In the Shadow of the Apennines

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Release Date: October 21, 2022
Pages: 360
ISBN13: 978-1737729389



An American divorcée. An Italian shepherdess.
Separated by a century, united by common dreams

The sleepy little Abruzzo mountain town of Marsicano seems about as far as Samantha can flee from her failed marriage and disastrous university career. Eager for a fresh start, Samantha begins to set down roots in her Italian mountain hideaway.

At first, the mountain retreat appears idyllic, but an outsider’s clumsy attempts at breaking into the closed mountain community are quickly thwarted when the residents discover Samantha’s snarky blog ridiculing the town and its inhabitants.

Increasingly isolated in her mountain cottage, Samantha discovers the letters and diaries of Elena, a past tenant and a survivor of the 1915 Pescina earthquake. Despite the century that separates the two women, Samantha feels increasingly drawn into Elena’s life, and discovers startling parallels with her own.


  • Feathered Quill Reviewer's Choice Book Award 2023



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"A poignant and hopeful story of one woman's search for herself."

-Kirkus Reviews

"An emotionally nuanced thrill ride. Sullivan's expert prose allows a deeper look at her protagonists' feelings, fears, and vulnerabilities. The novel succeeds as both a contemporary fiction and a thoughtfully told story of a heartbroken woman trying to come to terms with the new circumstances of her life. A tale of heartbreak, grief, courage, and self-realization that will resonate with many."

-The Prairies Review 

"A compelling literary work. Sullivan's novel is romantic in the way only foreign travel can be, with the prose beautifully describing the sights and sounds of Italy, as well as unveiling the captivating story of two women's seemingly disparate lives woven together across time."

-Self-Publishing Review

"From the start, Sullivan's remarkable storytelling drew me in and had me hooked to the end. The story is filled with delightful descriptions of Italian culture, the breathtaking Apennine Mountains, and details about the hardworking, courageous people who have called Abruzzo home for centuries. This is an unforgettable story about hope, finding the strength to face the past, and embracing new beginnings."

-Readers' Favorite

"In author Kimberly Sullivan's newest novel, Samantha Burke unearths comfort and solace in Italy's idyllic towns and cultures and an awe-inspiring journal of fortitude and adversity. A fascinating fiction with resonant themes." 

-Feathered Quill Review 

"An affecting  narrative that connects with the mind and heart. Sullivan has done a remarkable job by bringing a duality between two different women who lived at different periods.Their emotional journies become progressively aligned, interspersing the modern and historical."

-Reader Views

"With deep themes of determination and family amid desperation, fear, failure, loss of identity, and making mistakes, this combination of a contemporary novel infused with a historical backdrop is truly a worthy read."

-The Historical Fiction Company

Feathered Quill Book Award

In The Shadow of The Apennines medal