it shouldn't be hard work; this was hard work.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".