LEX Copyright Iroda / LEX Copyright Office

by Sara Donati

THE GILDED HOUR by Sara Donati

THE GILDED HOUR, the first book in a stunning new series by bestselling Wilderness Series author Sara Donati. It's a magnificent epic about two women doctors making their way in a man’s world of medicine and the transcendent power of courage and love set during New York City’s Gilded Age of the late 1800s.

Over 1 million copies of The Wilderness Series were sold, and OUTLANDER author Diana Gabaldon described it as "one of those rare stories that let you breathe the air of another time, and leave your footprints on the snow of a white, strange place.”

Publication: US: Berkley, September 1, 2015

The Wilderness Series US: Bantam Dell; UK: Harper Collins; ANZ: Random House Australia

Translation rights sold: Heyne Verlag (German), Emece Editores (Spanish): Books 1 & 2; Salamandra (Spanish): Book 3; Egmont Richter (Swedish)

Cousins Anna and Sophie Savard have never had a traditional life. Both orphaned as children, they were raised like sisters by their widowed Aunt Quinlan, growing up at her beloved Waverley Place in downtown Manhattan. Though each other’s opposites in many ways—Anna bold and outspoken, fair skinned and dark haired, and Sophie, calm and graceful, with dark, honey-colored skin and auburn hair, a blend of her unique French, Mohawk and African roots—the two are tightly bound by history and blood and a shared strength to defy convention.

New York’s Gilded Age of the 1870s is a time of great contrast and contradiction—ostentatious wealth and extreme poverty, sprawling, exquisite homes on wide streets lined with fruit trees set against filthy and overcrowded, epidemic-plagued tenements.

Anna and Sophie are far from blind to the divides, however, and far from willing to embrace a boring life of leisure—Anna is a surgeon, Sophie an obstetrician. Life as a female physician at the time is predictably difficult—especially as postal inspector Anthony Comstock wages war against anyone involved in contraception and abortion efforts, a cause the cousins feel strongly about—but they love their careers and their lives. Even if they are 28 and single and, by most standards of the day, undeniably spinsters.

Anna is too consumed with work to put much thought into romance, and Sophie has been in love with Cap Van Gilder, the cousins’ childhood best friend, since the summer she turned 16. And though he has proposed on many occasions, Sophie has always said no, afraid of how his privileged life would change if he married a woman of color. But Cap persisted—until he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and cut her out of his life completely.

But when Anna finds herself involved with two newly orphaned sisters desperate to find their missing brothers, her path crosses with the unnervingly charming Detective Sergeant Jack Mezzanotte. And for reasons beyond her control, their paths seem to keep crossing, much to her consternation—and, more confusingly, her delight.

And Sophie, despite Cap’s refusal to speak to her, can’t stop researching ways to help his condition—even if it means convincing him to go with her to Switzerland for a new and experimental treatment.

As the cousins both face new challenges and new opportunities, Anna and Sophie must decide where their loyalties and passions lie, and what—or who—truly matters most.


“Donati, a skillful storyteller, easily weaves historical fact with romantic ambience to create a dense, complex design... [INTO THE WILDERNESS is] exemplary historical fiction, boasting a heroine with a real and tangible presence.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Epic in scope, emotionally intense, INTO THE WILDERNESS... is an enrapturing, grand adventure.”—Bookpage

"Skillfully told ... [DAWN ON A DISTANT SHORE is] a captivating romantic historical saga [that] brings a tumultuous era and dashing characters to life in what promises to be a very popular and rewarding series."— Booklist

“[LAKE IN THE CLOUDS is] a sweeping, highly enjoyable historical adventure-love story.”—Booklist

“[FIRE ALONG THE SKY is] an entertaining novel held together by the kind of family loyalties that defy cruelty, war and even fate itself.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“[QUEEN OF SWORDS is a] smoothly written, engrossing adventure …yet it’s more than that. Donati also delves into much deeper realities, such as race and prejudice in one of America’s famously multicultural cities, the complex patterns of revenge, the price of loyalty during wartime, and the transformative power of love. Avid historical fiction and romance readers will devour it.”—Booklist