join us on facebook twitter debuts of the month
Search our site
The Stolen Bicycle by Ming-Yi Wu Read the opening extract of the brand new Ming-Yi Wu book before its publication on 26/10/2017

Reader Reviewed
The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
  

The Shadow Land

Literary Fiction   Books of the Month   Family Drama   Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   

RRP £14.99

Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

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

If you like Elizabeth Kostova you might also like to read books by Susanna Clarke, Adrian Mathews and Lev Grossman.

Reader Reviews

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.'
  • Val Rowe -'Another extraordinary novel from the bestselling author Elizabeth Kostova exploring hope after adversity.'
  • Teresa O'Halloran - 'On the whole this book needs some severe pruning back and it could then be a much sharper, bouncier read.'
  • Ellie Crowson-Jeffery - 'This was an amazing story.'
  • Sarah Musk - 'A beautiful, intriguing book about the resilience of the human spirit and enduring love.  It is also a thrilling detective story.  A winning combination.'
  • Glenda Worth - 'The Shadow Land is a novel incorporating mystery and intrigue with Bulgarian history, a violinist, and a modern day girl trying to escape her past. A great read with many twists and turns.'
  • Kathryn Whitfield - 'A beautiful but heart-breaking story you won't forget.'
  • Lucy Bunce - 'An excellent book with clear plotlines in the present and the path.  Tells the history of the country with some likable characters.'
  • Kate - 'Elizabeth Kostava is a true artist in storytelling, this book is no exception to those writing skills. She hands over to us a weighty novel of love, humanity, kindness, adventure and guilt.'

Win a Set of 10 Bloomsbury Modern Classics!

This month Bloomsbury has launched a series of ten modern classics chosen from highlights of the publisher's last thiry years, each with an eye-catching, iconic illustrated cover - and we have a full set to give away!

The ten titles are Restless by William Boyd, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale and The Little Friend by Donna Tartt.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. 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.

The draw closes on 6 November 2017. The winners will be notified by 20 November 2017.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 06/11/2017

Synopsis

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

Elizabeth Kostova

Elizabeth Kostova is the New York Times bestselling author of The Historian, which sold over three million copies, and The Swan Thieves. She graduated from Yale and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress. Kostova won the 2006 Book Sense Award for Best Adult Fiction and the 2005 Quill Award for Debut Author of the Year for The Historian.

Kostova’s fascination with Bulgaria began when, traveling to the country for research just after college, the Berlin Wall fell the week she arrived. She fell in love with the man who would become her husband, but also fell in love with this “beautiful, battered, and haunted country.” After more than twenty visits, her passion for the place and its history is tangible on every page of her novel.

Author photo © Yanka Kostova

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

11th April 2017

Author

Elizabeth Kostova

More books by Elizabeth Kostova
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

www.theswanthieves.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...

Publisher

Text Publishing

Format

Hardback
504 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Family Drama
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781911231103

Lovereading is a world of books. It has everything you need from new to old and much loved classic books. It even give you recommendations!

Kate Thurston

I 'Lovereading' because it lets me see what new books are around with a detailed synopsis and readers' reviews.

Judith Sharp

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

I love the honest opinions, recommendations for every genre and every reader, wish lists and Like for Like.

Amrita Dasgupta

The selections are so varied and the reader reviews are so helpful. A fantastic website for those who love books.

Ann Quintilla

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones

Lovereading is an amazing place to be, the website is wonderful and to me if I'm sad I'll go here and it cheers me up!

Sophia Upton

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools