• NZ Booklovers

Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati

Updated: Oct 7, 2019


As reviewed on The Cafe, TV3!



Sara Donati is the author of eight historical novels set in the United States. Her latest novel is the sequel to The Gilded Hour, but you don’t need to read the previous book to enjoy her new novel Where the Light Enters.


This is a historical novel that combines romance and mystery to tell the story of two trailblazing doctors in nineteenth-century New York. Dr Sophie Savard has been in Switzerland with her beloved husband who is battling tuberculous. She is devastated when he dies but she arrives back in New York to rebuild her life. She is a wealthy widow and she intends to use her resources to help young women who want to study medicine and she makes plans to open her large home for this purpose.


Dr Anna Savard is Sophie’s dearest friend and cousin, and Anna provides her with immeasurable support during this time. But Anna is nursing her own hurt, after three foster children she was caring for were ripped away from them by order of the court as she and her husband weren’t Roman Catholic. And it’s not long before both women are drawn into a case of murder and mystery.

This comes about because Anna’s husband is a police detective and he asks them to consult on his cases. The first is about a young woman who seems to have disappeared into thin air. The second is the corpse of a young woman with baffling wounds. And then there are these terrible cold cases of murdered woman that all seem to be linked. It would seem a killer is on the loose…


Where the Light Enters is a doorstop of a book, but it’s a page turning read. I confess when I saw the opening of the book had letters and newspaper reports, I didn’t think I would enjoy the book at all – but this technique cleverly gets you hooked into the story, and the rest of the book is completely enthralling, with just the right blend of history, mystery and romance. And if you are curious about the title of the book, you will understand its meaning near the end of the book.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Published by Penguin Random House

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