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The Gilded Hour

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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  8,917 ratings  ·  1,378 reviews
The year is 1883, and in New York City, it’s a time of dizzying splendor, crushing poverty, and tremendous change. With the gravity-defying Brooklyn Bridge nearly complete and New York in the grips of anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock, Anna Savard and her cousin Sophie—both graduates of the Woman’s Medical School—treat the city’s most vulnerable, even if doing so may put ...more
Hardcover, 741 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Berkley
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Popular Answered Questions
Sara Donati Hi Kathy -- I specifically wrote this novel so that it stands on its own. Really not necessary to read the previous series. Thanks for asking.
Lisa I think it's referencing "The Gilded Age"; when the novel is set.
You can look up the history of the term; it really fits the subject matter. :-)

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Jason Schmidt
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who can read
I'll say first and foremost that I loved this book. I found the characters intoxicating and fascinating. Their voices are incredibly present, their motives flow from scene to scene; I always understood why they did things, and how those actions grew naturally out of who they were. It was great.

The plot follows the evolution of a family of upper-class(ish) women in 19th Century New York as they encounter, and are changed by, the lives teeming in the city around them. It's difficult to go into mu
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Donia
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was ok

This story could have been stunning but in my opinion sadly, The Gilded Hour tries to tackle too many subjects. The book reads as though the author is trying impress the reader with all that she knows about 19th century New York City history. This novel would have been much more effective to have concentrated upon a couple of story lines and develop them solidly rather than flit around and laundry list everything that was going on in Society at the time. Most of the story lines I've read about n
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.com

I won this book in a GOODREADS GIVEAWAY.

I am so glad I won this book, otherwise I might not have ever seen it. This is the first book I have read from this author and I thought it was wonderful. It took me some time to read it, not because it was boring in the least, but because I read a lot of books at one time and this is a large book you want to take time with.

As you can read from the blurb the time is 1883 in New York City and you have the cousins Anna S
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Camie
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you like historical fiction and need a great long saga ( complete with list of primary characters) to read by the fireplace this is a great choice. Set in New York City in the 1880's, this is the story of two women Anna and Sophie ( referred to here as being Mulatto) Savard, who are cousins and though unexpected for the time physicians. It's a time before Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The Brooklyn bridge is being built, and the city is full of dazzling splendor and abject poverty. T ...more
Cathrine ☯️
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.25★ Thoughts on The Gilded Hour

I love historical fiction. At over 700 pages with meticulous detail to multiple characters and story lines including the city of New York in 1883, a reader who isn’t such a fan might find this one hard to get through. It builds slowly. That said I really liked it. I include a link that gives a better overview to anyone who might be interested in learning more of its background, especially if you are familiar with the author’s Wilderness Series.

http://thegildedhou
...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
3.5 stars

I found this historical novel, featuring female doctors in the 19th century, both enjoyable and frustrating; it will best suit readers who value immersion in characters’ lives over plot-driven narratives, and who don’t mind reading a long (732-page) novel only to have resolutions of major plot threads and mysteries deferred to the sequel. For those readers, the rewards include an extensively researched depiction of New York City in 1883, and a warmhearted story of a large and unusual fa
...more
B the BookAddict

I've made three serious attempts to write a review for this novel but just can't marshal my many thoughts into a definitive text. So, so much of this book is addictive reading, the characters strong and likable. I cannot wait to read the next part of the series and more about the Quinlans, the Savards and Jack, Rosa and Lia.

I'm sharing with you a review I think mirrors my experience of the book. It is by the writer Jason Schmidt. His review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Susan E
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a fan of Sara Donati's Wilderness novels, I've been looking forward to her newest book for a long time now. I was lucky enough to win an ARC of the book and was delighted to be reunited with the descendants of the Bonner family, now living in NYC in the 1880's.

One of my favorite aspects of The Gilded Hour was the level of detail in the author's historical research. I don't think I knew much about this period of time in New York history. The two main protagonists, Anna and Sophie Savard, were
...more
Jenifer
Sep 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook
I wanted a book about two female doctors in the late 19th century. While there is that plot line there are also too many forays into sexual liaisons and other plot lines that bog down the book.

As soon as I read about a penis head smacking into a belly, I couldn't read anymore. I'm no prude but the author is no romance writer either.

