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Where the Light Enters

(The Waverly Place Series #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,192 ratings  ·  406 reviews
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
Hardcover, 652 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Berkley Books
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Cathy A clarification - only the first few chapters and the very last are letters. The rest is a regular novel with chapters. I finished the book a couple…moreA clarification - only the first few chapters and the very last are letters. The rest is a regular novel with chapters. I finished the book a couple of days ago and enjoyed it very much. (less)

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
While Where the Light Enters is a follow-up to Donati’s previous novel, The Gilded Hour, this beautiful book can stand on its own.

Dr. Sophie Savard is an obstetrician returning to Manhattan in the late 1800s. Her husband has passed away, and in many ways, she is starting over.

Sophie’s dear cousin, Anna, is also doctor, and the pair plan to continue working with disadvantaged women who are often forgotten.

Anna’s husband is a detective and seeks their help in solving cases. One is a wife who has
Miranda Reads
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it

The dead were not silent, if you knew how to listen.
Dr Anna Savard and Dr Sophie Savard are best friends and each other's closest cousins.

Sophie just came back from a harrowing journey - one that forever changed her.
...the trip to Europe as a bride was hazy in her memory, but she would never forget the voyage home as a widow.
And now that she's back, she's finding her old life just doesn't fit anymore.
The simple truth was: the more she learned, the less she knew; she ran and ran but
There are 661 pages in this book and almost as many characters (just kidding). DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED. This book is that good.

A wonderful historical fiction that centers on two cousins that are women and doctors. And yes, the year is 1884. I had no idea that there were female doctors in that year. (Since I started this book, I found out that the first female doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, started practicing in 1841).

This book has so many story lines to commend it. The most important is the death
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
First off, I won this as a goodreads giveaway. Thank you Berkley and Penguin Random House.

This book was jam packed with plot twits, and I rather enjoyed that. It turned out to be a very complex story.

The story takes place in New York City when the Dakota building was being built and when Comstock was still in power.

It is also a family story that shows who will always be there for you in your time of need.

I’m not going in-depth with the plot and characters in this review , for this is a book
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Multilayered, fascinating, and incredibly absorbing!

Where the Light Enters is a gritty, compelling tale set in New York City in the mid-1880s at a time when the island was bustling, female doctors were still discounted and frowned upon, reproduction and childbirth still had high mortality rates, and women looking for help with unwanted pregnancies had little or nowhere to go.

There are two main memorable characters in this novel; Dr. Sophie Savard, a young multi-ethnic obstetrician who returns to
Sep 14, 2019 is currently reading it
Giveaway win!
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loves
Some sequels try too hard to squeeze in a synopsis of previous books or to fill the timeline gap with internal monologues from various characters. Where the Light Enters is not one of those.

We come back to Anna, Sophie and their extended families with an exchange of letters and news articles. Donati draws you in from the start with this simple and elegant opening.

Where the Light Enters answers, in heartbreaking ways, some of the burning questions that The Gilded Hour left us with, while
Jillian Doherty
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An epic of a historical fiction~
Two trail blazing female doctors in the 1880s (I found myself Googling parts throughout the read – always a good sign!) set in NYC when The Dakota was just being built.

This meticulously research story focuses on an obstetrician and general sergeant, and the many obstacles they must overcome, especially Sophia who's half African American. Plus so much more!

Both doctors are called to help consult on a police case where a women has been found tortured. Opening up to
Large characters with heart!

I found this tale somewhat difficult to be present with at first. I kept thinking I'd missed something. And I had! The first book! However, in the end that didn't matter. As the story emerged I was swept up into its dynamics.
Opening in 1884 with a series of letters and telegrams between obstetrician Dr. Sophie Savard, in a sanatorium in Switzerland and her family in New York, as her husband Cap battles tuberculosis.
This in effect recaps some of the actions from before
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have previously read The Gilded Hour by this same author. I was so surprised to learn that I won ARC from Goodreads through Penguin Random House. I enjoyed The Gilded Hour and I couldn’t wait to read the continuing story. I was not disappointed.
Where the Light Enters is an epic historical novel. This book is set in NYC in the 1880’s when the Dakota building was being built, along with many medical mysteries and police investigations.
We meet again Dr Anna Savard and her cousin Sophie who is
Brooklyn Tayla
You can find my full review and author interview on my blog now live here:

A huge thank you to Penguin Random House Australia for having me on this review tour! Review included below, accordingly:

This is a follow up novel to the author’sThe Gilded Hourbut I feel like it certainly sits comfortably on its own. I certainly think that the story of cousins Dr Sophie Savard and her dearest cousin, Anna Savard, is more of a character journey rather than plot,
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a story! Although a follow-up to THE GILDED HOUR (released in 2015), this could be read as a standalone, though I'd definitely not recommend it. Indeed it is captivating and mesmerizing in its scope and depth of life in New York City in 1884. The hefty novel (670 pages) is great historical fiction and focuses on two very strong women, the Drs. Anna and Sophie Savard, cousins who are two of the few practicing women physicians during this time period. Related through a very complicated ...more
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
This is the longest book I think I have ever read. Good plot but mixed feelings. 3.5 stars
I have to start this off with a warning of sorts. This is a massive book. Easily 3 to 4 times the size of a normal fiction story.

With that said, the author did an amazing job developing infinite and minute detail in every piece of the story. In my opinion, this book is actually two books in one. Let me explain.

