the gilded hour, or, yes, there is a novel in the works

Julius-Munkwitz,-Design 1883

It has been a while since the sixth and last volume in the Wilderness series came out,  but I still get email almost every day from readers who have very specific questions. At the top of the list is: you haven’t stopped writing, have you?!?

So here I am to say that I am working on a novel, and making some progress. This is not a prequel to the Wilderness series, and while I understand there is great interest in such a thing, I have no plans to write one.  I hope that people won’t be too disappointed by this, especially as I have an alternative to offer. Specifically,  I’m working on a novel which has the tentative title of The Gilded Hour.

Savard Family Tree
click for a larger image

This novel is set in 1883, primary in Manhattan, and the main characters include two young women whose names will be familiar to readers of the Wilderness series: Anna  and Sophie Savard, who are distant cousins. The family tree below provides better background on exactly who they are and how they are related.

I’ll be posting now and then about the novel as it progresses, but let me anticipate a question: it may take me as much as a year to finish it, and then the whole technical/business end of things gets started. So please don’t hold your breath.

77 Replies to “the gilded hour, or, yes, there is a novel in the works”

  1. Oooooooh Rosina – so excited to see a new novel in the pipelines and you know I’m excited about a good family tree! Let me know if I can help in the genealogy department.

  2. YEAH! I am just finishing for the 5th time the 6th book. I am so happy to hear more is coming…..

    Thank you.

  3. So glad to hear that you are still writing, Rosina. Sounds like an interesting project and I look forward to hearing more about it.

  4. #1 I love the Wilderness series and would love more book but am totally happy with what you’ve given us because it is brilliant.

    #2 I remember Anna and Sophia Savard and have plans to read your book as soon as it is available! WOOT!

  5. Big fan of the Wilderness series…got me through a tough Winter one year :)

    Also a big fan of Tied to the Tracks!

    Can’t wait for a new novel!!!

  6. I will look forward to a new novel! However, I will still hold out hope that one day the epilogue to the last Wilderness book, will become a full length book….

  7. So pleased to hear that you’re working on a new novel – and that circumstances have allowed you to do so.

  8. I loved your Wilderness series and have loaned them to my sister, who was very sad when I told her there was only one more for her to read. So, we’ll both be looking forward to the new one! So glad to know about it.
    Have just ordered Homestead, Pajama Girls and Tied to the Tracks!

  9. Best news in a very long time. I just finished re-reading the Wilderness series (which is something I do every Autumn) and the thought of more to come makes me very happy. I bought the books for my best friend and now she’s hooked as well. Can’t wait to tell her that more will be coming.

  10. Whacko, I can’t wait. Love your books, reread them at least once every two years and always find them absorbing and entertaining. Am sending good writing vibes your way :)

  11. This makes my day! I loved your Into the Wilderness series and check back periodically to see if you are working on anything new. So glad to hear that there will be more to come & that it will be related to the stories we all love…

  12. I am sorry that the wilderness books have come to the end ….but as the saying goes ” all good things come to an end ” I have and will re-read them again and again .Looking to your new book with all my heart ….

  13. I am keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that this series will come to be. I think I would read the telephone book if I knew that Sara Donati was its author.

  14. When does your wonderful book, The Gilded Hour, come out? I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. I love to read and re-read your books. I also love that you sometimes add characters from another author’s book.

    1. Rita: as soon as I have an idea of the pub date, I’ll post that here. But it will be at least a year, and more likely 1.5 years. And thanks for the supportive words.

  15. Loved the Wilderness Series and Homestead. Will patiently wait for your next novel. Glad to see you writing again.

  16. Loved the Wilderness series! So glad that you are still writing in that universe. I went out in 2009 and bought The Endless Forest (instead of getting it from the library) after reading some of your weblog posts about the realities of book publishing and authorhood. Enlightening.

