Where the Light Enters…
About the Book:
In this spellbinding historical epic, Sara Donati (bestselling author of the Wilderness series) combines romance and mystery to tell the story of two pioneering women in nineteenth-century Manhattan. Where the Light Enters is the sequel to The Gilded Hour.
Obstetrician Dr Sophie Savard returns home to the achingly familiar rhythms of Manhattan in the early spring of 1884 to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. With the help of Dr Anna Savard, her dearest friend, cousin, and fellow physician, she plans to continue her work aiding the disadvantaged women society would rather forget.
As Sophie sets out to construct a new life for herself, Anna’s husband, Detective Sergeant Jack Mezzanotte calls on them both to consult on two new cases: the wife of a prominent banker has disappeared into thin air, and the corpse of a young woman is found with baffling wounds that suggest a killer is on the loose.
In New York it seems that the advancement of women has brought out the worst in some men. And Sophie and Anna are soon drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse . . .
I feel as though I have been waiting forever for this novel but in reality, it has only been a couple of years. I have been very aware of it for all of that time though as Sara Donati is generous to her fans and regularly shares progress and research via her Facebook page, ensuring that all of us who read The Gilded Hour have been eagerly awaiting the chance to get our hands on Where the Light Enters. It has definitely been worth the wait, but all of Sara’s novels are. Those who have been following my blog for any length of time will have seen Sara’s work pop up here before. She is without doubt, one of my favourite authors. Her Wilderness Series, which I featured here, and The Gilded Hour, which precedes Where the Light Enters, are nothing short of master classes on writing historical fiction that fulfils its true potential. Now she has another worthy addition to her stable of brilliance. Stop reading now if you don’t want to hear me gushing. Because I do not intend to hold back.
Where the Light Enters seamlessly picks up the threads left dangling at the end of The Gilded Hour. We are immediately transported back into the lives of the Savard cousins as though we had never left them. In this, I feel it important to point out that Where the Light Enters is very much a second book in a series. Some may read it as a standalone, but as a die-hard fan, I recommend reading The Gilded Hour first in order to maximise your appreciation for the world building and character depth that Sara Donati has infused into this series from the beginning. Fans of her preceding Wilderness series will enjoy the continued references throughout to those characters, who are the ancestors of Anna and Sophie Savard. Each time I noticed one of these threads, it was like a gift from the past. I loved the Wilderness series so much, and while not all good things can last forever, I am so pleased that some elements of it remain immortal through this new series.
Where the Light Enters offers readers such an immersive reading experience through its use of different mediums. The narrative is broken up with letters, newspaper articles, tables, maps, postcards, telegrams, court transcripts, police reports, doctor reports, and even household lists. Even though these elements are all fictional, they still offer such an insightful view into the history of the era. The research that Sara Donati employs is very much in evidence throughout the entire novel within the depth, breadth and scope of her setting and themes. As it was with The Gilded Hour, the focus within Where the Light Enters is on women in history, but its gaze is a broad one, encompassing a myriad of social, welfare, economic, professional, and health issues across the classes for women of all colours and cultures. This novel is huge, but it needs to be on account of its story depth and significance. It goes without saying that this is recommended reading. I have seen on Sara’s website that there is a third book in the making – we just need to be patient!
I’d like to finish with a few of Sara’s own words. They sum up what this story is about far more elegantly than I ever could:
‘For the most part I write about women who lived in male-dominated societies, who fought for education, acknowledgment, and self-determination, often against all odds. My curiosity about women who sacrificed a great deal to pursue a medical degree in the last half of the 19th century was the natural extension of the women healers who were central to the earlier Wilderness series, and so Anna and Sophie Savard are Hannah and Elizabeth and Curiosity’s granddaughters, women who lived their lives in Manhattan when women’s health was still mostly a matter for men to decide.’
And on that note, I leave you so you can get started on reading it for yourself.
About the Author:
Sara Donati, the pen name of Rosina Lippi, is the bestselling author of the Wilderness series. A native of Chicago, she lives with her husband, daughter, and various pets between Bellingham Bay and the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest.
Where the Light Enters
Published: 17 September 2019
Imprint: Bantam Australia
Format: Trade Paperback