The Shadow Land
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April 2017 Book of the Month.
This is a beautifully crafted novel. Those familiar with Kostova’s writing will be delighted to know that her beautiful, descriptive prose has yet again created a masterful novel that will hold you entranced throughout as you immerse yourself into this gripping tale. In the spring of 2008, Alexandra Boyd, weary from travel and haunted by years of grief, arrives in the city of Sophia in Bulgaria. A chance encounter leaves her with a piece of lost property that turns out to be an urn of human ashes; the remains of some poor soul, now separated from his family in the hands of a stranger. Distressed and exhausted Alexander embarks on a quest to return the ashes to their family. Alone in a unknown city she soon finds herself accepting help from a young taxi driver who soon becomes as strange and mysterious as the quest she has suddenly found herself on. This is a deeply compelling story that moves from a seemingly simple search to return some lost property to a more profound and moving look into Bulgarian history and the effects of grief. Simply spellbinding. ~ Shelley Fallows
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
- Ann Peet - 'Gripping, enjoyable novel with a background of past and present Bulgaria...intelligent and thought-provoking.'
- Sabine Little - 'This is not a fast read, but it is a satisfying one, and one that keeps you thinking about humanity’s many stories, long after you finish reading.'
- Phylippa Smithson - 'Intriguing story but I found the delivery slow and plodding as the lead character seeks to reunite a package with its rightful owner.'
- Clare Topping - 'The author writes in a compelling way and her powers of creating a picture are excellent; at no point does it feel too wordy or as if any of the descriptions are overdone or superfluous.'
- Catherine Bryce - 'A brilliant and exciting read taking the reader on a journey of adventure in Bulgaria.'
- Sue Burton - 'Slow paced historical novel that left me wanting a bit more.'
Win tickets to the Borders Book Festival!
We have 4 tickets (2 pairs) to give away to one lucky winner to attend two Walter Scott Prize events taking place at the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival on Saturday 17 June 2017. One pair of tickets is for a panel event with shortlisted authors, and the other is for the Prize event in which the winner is announced and presented. Click here to find out more about the Borders Book Festival.
Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter. Multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once and the prize cannot be exchanged for cash and does not include transport or accommodation. Draw closes on 2 May 2017. The winner will be chosen randomly from all entrants and will be notified by 14 May 2017.
The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
Exactly at that moment she noticed the tall man’s satchel resting on the seat beside her. The sight of it went through her like a whisper of voltage–plain black canvas, the upper side closed with a black zipper. She touched it. No, it was not one of hers. It was similar to her smaller bag: but it was his, theirs, and they had disappeared into the city.
Alexandra Boyd has travelled to Bulgaria hoping to salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. But a luggage mix-up soon after she arrives finds her holding an urn filled with human ashes. Soon she will realise that this object is tied to the very darkest moments in the nation’s history, and that the stakes behind seeing it safely returned are higher than she could ever have imagined. This new novel from the author of The Historian and The Swan Thieves is a tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century. Suspenseful and beautifully written, The Shadow Land explores the power of stories and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss.
About the Author
Publication date11th April 2017
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CategoriesModern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
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