Review of “Where the Light Enters” (The Waverly Place Series #2) by Sara Donati

Donati, Sara. Where the Light Enters. New York: Berkley, 2019.

Hardcover | $27.00 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0425271827 | 652 pages | Historical Fiction

4 stars

Where the Light Enters does suffer from a bit of “second-book” syndrome, with the story not being as continually engaging as the first book, in part due to there being a lot going on once again, and it feeling not as cohesive at times, both setting up aspects for as-yet-unannounced future books (as implied in the note at the end) and attempting to build on all that had been established in The Gilded Hour.

But it’s still a pretty good book, in spite of being a bit scattered, in particular the way Donati continues to develop her characters. I love the relationship between Anna and Jack, and how there really are no secrets between them. And given the way things ended for Sophie in the previous book, I was saddened at the revelation of her husband, Cap’s, death, even though it was pretty much a certainty, and her navigating widowhood and all the complications that can come with it (like being propositioned by another physician to beghin an affair), along with the continued development of the cases she and Anna find themselves working with, and the political opposition they also face.

I found the mystery a bit less interesting in comparison to the domestic and political facets of the story, but it is, as with the prior book, intertwined with those aspects, showing the complicated uphill battle for women’s rights during the late nineteenth century.

This is a fairly solid book, and the developments in this one already have me anxious for news about future installments of the series. I would recommend it to fans of epic-length historical fiction.

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