    Anyway, will this new book be published as Sara Donati or Rosina Lippi? I have to know what to watch for in 1-2 years…

    1. Sara Donati will be the name on the cover. She’s laying low right now and letting me do all the work, however. And thank you for your encouragement. It’s good to know the weblog has been useful for you, too.

  17. Hi Rosina i am an avid reader of your novels from Australia. i have just finished the Wilderness series for the second time. So pleased to hear that you have another series coming.

  18. Just finished ‘Fire Along the Sky’ — loving this series!! Don’t want it to end!

  19. I’m so excited to hear you are writing still/again; not that you could ever stop… I have read the wilderness series over and over again – it’s very much my go to place when I need a comfort read (it didn’t start as a comfort read, I can assure you – but the characters are such friends by now). I do have a question however and it may not be answerable. Is it possible to get your books in digital format in Australia? I’ve searched and it doesn’t seem possible (and it may be a copyright issue that doesn’t really concern you). Anyway, such great news that you are currently writing.
    Kindest regards,
    Lara

    1. Thank you for your support, Lara. I thought you could get digital editions of the Wilderness books down under, but I may be wrong. I’ll check with my agent.

  20. So excited to hear you are writing this novel (series???). LOVED the Wilderness series which I found out about on Diana’s website after reading the Outlander series for the 10th time! This is the only series that can hold a candle to her books. Love the history & following characters through life. Can’t wait!!!!

  21. My son gave me the first 2 books in the Wilderness series for Christmas. I started reading and rushed right out to purchase the remaining four. What I loved most about your stories was that you surprised (or shocked!!!) me at times with the plot twists. I loved it when I can’t anticipate what is about to happen!!! Thank you so much for sharing this family with us all. I’m now on the hunt for Homestead.

  22. I am so excited to hear this! I’ve been a huge fan of the Wilderness novels, have all the books, and reread them all the time! I can’t wait till this comes out!

  23. I’ve read and re-read the Wilderness Series and felt very close to the characters. I second the comment about someday turning the epilogue of The Endless Forest into a book of its own. I needed more closure to several of my favorite characters, without spoilers, Simon, for example. I’ll look forward to your new book – hopefully a new series. However, I’ll still be around when/if you write a seventh book or more for The Wilderness Series. I want to thank you so much for your wonderful series!

  24. A dear friend mentioned she had just finished reading your Wilderness series and how much she enjoyed them. Fortunately, our library had them…and I would like to thank you for one of the most enjoyable reads in my 75 years…you are amazing! :)

  25. I hope the new novel is going well. I can’t wait to buy it! All of your books are wonderful, and I am in no doubt that this latest one will be as well. Best wishes to you for the remainder of 2013 and into 2014. I am so glad that you are still writing and publishing; you are one of my favorite authors.

  26. I just saw on Facebook that you’re writing The Gilded Hour featuring characters from the Wilderness Series. I am delighted! I have loved the series and re-read it a few times each year. I particularly like the family history, so thanks for the Savard genealogy! I hope that in the new book you will refer to characters in the earlier series, giving us an update about Hannah, Ben, Lily, Daniel & Martha, Gabriel & Annie, and of course Curiosity Bonner & Henry Savard, whose marriage was a very happy event in The Endless Forest epilogue. I still want to know how Simon Ballentyne died, and about Luke, and of all Nathaniel and Elizabeth’s grandchildren. I hope we meet up with them in The Gilded Hour. I wonder if any of the family served in the Civil War. Well, as you can tell, I’m a great fan and wish you well in writing the new book!

    1. You really do love my characters. This new novel opens in 1883, so you realize that most of the earlier people are no longer with us. And the civil war took a serious toll, as well. But I hope you’ll find it worth the wait.

  27. Thrilled to hear you are still writing I have read all of your books including the Wilderness series many times, but my fav is TTTT. Will the new book list Sara Donati as author or Rosina Lippi?

    Kim Nielson

    1. Thank you, Kim. I’m very fond of TTTT myself. Can I ask what worked about it for you?

      The new novel is historical, so it’s Sara Donati.