Oh well.
Alissa
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Oh, for CHRISSAKES, what did I just pay $12.99 for on Amazon? Based on the reviews, I was expecting a well-researched historical novel...instead, I got two ponderous romances accompanied by a one-note plot about women physicians in New York. They're women. Doctors. Women doctors. Did the author mention they were women doctors who went to medical school? Women. Abortions. Oh shit, a love story! Two love stories! Gasp! [Predictable sex scene that ends in shuddering simultaneous orgasms]. He touche ...more
Melodie
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The year is 1883 and in New York City change is in the air. There is very little middle ground in this burgeoning metropolis. There are the glittering rich and the poorest of the poor.Both rich and poverty stricken are over the top in their respective roles.
But amid all this are women and to a lesser degree men, blazing a trail of independence and social change. Anna and Sophie Savard are two of these women. Cousins,both orphaned at an early age, raised by forward thinking family, they are tra
...more
Taylor
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I received this book thanks to Goodreads Giveaways and the publishers.

I was excited to start in on this book because who doesn't love a good chunky Historical Fiction novel? It started out very well. I found the characters to be likeable and well developed, the writing was good, the story seemed interesting, and I appreciated the feminist stance that the author took in terms of opportunities for women and reproductive freedom. This book received very high ratings from other readers so I seem to
...more
MKL
Sep 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book needed an editor and a picture of Fabio on the cover.
Denise
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati confirms to me why I love reading historical fiction! The almost 800 pages could be daunting for some but each page was read eagerly with anticipation as I became more invested in the characters' lives. The focus of this saga is the tale of two independent, clever, strong women in NYC in the 1880's. Donati explores the plight of women's issues, especial the poor, immigrants with regard to their medical concerns.
Donati clearly wrote this book with the plan t
...more
Becky
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I have loved all of her other books but found this one a little long. I think what I really disliked was the pacing.It took me a long time to get interested in the characters though once I did I truly liked them. Then the plot, which I really enjoyed, sped up in the middle of the book & then slowed way down at then end & then it ended abruptly. While reading it I had no idea that it was going to have a sequel so I was annoyed that a couple of main ...more
Jeanette
Sep 05, 2015 added it
Shelves: abandoned
No rating. The style and flow is such that I have difficulty in following the characters or the storyline. Continuity is off, IMHO, and coupled with the subject matter and era placement, I'm just not at all connecting nor becoming interested. Way too many words to say way too little for me to want to attempt further engagement. It could be a good book, but definitely not for me. There are some pages I read 2 times and still don't understand their context. I tried this author before and had conne ...more
Liz
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have adored Sara Donati (aka Rosina Lippi) since the day I opened the first book in her Wilderness series so when I saw that this book was coming, it was an automatic read for me. I have to preface this review by saying that she would have to write a pretty awful book for me to dislike it and I might be a little biased by love of her previous work.

This book plops you down right into the middle of the lives of two women at its center, as well as all the wonderful supporting cast around them. A
...more
RoseMary Achey
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was totally engrossed in this terrific novel about two women doctors and their extended family in post civil war New York City. The characters are very likable and well developed. There are several subplots that keep the reader engaged.

The only reason I did not give this book five stars is the narrative around the romance. As one reviewer described "It was superfluous"- So true. The book stood just fine without the cheesy corset ripping or chemise lifting sex. I also wished author Donati woul
...more
CLM
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I am perplexed by this book. It was full of interesting characters and an unusual story line (although, while I am pro choice I became weary of all the detail) but the reader feels like she came in in the middle and then it came to a surprising stop at the end. It was 2 am and I was reading an electronic version from the library so did not have the expectation one has with a real book at nearing the conclusion. I was very surprised and wondered if I was so tired I had missed key resolution. But ...more
OpenBookSociety.com
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jeanie
http://openbooksociety.com/article/th...

The Gilded Hour
By Sara Donati
ISBN: 9780425271810
Author Website: http://rosinalippi.com/weblog, www.thegildedhour.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie

Synopsis:

The year is 1883, and in New York City, it’s a time of dizzying splendor, crushing poverty, and tremendous change. With the gravity-defying Brooklyn Bridge nearly complete and New York in the grips of anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock, Anna Savard and her cousin Sophie—both graduates of the Woma
...more
Jaclyn
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Gilded Hour is latest (and launch of a new series) by historical fiction writer Sara Donati. Having loved her Wilderness series, I jumped at the chance to read her latest that features the ancestors of the fictional Bonner family introduced in Donati’s Wilderness. It is one of my most anticipated reads of the fall. Here, the setting in 1883 New York and focuses on two cousins, Drs. Anna Savard and Sophie Savard. Both these young doctors face trials, both personally and professionally, and th ...more
nikkia neil
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
This book will seem very long and drawn out to some people, but I like these types of historical fiction where you get to know all the people very well. Fascinating history of female doctors and what they were thru. We don't think about how good we have it now a days.
Brooke Waite
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2106-favorites
Such a GREAT historical read!!!! This book is a behemoth at over 700 pages so I took my time delving into it! The characters are wonderful and with so many pages dedicated to personality and emotion and laying out each characters history they really came alive to me! The story is even more richly woven due to the intricacies of this period in time. New York, 1883, when much is happening socially, economically and historically.