First of all, it would be helpful to read the first book in the
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
My introduction to the work of historical fiction novelist Sara Donati (the pen name for Rosina Lippi) began with a beautifully crafted and thoughtful letter to the reader.

“In order to write, I read and listen. You cannot write stories if you don’t immerse yourself in stories. You can’t write historical fiction if you don’t do everything in your power to understand the way people once lived their lives. I write historical fiction because there are so many
Sep 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I am obviously in the minority regarding my thoughts on this book. I did not realize it was a sequel to "The Gilded Age" until I was already about 100 pages in. As I was told the book could stand on its on, I continued reading. Ugh, I wish I hadn't.

For me this was a laborious read. There were bits and parts that held promise, but for the most part it felt like the author was just vomiting as much of her research as she could on each page. I didn't find the characters particularly interesting and
Barb in Maryland
4.5 stars Top-notch historical fiction set in 1884 New York City.
This sequel to The Gilded Hour(2015) was well worth the wait. Not only do we get a great family saga, but there's a very intriguing murder mystery as well.

Donati gives us well-rounded characters: I love them all, especially our two women physicians. Anna and Sophie Savard are cousins (thank goodness for the family tree!) who could not be more different in temperament; however, they are both dedicated to practicing medicine; to
Theresa Smith
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

**Enter to WIN for AU residents at 22nd Sept to 5th October 2019**

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
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing mix of genre, historical fiction plus some thriller element, that makes you read this book as fast as you can.
I loved this engrossing and entertaining book even sometimes I felt a bit lost as there're so many characters.
The character development and the well researched historical background were excellent, the style of writing is very good.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC,
Jackie Gorman
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to "First to Read" for selecting me to read an electronic galley of this book.

I am a huge fan of Sara Donati. I enjoyed the "Gilded Hour" because it brought me back in touch with characters from her "Into the Wilderness" series. Sara's writing is so powerful that you begin to see her characters as cherished friends that you want to keep in touch with. "Where the Light Enters" (WTLE) picks up the story of the Doctors Savard from the "Gilded Hour" (GH). I have to admit that I am somewhat
WHERE THE LIGHT ENTERS is a beautifully written novel. By the time I finished the book, I felt I knew the characters and their homes. This is a book I believe any woman would love. Taking place in the 1880's, the main characters are 2 female doctors and their friends and family in New York. Romance, family dynamics, murder are just a few of the topics covered. I highly recommend this book to all! I love Sara Donati!!!
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Okay read. Interesting read for the history of women physicians in 1880s NY. Story line read not so much, it was too disjointed, hopping from one character storyline to another, also felt like I was dropped into a series and missed out not reading previous books although it’s stated to be a stand alone book.
Beth Sponzilli
This a follow up to the Gilded Hour, a new series by Donati. Her beloved series Into the Wilderness is the story that these books are brought up from. Anna and Sophie are the decendents of the Wilderness book family. This is another great 1880’s New York crime mystery continuation from the last book. Love all the medical and criminology stuff worked around their domestic lives.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
The first book in the series is far more worth the read...
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story starts off with a page-turner then gradually it slows me down to a point I had to speed read and hope for the best.
The book is too lengthy at least for me. Caught myself wandering away from the story at times because of the drag and boring nature then it picks of steam and then falls in that boring trap again.
However, I would recommend this book for those interested in a really good storyline.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Where The Light Enters by Sara Donati is the sequel to The Gilded Hour and it didn't disappoint. When I read a sequel or a series book I'm always curious how the author will catch the reader up to what's happened previously in the other book(s). Sara Donati did an excellent job of catching the reader up to what's gone on previously. Usually when I start a sequel I find it takes the author 50-100 pages to do this, not here, she wrote it as though everything that happened ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was mis-titled. Based on context, it should have been called "1984." Despite its non-similarity to that famous book, it is indeed far more reflective of the social attitudes, concerns, speech, medical procedures, and political correctness of the late 20th century, than of the late 19th century it claims to portray.
It read like a modern-day T.V. fact, if NYPD Blue and ER were combined with a very convoluted (but not very good) Russian family saga, you might end up with a
Linda Lowry
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
A good editor could have helped this book tremendously.
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ehbooklover, margaret, laura
Where The Light Enters is the second book in the Waverly Place series and follows a few months after the first book in the series The Gilded Hour left off. It features characters and future relatives of Donati's popular series, Into the Wilderness - one of my all-time favourite series.

This is a fairly complex story with many characters (thank goodness for the character reference at the beginning) and an intriguing mystery. I love that the book centres around two intelligent, strong and
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was a giveaway winner for this book from Penguin/Random House (Berkley Marketing) and was so pleased to receive an advance copy. Having read all of Sara Donati’s books, I dived right in. Being familiar with her characters from Into the Wilderness series and The Gilded Hour, I picked right up with these amazing people. This can be a stand-alone book for those not familiar with her works, so no worries. It brings to life New York in the 1880s, with all its grit and back alley seediness. What I ...more
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There's a new novel coming out September 10,: Where the Light Enters. More about the novel here. or on Sara's FaceBook page.

Sara Donati is the pen name of Rosina Lippi, also here on Goodreads because she writes too. All book reviews you'll find under Rosina's name.

Other books in the series

The Waverly Place Series (2 books)
  • The Gilded Hour