The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

The Shadow Land: A Novel by [Kostova, Elizabeth]

From the #1 bestselling author of The Historian comes a mesmerizing novel that spans the past and the present—and unearths the troubled history of a gorgeous but 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 political oppression—and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger.

Elizabeth 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.

In the beginning of this book, I thought, oh we have a mystery on our hands. A mysterious trio who have left one of their bags mixed in with Alexandra’s in front of a hotel in Sofia.

When a nice looking and very helpful taxi driver insists on helping her, she takes him up on it, not knowing that he is not who or what he says he is.

They travel to villages all around Sofia, and find some relatives and hear the stories of the family they are chasing. And that is when this became a gripping and heartbreaking look at what war does to people and how each person bears their burdens differently.

The descriptions of the country, the wars, the people were so complete. I love a book that can not only entertain me, but leave me thinking long after I’ve read it.

I loved every minute of our journey to Bulgaria!

Thanks Netgalley and Ballentine!

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