It's about 2 decades after the end of the Civil War, the Brooklyn Bri
...more
Donna
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I often break my reviews down into a few of the things that matter most to me: story, dialogue, descriptive finesse, and character development, but I can’t do that with this one or it might be a lower rating. As a whole, this was 4 stars for me because it was a very enjoyable read (even though there were things that prickled me.)

I liked the overall feel of this and I think that is largely because of the characters. I liked them. They were endearing. The author created them with so much attention
...more
Emmy
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sara Donati is really an exceptional author. She takes the time to build up the characters and creates an complex story that you can't help but become invested in.

What I found particularly compelling were the similarities between the debate about abortion in the story (1883) vs today and the current Congressional hearings about Planned Parenthood. Despite abortion being legal today, the focus during the hearings on abortion (despite being due specifically to the alleged illegal sale of stem cel
...more
George
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-york, lacpl-ebook
AN ENGAGING STORY.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I asked unseemly questions of a well-bred, overeducated lady in split skirts. And I listened to the answers.” (p. 6)

I’m a pushover for stories about New York City in the late 19th century—the gilded age; and Sara Donati’s excellent, albeit very long (742 pages) tale, The Gilded Hour, offers one of the gentlest treatments of the Dickensian harshness of life, for many/most, during that era.

Cruel orphanages, workhouses, asylums, the Tombs—the
...more
Julie
I was prepared to give this book 5 stars until the author wrapped up the book without resolving major plot points. I enjoyed the subject matter and many of the characters although some of them were very underdeveloped. However, if I am going to commit myself to a 700+ page novel, I really do not want to feel short-changed at the end of it and that's exactly what I felt as this book wound down. The reader gets absolutely no resolution to really ANYTHING. I can only conclude that this means that t ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
"The Gilded Hour" is a new historical fiction offering from Sara Donati, author of the "Wilderness" series, which I would now really like to read. In this book, she takes us to 1880s New York and into the lives of Anna and Sophie Savard. Anna is a physician and so is Sophie, but she is also a "free woman of color," which adds another layer of complexity to her life. This book has a lot of intrigue and weaves an intimate picture of some fascinating characters.

The story focuses on the women as th
...more
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: New York City, 1883

Steam Factor: Mild

Anna and Sophie, medical school graduates care for the poorest and most helpless of the city's population,but this puts them both into dangerous situations.
Anna becomes involved with the corrupt orphanage system when she cares for four immigrant children.
Sophie, a free woman of color, is an obstetrician caught between her vow to heal and the constraints of the Comstock Act, which forbids the dissemination of information about birth control.
When Sophi
...more
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
„Złota Godzina” Sary Donati to nie tylko powieść istotna ze względu na podjętą w niej ogólnie szeroką tematykę kobiecości, ale także niezwykle ważna w kontekście zmian społeczno-obyczajowo-politycznych, które z zaskakującą historyczną systematycznością raz poddawane są bolesnym odczuwalnym restrykcjom, by zaraz znowu powrócić do pozornej równowagi, oddając wolność, której nikt nie miał przecież prawa zabierać. Poprzez niezachwiane postawy swoich bohaterek Sara Donati pokazuje, że pewnych kwestii ...more
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Retro Chapter Chi...: January 2016 : The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati 49 31 Mar 14, 2016 10:52PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Author's Name not listing correctly 4 16 Dec 14, 2015 12:02PM  
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1,753 followers
Sara Donati is a pen name of Rosina Lippi. Notice: Sara does not age. Rosina does. R is also here on Goodreads; any and all reviews will show up under Rosina Lippi, so she's the one to follow. Sara just sits here eating bonbons.

BUT: Sara has been busy. She has a new novel coming out September 1, The Gilded Hour. More about the novel here. Or you can have a look at the weblog. Rosina writes the pos
...more
“There was nothing predictable in this life, and very little that was fair.” 5 likes
“If this went on much longer, Mary Augustin told herself, her brain would be riddled with question marks, hundreds of little hooks set so deep they’d never let go.” 4 likes
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