New Release!Selected by Kirkus Reviews for Best Indies Books of August 2022 Booklist "An impressive and thoughtful exploration of the mistakes good people make." Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Sherry Robinson, award-winning author of Blessed, returns with a daring novel about social taboos, secrets, grief, and self-discovery. Shadows Hold Their Breath takes place with the backdrop of the 1970s feminist movement and in the final years of the Vietnam War. It tells the story of Kat Hunter, a woman who decides that the only way she can understand her unresolved grief and discover who she is meant to be is to do the unthinkable—the unforgivable. In October 1979, six years after suffering the loss of Beth, her dear friend and sister-in-law, to enemy mortar fire near the village of Quảng Ngãi, Vietnam, Kat begins to question everything about her traditional life. In the middle of the night, she slips away from her home in Lexington, Kentucky, her husband, and her three young daughters and boards a Greyhound bus with no specific destination in mind. On the bus, she meets Molly, a young woman who reminds her of Beth. With nowhere else to go, Kat follows Molly and Molly’s boyfriend, Jake, to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Once there, Kat joins the artists community and guards the secret that she is married and has abandoned her children to the care of her husband. Kat’s journey of self-discovery ultimately leads her down an unexpected path—but what is she willing to sacrifice for that journey? Cover art: Annelisa Hermosilla
“A durable love that celebrates resilience fuels Small Acreages, in essays that range from satire to self-reflection, humor to history. Stamper’s clear, graceful style and passion for place bring Wendell Berry's work to mind. But Stamper fills a space that Berry cannot: she writes a woman’s experience of family, community and landscape, as housewife, historian, teacher, daughter, thinker, and mother. The essays in Small Acreages shed light on who we are—all of us—and how we might proceed from here—Leatha Kendrick, author of And Luckier.
Small Acreages completes a trilogy of connected essays told in Georgia Green Stamper’s unique Kentucky voice. In Small Acreages, readers are returned to Stamper’s Eagle Creek world and its colorful characters, but her voice has both deepened with time and widened to include her journey beyond Natlee. Many of the essays in this new collection are reflective or as Stamper phrases it, she hopes “to add a handful of words to the ongoing conversation about what it means to be human.” Her wry humor endures, however, popping into even the most poignant of pieces, grounding her, cutting through the absurd as her daddy taught her to do, reminding her as her mother did that “you might as well laugh.”
Small Acreages introduces new essays to her readers and collects some of Stamper’s most requested and popular essays from her earlier books. Returning readers will not be disappointed as they reconnect with Stamper’s unique world. New readers will delight in discovering this authentic Kentucky voice. Both will find her voice true as she weaves effortlessly between the lyrical to the vernacular, from sublime topics to the mundane. With wisdom and humor and compassion, Stamper reminds all readers that if we strive to unite with the universe, we must pay attention to the “small acreages that have been entrusted to us” for safekeeping.
Cover art: Jana Kappeler