My Review “The Shadow Land” by Elizabeth Kostova

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I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine for the ARC of “The Shadow Land” by Elizabeth Kostova for my honest review. The genres for this novel are Historical Fiction, General Fiction(Adult) and Literary Fiction. I like the way Elizabeth Kostova describes the landscapes of Bulgaria, and contrasts between the beauty of mountains and water , and the devastating destruction of buildings and land through various historical regimes in history. I am impressed that the author is so comfortable writing about Bulgaria where she lives, and has done much research into the history of the country.
Alexandra Boyd, an American is in Bulgaria, to escape the guilt of her brother’s accidental death. Alexandra helps an elderly couple and their son coming out of a hotel, and in the process finds that she has mistakenly taken some of their luggage. Alexandra notices that in their luggage is a beautifully ornate and decorated wooden box. Upon opening it, she notices that there are ashes and realizes that this is an urn.Her taxi-cab driver Aspurah Iliev,”Bobby” notices her distress and tries to help her find the family.
Alexandra goes to the police and discovers that the ashes belong to the diseased Stoyan Lazarov.a once prominent violinist. The police give her an address where the family might be.
Alexandra and Bobby start on a dangerous adventure seeking out the family to return the ashes. There are warnings,threats, and dead people. The characters are complex and complicated.
It seems that Stoyan Lazarov has had an interesting and tortured life, and the author writes a timeline in the past and present and shows how the different regimes in power are reflected. Someone wants that urn and is willing to kill for it. The author writes about good and evil, despair and hope.
I enjoyed this intriguing and descriptive novel, and would recommend this. Elizabeth Kostova writes and describes her country beautifully.

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