The Shadow Land: A Novel

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Alexandra Boyd has never gotten over the presumed death of her teenage brother, who disappeared during a family hike. Years later, Alexandra travels to Bulgaria, a place she and her brother had always been drawn to. Immediately upon arriving, however, Alexandra’s quest for healing derails. While trying to help an elderly couple with their baggage, Alexandra accidentally takes one of their parcels–and discovers that it contains an urn full of human ashes, marked with the name Stoyan Lazarov. Her taxi driver, Bobby, gamely helps her as she tries to track the couple down, but Alexandra quickly comes to see that this errand will not be straightforward. As she and Bobby face increasingly sinister threats, they learn more about the man whose ashes they hold–and the secrets that someone in Bulgaria will do whatever it takes to keep hidden.

The story of Stoyan Lazarov is also the story of Bulgaria’s wretched history, of which Kostova writes movingly. Lazarov, a violinist and adoring father, spends years in Bulgaria’s horrendous work camps, and Kostova weaves his personal history among Alexandra’s precarious search for his family. Reading The Shadow Land is an immersive experience, and fans of Kostova’s work should welcome another chance to sink into her storytelling.


Reviewed By:

Author Elizabeth Kostova
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 496 pages
Publisher Ballantine Books
Publish Date 2017-Apr-11
ISBN 9780345527868
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2017
Category Historical Fiction
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