Set against the backdrop of the Chicago Fire of 1871, this fictionalized account grabs the reader quickly. The descriptions of the fire and the reactions of the people were excellent.
Tom Silver, upset by the death of his adoptive son, Asa, goes to Chicago to kill Arthur Sinclair, the man he knows to be responsible for Asa's loss. Instead, he kidnaps Arthur's only heir, his daughter Deborah.
We soon learn that Arthur is a social-climber and one of the richest men in Chicago. He has promised his daughter to one Philip Ascot, a penniless man of Chicago's 'old money.' With the marriage, Arthur will attain his fondest wish - to be accepted by the upper crust of Chicago society.
Because the two main characters, Tom and Deborah, had so far to go emotionally, I was relieved that the relationship took a big hunk of the book to ripen. It takes time to move from kidnapper/kidnapee to friends, etc. By taking the long route, I found the relationship to be very realistic.
On the down side, the story is an oft-told one. However, Susan Wiggs wrapped it within a larger story (the burning of Chicago and its aftermath), lifting it out its common roots.
Chicago Fire Trilogy
1. The Hostage (2000)
2. The Mistress (2000)
3. The Firebrand (2001)
If you like historical fiction, this is a great story. The main character in the story gets separated from her father and her fiance, and gets taken as a hostage by a man who wants revenge on her father. The story kept me interested all the way to the end. Set in Chicago and Upper Michigan. Susan Wiggs is a wonderful author.
This is the first book by Susan Wiggs that I have read and I'm glad I've discovered a new author who has written many books. I read the book in just a couple of days. It is the first in a trilogy and I am definitely ordering the next two. The story is about a young debutante who is hostage, not only to her kidnapper, but to her father and fiance as well. The story is about her struggle to be her own person against these three men who try to keep her imprisoned in their plans for her.