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The Shadow Land: A Novel by Elizabeth…
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The Shadow Land: A Novel (2017)

by Elizabeth Kostova

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Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed The Historian, and Kostova's newest work, "The Shadow Land" - while very different - does not disappoint. I don't want to give away the story, since the journey of discovering it is the joy of this book for me, but the focus is a young woman's discovery of herself, of history, and of a country that's very foreign to her, but perhaps not so alien after all. ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
The vibe and local color in this book are both oppressive and vibrant at the same time - the there and back again feel of the to-ing and fro-ing necessary to connect the dots and generations with what went before atop a landscape that could carry both domestic life and the dark and light history of times’ past is extraordinarily well done. If you like violins, dogs, family loyalties and intricate plots in a locale anyone would want to know more about this story’s for you. ( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
Beautifully written (but rather long complicated plot) - sad history of Bulgarian work camps under communism and a current day story of family, friends and a young tourist following the mystery ... and a dog. ( )
  siri51 | Oct 28, 2018 |
I loved The Shadow Land. I think it might be one of my favourite books this year. I won an ARC of Elizabeth Kostova's latest novel from Goodreads, and I am so glad I did. Everything about the story drew me in. The misplaced ashes, of course, were a unique way to begin the story. Alexandra's determination was special. She was an amazing person. She was emotional, and had purpose. I loved how she felt about Bobby, about Neven, Stoyan, Jack, her parents. The trauma and guilt of Alexandra's childhood shaped her life, her goals, and led her to this place. Bulgaria. A country I do not know much about, but now I'd like to learn more. The Bulgarian perspective is not one I've read when it comes to World War II and what happened after the war. It was hard, scary and sad. People blaming other people, being punished for not doing anything wrong, or not agreeing with the new government. It seems like it was difficult to just live life. Alexandra learns about this country, about where she has decided to live for no greater reason than the memory of her brother.

As beautiful as the writing is and as interesting as the country is, it's the plot that moves the story forward. The urn and the mystery that unravels is unique and unexpected. Alexandra is just trying to return someone's precious property and she gets sucked into this incredible tale, along with an unsuspecting taxi driver, who has secrets of his own. I really enjoyed the duality of the plot, Alexandra's story, moving along with Stoyan's. Stoyan's story was simple, but extremely emotional, Alexandra's story was also emotional, but more complex.

I love a good ending and the end of The Shadow Land was wonderful. I loved how the stories met, how they came full circle. I loved the discoveries, the drama, the unexpected. The tension was fantastic, I was scared for Irina and Lenka. I really enjoyed the quieter chapters after the climax. I like that we got a hint as to what the future might hold for the main characters. I loved the friendships that developed through this story, across generations.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Shadow Land, loving it more than I thought I would. It was brilliant and beautiful. It captured the imagination. It didn't let me go until the end. ( )
  Loni.C. | Aug 17, 2018 |
I wanted to like this book, especially since I loved The Historian. But alas, the writing was nowhere as good as it was in The Historian. The plot was contrived and not remotely believeable; the dialogue was painful in several places, and some of the characters were downright annoying. It picks up in after the first third, when Stoyan Lazarov narrates some chapters, enough so that I finished the book. But not without some serious skimming to get through some of the cheesy interactions. ( )
  jpnygard | Aug 2, 2018 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345527860, Hardcover)

From the #1 bestselling author of The Historian comes an engrossing novel that spans the past and the present—and unearths the dark secrets of Bulgaria, a beautiful and haunted country.
 
A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi—and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes.
 
As Alexandra sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by oppression—and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger.
           
Kostova’s new novel is a tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century and traverses the culture and landscape of this mysterious country. Suspenseful and beautifully written, it explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss.

Praise for Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian
 
“Quite extraordinary . . . Kostova is a natural storyteller. . . . She has refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Hypnotic . . . a thrill ride through history.”—The Denver Post
 
“Part thriller, part history, part romance . . . Kostova has a keen sense of storytelling and she has a marvelous story to tell.”—Baltimore Sun
 
“Kostova’s vampire is no campy Lugosi knockoff. . . . Blending history and myth, Kostova has fashioned a version so fresh that when a stake is finally driven through a heart, it inspires the tragic shock of something happening for the very first time.”Newsweek
 
Praise for The Swan Thieves
 
“Exquisite.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Engrossing.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“Stunning . . . A beautifully written tale of art, love and an obsession triggered by both.”—Associated Press

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 06 Nov 2016 08:08:34 -0500)

"From the #1 bestselling author of The Historian comes an engrossing novel that spans the past and the present--and unearths the dark secrets of Bulgaria, a beautiful and haunted country. A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi--and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes. As Alexandra sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by oppression--and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger. Kostova's new novel is a tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century and traverses the culture and landscape of this mysterious country. Suspenseful and beautifully written, it explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss. Praise for Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian "Quite extraordinary. Kostova is a natural storyteller. She has refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner."--San Francisco Chronicle "Hypnotic. a thrill ride through history."--The Denver Post "Part thriller, part history, part romance. Kostova has a keen sense of storytelling and she has a marvelous story to tell."--Baltimore Sun "Kostova's vampire is no campy Lugosi knockoff. Blending history and myth, Kostova has fashioned a version so fresh that when a stake is finally driven through a heart, it inspires the tragic shock of something happening for the very first time."--Newsweek Praise for The Swan Thieves "Exquisite."--The Boston Globe "Engrossing."--O: The Oprah Magazine "Stunning. A beautifully written tale of art, love and an obsession triggered by both."--Associated Press"--… (more)

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