Here’s good news: an excellent (starred) review of The Gilded Hour from Booklist — the review arm of the American Library Association (have I mentioned that I love librarians?) Here it is:
Donati became an internationally best-selling author with her Wilderness series and now presents a novel about the descendants of her earlier characters. As she illuminates life in America in 1883, she tells a compelling tale that dramatizes aspects of race, ethnicity, class, family, societal roles, and gender while creating memorable characters and intense relationships set against the bustle of New York City, as the Brooklyn Bridge rises and Anthony Comstock crusades against what he considers vice and depravity.
Cousins Anna and Sophie Savard, both raised by a Knickerbocker relative they call Aunt, are graduates of the Women’s Medical School and hardworking physicians who defy social norms by caring for those who need them most. Sophie, who is mixed race, loves and is loved by the consumptive scion of one of Manhattan society’s leading families. Anna meets a well-educated Italian American detective who helps her search for orphaned brothers, one an infant, who have gone missing after being separated from their sisters en route to a Manhattan orphanage. When Anna treats a woman who dies after being injured during a botched abortion, Comstock sets his sights on the cousins. This satisfying read, rich in interpersonal relationships of many kinds, is part romance, part mystery, and part serial-killer thriller.
— Diana Tixier Herald