• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati

ICYMI: This is excellent, layered historical fiction with memorable characters and a great big story to dive into on a hot summer's day.

I loved this and felt like it was the perfect 750-page summertime book to dig into.


Donati shapes a story in nineteenth century New York City based upon an unconventionally built family and a broad surrounding cast of characters--and it's all centered around independent women with unconventional women's roles in society at the time.


The Gilded Hour explores how these women's abilities and constraints intersect with women's rights of the time period, social responsibility, and conventions, all in an immensely readable book rich in period detail, great dialogue, and satisfying elements of love, mystery, and searches for justice.


This may be unfair and I may feel this way only because I spent so many happy hours in the lovely company of these characters and concerned with their issues, but a couple of important underlying plot lines remained oddly unresolved at the end--even keeping in mind that there's a second book in Donati's Waverly Place series, Where the Light Enters.


I appreciate the resistance to tying up complicated situations with a bow, but in a book of this length and depth when there's space to air out the story somewhat--and because of the energy and page time spent on these topics (Cap's pending demise; bringing a culprit to justice; locating the baby)--not addressing the final loose ends in a more head-on way (or at least the intention to let go of pursuing them) felt a little unsatisfying to me.


However, I just loved this story and Donati's storytelling too much to let any of that cloud my gleeful reading experience.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Donati has also written a series of four books in her Wilderness series, which sounds like an epic romantic historical fiction story set on the American frontier. Which I obviously need to read.