A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, October 19, 2020

Where Light Comes and Goes by Sandra Cavallo Miller - Feature and Review


Where Light Comes and Goes brings back Dr. Abby Wilmore, the young family physician who was the protagonist of Miller’s first novel, The Color of Rock. Abby has accepted the directorship of a summer clinic in Yellowstone National Park where she hopes to expand her medical skills. She arrives to find herself working above the increasingly restless Yellowstone supervolcano, treating visitors, staff, and locals, all while evading the advances of a lecherous concession manager and maintaining a long-distance relationship with her partner who stays at the Grand Canyon Clinic. As tremors in the park escalate and the lakes seethe with bubbling gases, Abby learns that some-one is mysteriously killing the bison.

What follows is an engrossing mystery unfolding in a spectacular setting with rich, quirky, and endearing characters and unexpected plot turns. While an overworked Abby makes new friends among her clinic staff and patients, tension builds as the volcano seems to be moving closer to a major eruption and the bison killings become more frequent. Soon, Abby finds herself in mortal danger as the story races to a thrilling and unexpected conclusion.

Sandra Cavallo Miller demonstrated in The Color of Rock that she is a gifted storyteller. Where Light Comes and Goes deftly combines a gripping mystery set in the accurately depicted routine of a busy medical practice amid the wonders of Yellowstone’s magnificent scenery and wildlife. This is entertaining reading at its best.


Where Light Comes and Goes: A NovelWhere Light Comes and Goes: A Novel by Sandra Cavallo Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where Light Comes and Goes by Sandra Cavallo Miller is a 2020 University of Nevada Press publication.

Medical mysteries and intrigue!

This second installment in the Dr. Abby Wilmore series begins with Abby accepting a summer position at a clinic in Yellowstone National Park. This means a separation from her lover, but the change of scenery might be good for her. However, upon arrival she is faced with an entirely different set of problems that cause her anxiety levels to skyrocket- such as the mysterious killing area bison and an intense patient she would like to help but who remains an enigma.

I am so happy I stumbled across this series. The first installment did place more of an emphasis on the romantic elements, although it could also be classified as a novel of suspense. However, the first installment was all about setting the stage for future installments. Now that our main characters have been established, this story has a bit more of an edge to it, with the focus more on the mystery and adventures of working in a national park than on the romantic element. The characters in this chapter were also a bit more interesting, if I may say so, and I enjoyed meeting the people Abby worked with.

The setting, mingled with the medical conundrums, drama, and suspense are a truly distinctive combination. Abby is such a relatable and realistic character, and the well-drawn secondary characters add another level of depth to the story.

I am excited to see how things will progress from here- this series has a real potential to grow and develop- and could have a broad appeal across several genres. Anyone who enjoys mysteries, light romantic suspense, or medical dramas, will find these books appealing.

Overall, this is an interesting and unique series. It flows well, is easy to read, and hard to put down!



I am a recently retired family physician in Phoenix who has always been a writer in my secret heart. Very little fiction has been written about women physicians, and I find it a great challenge to show the struggles and triumphs of day-to-day practice in an entertaining and informative way. To show the human side and at the same time create an adventurous story. When not writing, you might find me on a horse, hiking with a dog, or exploring my latest hobby, volcanology.

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