‘The Shadow Land’: A rally across a mysterious country called Bulgaria

Written by on June 15, 2017 in Leisure - Comments Off on ‘The Shadow Land’: A rally across a mysterious country called Bulgaria

“The Shadow Land” is out, a novel by Elizabeth Kostova, an American author whose first novel “The Historian” sold like warm bagels. Bulgaria is the land the new mystery novel is set in. The small country on the South-Eastern tip of Europe is therefore Shadow Land. And, in this story, it is haunted.

In the novel, Alexandra Boyd, an American woman much like her creator Elizabeth Kostova, comes to the “elegant Eastern European city” of Sofia. The mysterious part starts when she helps an elderly couple into a taxi (let’s hope it was a good one) and keeps one of their bags, by accident. In that bag she finds a wooden box engraved with the name Stoyan Lazarov. The next moment she finds out she is actually holding an urn with human ashes.

What follows, is what critic Katherine A. Powers accurately calls a point-to-point rally through Bulgaria.

With Bobby, an intellectual taxi driver from Sofia, she runs from place to place like a headless hen, running into stray dogs and mysteries, such as a hidden compartment in the urn, which contains a secret manuscript. The search for clues takes her to a monastery close to Sofia, to Plovdiv, Yambol and probably all the places author Elizabeth Kostova has been to in real life, while discovering Bulgaria with her Bulgarian husband, who is a computer programmer.

Alexandra Boyd has to uncover the secrets of a talented musician and learn that knowledge is fraught with its own danger. According to the publisher Penguin Random House, “The Shadow Land”  is a “tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century and traverses the culture and landscape of this mysterious country”.

The new novel got a lot of praise from the start. The Oprah Magazine called it “engrossing”, the Boston Globe “exquisite”.

“Shadow Land” by Elizabeth Kostova can be found at Amazon U.K. and many other places.

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.