In the exposition of "The Story of an Hour," Mrs. Mallard is described as being "afflicted with a heart trouble," a condition of repression due to femme covert laws to which she is subjected. When she hears the report that her husband, Brently, is presumed dead, Mrs. Mallard experiences "a storm of grief," but then goes to her room alone. While she sits in the privacy of her bedroom, glancing out the window where the promise of spring appears in patches of blue outside, she smells "the delicious breath of rain...in the air."
**It is at this point that the above sentence in question can be inserted.
Although Mrs. Mallard sits in a suspension of thought [use instead of "holding back manner"] that gradually manifests itself in a somewhat restrained manner, she feels "something coming to her": slowly she realizes that at last she is freed from a life that has been belittling and oppressive; happiness washes over her.