Review & Giveaway: Where The Light Enters by Sara Donati


Title: Where The Light Enters (The Waverly Place Series #2)

Author: Sara Donati

Published: September 17th 2019, Bantam

Status: Read September 2019, courtesy PenguinRandomHouse Au

From the international bestselling author of The Gilded Hour comes Sara Donati’s enthralling epic about two trailblazing female doctors in nineteenth-century New York

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. Unable to ignore the plight of New York’s less fortunate, these intrepid cousins draw on all resources to protect their patients.


My Thoughts:

Where The Light Enters by Sara Donati is an engrossing, complex story of historical fiction, a superb sequel to The Gilded Hour.

Though Where The Light Enters could be read as a stand-alone, I personally wouldn’t recommend it. The tale begins a few months after the end of The Gilded Hour with an exchange of letters, newspaper articles, and other correspondence between Sophie in Switzerland and her extended family, just before Cap’s death. It is Spring when she returns home to New York City, and once again the reader is drawn into the personal and professional lives of Drs. Anna and Sophie Savard, and a growing ensemble cast.

Donati combines heartfelt family drama and an intriguing mystery within a richly detailed historical setting.

I was delighted to return to Waverly Place, and reacquaint myself with the residents of ‘Roses’ and ‘Weeds’. The Drs. Savard remain strong, independent, compassionate women supported by a caring extended family of relatives and friends. Anna and her husband Jack are challenged by the loss of their charges, though kept busy be their respective positions. Sophie, while still in mourning, is making plans to establish a scholarship program, having moved into Stuyvesant Square, (later christened ‘Doves’ and ‘Lark’ by Lia). A handful of new characters are introduced as Sophie takes on staff, while others introduced previously take on a larger role.

I was very relieved that there was finally a resolution to the fascinating mystery involving the sensational murders of nine women that began in The Gilded Hour. Nicholas Lambert identifies another shocking murder he believes is related in Where The Light Enters which allows Jack and Oscar to reopen the case and follow up on new leads. I had correctly surmised the identities of the guilty parties (mostly), but when revealed, the motivation was more distressing than I expected.

With authentic and compelling detail Donati illustrates the physical and social dichotomy of New York City in the 1800’s. She highlights the hypocrisy of religious and moral fervour, the inequalities supported by law, the racism that results in warring immigrants, and the vibrancy of a busy city constantly reinventing itself., where apartment buildings with marble floors and crystal sconces, overlook crowded, vermin infested tenements.

Beautifully written, with absorbing storylines and richly drawn characters, this series is proving to be worth the investment. There are minor threads left unresolved in Where The Light Enters that no doubt will be explored in the next instalment of the Waverly Place series, which I’m very much looking forward to.


Available from PenguinRandomHouse



Courtesy of PenguinRandomHouse Australia,

I have 1 print edition of

Where The Light Enters by Sara Donati

to giveaway to one lucky Australian resident.

Please leave a comment on this post and


Congratulations Katy E!

*PLEASE NOTE: Only Australian residents are eligible to enter*

Entries close October 5th, 2019

The giveaway will be random drawing on October 6th and the winner will be notified by email within 48 hours



(Click to visit the tour participants)

See my thoughts on The Gilded Hour (The Waverly Place Series #1) by Sara Donati 

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary Preston
    Sep 22, 2019 @ 09:38:31

    I will read THE GILDED HOUR first. This sounds like a superb read.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Claire Louisa
    Sep 22, 2019 @ 11:25:07

    I used to read Sara Donati’s books, I need to revisit them and this new series.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? | book'd out
  4. Helen Murdoch
    Sep 24, 2019 @ 01:03:40

    This one sounds awfully good! And, on a side note, I’ve found another good Australian TV show: The Heart Guy. Have you seen it?

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Jan
    Sep 25, 2019 @ 01:07:13

    I haven’t read either of these books, but think I might have the Gilded Hour to read??! Need to search for these books…lol



  6. Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
    Sep 25, 2019 @ 10:12:47

    Wonderful review. I have The Gilded Hour on my wishlist, looks like I will be adding this as well!

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Sherryl Caulfield
    Sep 27, 2019 @ 12:32:37

    Hi There. I’m looking forward to reading this book. It’s heartening to know the Wilderness series lives on in a small way!

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Marg
    Sep 27, 2019 @ 15:21:05

    I can’t wait to read this. I’ve been a fan of Sara Donati for a long time and met my close group of online friends from all around the world through her website years ago

    Liked by 1 person


  9. Karl Schaffarczyk
    Sep 27, 2019 @ 19:29:04

    This is a new author for me. I’m looking forward to reading her work!



  10. Noelene Trost
    Oct 02, 2019 @ 16:08:41

    I love discovering new authors. I would love to read this.



  11. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  12. Trackback: Book Review: Where The Light Enters by Sara Donati (3/5) | Taking On a World of Words

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