  28. I’m such a huge fan. These characters are so extraordinary. I find myself wondering about them now and then and then as if they aren’t fictional, but very real. That’s the mark of a masterful author, I think. I need to go back and read again. Didn’t Hannah and Ben have a little boy named Simon, after Simon Ballentyne? I remember Simon B. making a joke about the resemblance between them. Maybe my memory is faulty or I missed something in the epilogue. At any rate, I thank you for so many wonderful hours of reading, and while I won’t hold my breath, I would dearly love to know more about Blue Jay and Susanna. The coming together of that couple intrigues me.

  29. marly — I’m so glad to know that my characters stick with you. That is indeed a huge compliment. You are right about Simon, I’ll have to fix the darn graphic. And I empathize about your curiosity. I’d like to know more about Blue Jay and Susanna too, but so far they aren’t willing to talk to me.

  30. Loved the wilderness series, I too have re-read the books.I read your novels under rosina lippi, so I know your a great writer in any style of work. And have been checking back at your website for any possible new works in the making. And so excited , and hope there is even more works to come. I know authors tend to have other jobs. And lives of their own, but some time I just wish my favorite authors could just write write and write more of my favoite novels. But I guess we readers have to share you.

  31. Hi, I see above you are interested to know to know what people like about TTTT. I love the Deep South setting and its slow, easy rhythms, intriguing to someone from the other side of the world. I like that John is a highly intelligent man but thick as can be about women and I like the way that there is lots of prompts, but little is spelt out, like how Miss Zula knew about Angie and John’s history or the whole background to the bet between Miss Zula and Miss Maddie.

    On another book: in The Endless Forests you imply that Jemima has some dirt on Ethan. Do you explain what that is? If so, which book should I look in?

    Cheers and looking forward to reading about more Savards :)

  32. Hi there, I just checked the family tree that you provide here and compared it to the family tree in Into The Wilderness, and I saw that the child who is born to Hannah and Ben in 1823 was named Simon, yet you name him here as Paul. I had to consult the family trees because I was curious and I searched Into The Wilderness for every reference to the child Simon and nowhere does it state that he has a first name of Paul, just that he is Simon’s namesake. Am I missing something? I’m worried that I missed something important.

    Also, some questions I’ve been wanting to ask for a while.. What was the secret about Ethan that Jemima knew? I see that was asked previously. I would also like to know what happened to the Nicholas Wilde duo. Nicholas Sr, how did he die? Did he kill himself or was he attacked by an animal? I believe Nathaniel refers to “what was left of him”. Nicholas Jr, did he not have a mental disability like was thought when he was a child? I noticed he went on to become Ethan’s partner, so I’m guessing there was not.

    Your characters have deeply touched me and made me search out a simpler life, where I put down my electronics and live. Instead of losing myself in the internet throughout the day, I now rarely turn on my computer. I’m a better mother, wife and friend to my family because of it.
    I aspire to be like Elizabeth and Curiosity. You have given me role models I didn’t have when I was growing up and you can bet on it that my daughter will grow up hearing your books read every night (with age appropriate censoring when necessary), so she can have something to aspire to as well.
    It may sound really corny, but thank you for changing my life.

    1. You are very kind. It’s a great compliment to hear how much the stories have meant to you. You are right about the Paul/Simon thing — just an oversight. As to the other questions, I’ll try to get back to them soon.

      1. Thank you for your reply! I can’t wait to hear your answers. I am now on my fifth re-reading of your books. I have convinced my husband to read them with me this time and we go chapter by chapter and then sit down and discuss. We’re only on the first book but he is already very interested in the characters.

        I also made an error in my last comment. I meant to say I searched The Endless Forest for mentions of child Simon, not Into The Wilderness. I seem to always confuse the two titles.

      2. Hi Rosina,

        Did you ever get around to my other questions? I would love to hear what you have to say! :-)

  33. Hi – I loved the full Wilderness series and read the books twice – and recommended them to all my friends. I am anxiously awaiting The Gilded Hour and wonder if you have any timeframes for its release yet?

