Category Archives: Sara Donati

Review: Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati

Title: Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 670 pages
Book Rating: C+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


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.


Set in 1884, Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati is a fascinating historical novel.  This sequel to The Gilded Hour is not strictly a standalone since the previous novel offers valuable information about characters, backstories and ongoing storylines.

Doctors Anna Savard Verhoeven and Anna Savard Mezzanotte are cousins who are quite close. Anna is recently widowed and returning to New York following the death of her husband. Instead of immediately returning to work, she is setting up a program to help women who are planning a future in medicine.  Anna is a surgeon who is married to  Detective Sergeant Jack Mezzanotte. They have recently lost custody of their three foster children because the church wants them raised in a Catholic household. Anna works long hours as a surgeon. Jack and his partner Detective Sergeant Oscar Maroney are investigating the deaths of nine women who are suspected of requesting abortions.

Despite the sometimes slow pacing,  Where the Light Enters is an enjoyable historical novel. Although the various story arcs and characters are quite interesting, the storyline gets bogged down in extraneous details. Sophie’s decisions following her return to New York add an intriguing layer to novel and readers will be eager to see what changes are ahead for her. The mystery aspect involving Jack’s and Oscar’s investigation into the murdered women is compelling but this story arc is on the back burner for much of the story.  The mystery element is wrapped is a satisfactory manner by the novel’s conclusion. Sara Donati’s research is impeccable and readers will enjoy learning about women in medicine and women’s rights (or lack thereof).  An informative and entertaining historical novel that readers of the genre will enjoy.

Comments Off on Review: Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati

Filed under Berkley, Historical, Mystery, Review, Sara Donati, Suspense, Where the Light Enters