LEXINGTON, Ky., March 28, 2022—Shadelandhouse Modern Press is honored to announce the forthcoming publication of Shadows Hold Their Breath, a new novel by Richmond, Kentucky, author Sherry Robinson, in July 2022. It is also pleased to announce the publication of an updated edition of Robinson’s first novel, My Secrets Cry Aloud (originally published in 2009), under the new title, Echo Her Lovely Bones, in autumn 2022, with a foreword by Silas House.

The Shadows Hold Their Breath book launch will be held at Purdy’s Coffee, 212 West Main Street (upstairs), Richmond, Kentucky, on July 23, 2022, from 3–4:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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 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?

“Like [Henrik] Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and [Kate] Chopin’s The Awakening, Shadows Hold Their Breath explores one woman’s decision to leave her husband and children rather than crumble under the weight of patriarchal roles. Kat is also burdened by grief and an unspoken love that perhaps even in her nascent self-awareness is still taboo. The novel offers no easy answers, no pure absolution, just Kat’s honest quest to accept—and live—her truth,” according to Marie Manilla, author of The Patron Saint of Ugly (Mariner Books, 2014; winner of the 2014 Weatherford Award).

Echo Her Lovely Bones allowed me to examine women’s lives through the lens of generational shifts in culture, and Shadows Hold Their Breath allowed me to dig deeper into the impact of those cultural shifts on one woman,” explains Robinson.

“Working with Sherry Robinson on her new novel—and revisiting her first novel (My Secrets Cry Aloud) for the publication of an updated edition under the title Echo Her Lovely Bones—has been an honor personally and for our press,” notes Virginia H. Underwood, publisher, Shadelandhouse Modern Press. “Robinson’s new novel picks up the story of Mary Catherine (Kat) Hunter, one of the seven women who live in the same house at some point in its two-hundred-year history, in Echo Her Lovely Bones (forthcoming in autumn 2022). In 2009, under its earlier title, the novel received praise from The New York Times best-selling authors Lee Smith and Silas House.”

In a November 20, 2019, interview with Foreword Reviews Editor-in-Chief Matt Sutherland, Robinson revealed, “I’ve just begun work on a new novel that picks up the story of one of the characters from my first novel….That character leaves her family—her husband and three young daughters—and it’s clear that she hasn’t come back after sixteen years. I think this is going to be an exploration of how fear influences the choices we make.

Robinson’s most recent novel, Blessed, published by Shadelandhouse Modern Press in 2019, received a five-star Foreword Clarion Review. It was also a Bronze Medal winner in Religious Fiction and a finalist in General Fiction in the 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. Additionally, it was a finalist in Religious Fiction in the 2020 International Book Awards.

Foreword Clarion Reviews  stated, “Noteworthy for the questions that it raises, Blessed is an appealing, thought-provoking work of contemporary Christian fiction.

Kirkus Reviews noted, “Robinson’s prose is precise but malleable as she channels the voices of her many characters and reveals their fears and desires. [Blessed is a] thoughtful religious novel…[that] asks many probing questions, using a light blend of mystery, tragedy, and reflection.”

Shadows Hold Their Breath will be available for preorder from Shadelandhouse Modern Press,, in May 2022.

Fiction | Women, Literary
ISBN: 978-1-945049-28-6
Paperback: 272 pages, $23.95
Publication date: July 19, 2022
Publisher: Shadelandhouse Modern Press

Cover: In design


Virginia H. Underwood
[email protected]


Author photo: Michelle Giles Morgan

Sherry Robinson, an award-winning American fiction writer, is the author of two previous novels, Blessed (2019) and My Secrets Cry Aloud (2009), the latter of which will be reissued in 2022 under the new title Echo Her Lovely Bones. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Kentucky and an MA and MFA from Eastern Kentucky University. Robinson is a native of Lexington, Kentucky. She recently retired as vice provost and professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University, where she spent thirteen years specializing in American literature before moving into administrative positions. For more information, visit and follow her on Facebook.

Shadelandhouse Modern Press, LLC is a Lexington, Kentucky–based, women-owned and family-operated independent book publishing company committed to the advancement of established and emerging writers, excellence in publishing, and the production of high-quality, entertaining, and artistic books. We believe that adults and children should have access to authentic and relevant stories that reflect diverse backgrounds, interests, and cultures. We publish authentic and compelling books for adults and young readers, including nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. The press, founded by Virginia H. Underwood, debuted with two award-winning legal nonfiction (history and true crime) books and has since published award-winning fiction, poetry, and children’s books. Shadelandhouse Modern Press is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association and an associate member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Poetry Society of America. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook,  Instagram, and Twitter.