    1. Hi Denise — I think I need about another eight weeks to finish it, and then it’s up to the publisher. But possibly the first half of 2015. I hope you’ll find it worth the wait.

  34. Sara:
    I have read all the Wilderrness books and it took a year for me to get around to reading the last book, the Endless Forest..it was sitting on my Kobo all that time. I must say I cried at the end of the book when the editorial read off all the happenings and the characters dying off, and screaming NO! NO! I really thought another book could have been written. It really brings to home that we are born and someday have to die.
    I guess I was truly wanting it to be Endless. I will look forward to reading your new book.

  35. Hello!!!! My mom will be 87 years old on Saturday and I first introduced her to your books about 10 years ago. Into the Wilderness was her first book. She cannot get her fill of them. When she and my father did a coast to coast trip my husband and I had given them a weekend stay at the marina hotel in Everett, WA and she was so very excited to be staying near where you live and wrote from. I told her about the new book you are working on and she just simply beamed. She says she loves a good book that she can “get into”. She has had two cornea transplants and through the years there are occasional complications that arise from the transplants and it affects her vision. She’s currently in the middle of one such episode and the thought of another book really motivates her and gives her hope that her vision will return to where she can read them. When the book is released and once I buy a copy can it be sent to your publisher to be signed???

    1. Kim — I’m so glad to know that your grandmother is looking forward to the new book. It will be possible to get a signed copy, through a local bookstore who will send it through the mail. More info on this as time approaches.

  36. Hi June — That’s a truly great compliment, wanting the series to be endless. I hope you’ll find the next installment (and later generation) worth the wait.

  37. Hi! I know that you probably get this a lot from readers: “your books are awesome and when is your next book coming out?” So, I am not going to say that (although true and true). I must say, one day I was at the library and stumbled on your wilderness series quite by accident, really. So, here I was at a hot beach on vacation (the first hot sand vacation I ever took) toting around your book. I enjoy the fact that you have strong and realistic female characters in your books. I was wondering how you formed the character of Curiosity? She’s one of the more interesting people in the books I think. I thank you so much for writing the books that you do, because after reading the first three books I have found myself for looking at my family in a more patient and thankful way, and seeing my world in a different light.

    1. To tell you the truth, Chaisie, I wrote Into the Wilderness fifteen years ago now, and I don’t really remember who I was thinking about when Curiosity popped into my head. She arrived full grown and full of opinions, I can tell you that much. Wait, I remember that I saw an actress who struck me as physically right for Curiosity. She was in the film The Wide Sargasso Sea, but that’s all I can put my finger on right now.

      At any rate, I’m pleased to know you appreciate strong women. I certainly like to write about them.

  38. Rosina,
    To say I’m in love with the Wilderness series is an understatement…. I have read and reread the books too many times to count. The only reason I don’t pick up Into the Wilderness right now and start again is because when I finish the last book I cry my eyes out and go around in a funk for several days! Eventually I will come to the realization again that it’s worth it. I can’t resist a book that makes me laugh out loud and cry myself to sleep! So thank you thank you for continuing the Bonners’ story! Can you recommend any other books written as well as yours while I wait for The Guilded Hour?

    1. Hi Lenee — I’m so pleased to know you’ve enjoyed the series. I re-read favorite books, too. I think it was Oscar Wilde who said that if a book isn’t worth re-reading, it wasn’t worth reading in the first place. So thank you for your multiple reads and kind words.

      There is a long list of books I really loved enough to re-read, but I’m not sure what kind of thing you want. Margaret Lawrence’s Hearts and Bones is the first in a three novel series, long out of print but very much worth looking for. See, now that I think about it, I’ll have to read them myself, again. Ariana Franklin has a series that starts with Mistress of the Art of Death that I really loved, as well. Those are both historical series, if that’s what you like best.

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