The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova  


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.


Alexandra has just move to Bulgaria to teach English. She accidentally ends up with someone else’s bag. The contents of this bag send her searching throughout Bulgaria for the rightful owner. 

Alexandra is extremely naive in a new country. I sometimes wanted to pop her upside the head and say “THINK WOMAN!” As she is searching for the owner of the bag, she befriends a strange taxi driver. They travel through Bulgaria in search of the owner of the bag. Many learning experiences later….

This is a winding tale. It is beautifully written just very slow going.  It took forever to get anywhere and believe me…we were all over Bulgaria. I enjoyed the historical aspect to the novel. I did not realize the communist history of Bulgaria. I learned a great deal. However, this story meandered way too much for me. Some people enjoy slow soothing reads. This book is for you if that is you taste in reads. I need more action! 

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.

Purchase here

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About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 5 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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1 Response to The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova  

  1. macjam47 says:

    An terrific review, Reeca. Though the storyline sounds enthralling, I have a difficult time sticking with a slow read. I will probably pass on this one.

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