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The Shadow Land
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
From the #1 bestselling author of The Historian comes an engrossing novel that spans the past and the presentand unearths the dark secrets of Bulgaria, a beautiful and haunted country. A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxiand realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes. As Alexandra sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by oppressionand she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger. Kostovas new novel is a tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century and traverses the culture and landscape of this mysterious country. Suspenseful and beautifully written, it explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss. Praise for Elizabeth Kostovas The Historian Quite extraordinary . . . Kostova is a natural storyteller. . . . She has refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner.San Francisco Chronicle Hypnotic . . . a thrill ride through history.The Denver Post Part thriller, part history, part romance . . . Kostova has a keen sense of storytelling and she has a marvelous story to tell.Baltimore Sun Kostovas vampire is no campy Lugosi knockoff. . . . Blending history and myth, Kostova has fashioned a version so fresh that when a stake is finally driven through a heart, it inspires the tragic shock of something happening for the very first time.Newsweek Praise for The Swan Thieves Exquisite.The Boston Globe Engrossing.O: The Oprah Magazine Stunning . . . A beautifully written tale of art, love and an obsession triggered by both.Associated Press From the Hardcover edition.
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Texreader
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Book suggestions for #readingeurope2020 #bulgaria. Fortunately I already own the tagged book and haven‘t read it yet. Or, I could reread one of my fave books of all times: The Historian.

Kimberlone Ooh I loved The Historian! Still haven‘t read Kostova‘s other book too! 7d
tdrosebud I have The Historian planned for this. 7d
Scochrane26 I didn‘t know she had another one. I loved The Historian but didn‘t like Swan Thieves as much. (edited) 7d
See All 11 Comments
Texreader @Scochrane26 I bailed shortly into Swan Thieves. I‘ve high hopes for Shadow Land. 7d
Crewgurl I ❤️❤️❤️ The Historian!!!!!!!! Swan Thieves was good, but nowhere near my expectations. I liked Shadow Land. 7d
lele1432 I really like these lists you made! I‘m taking notes! 📝 6d
Texreader @lele1432 Thanks!! I‘m studying very hard and choosing only books I‘d really like to read. Truly helped while book shopping today. This will make for some nice tbr lists for the future too! I figure since I‘m making them for me I should post them in case they‘re helpful to others. I hope you find some useful hints! 6d
Texreader @Kimberlone @Scochrane26 @Crewgurl I love reading how much others loved The Historian too. I‘ve read it so many times. It‘s just so so amazingly good. I‘ve read a few bad reviews, which shocks me. I think this book deserves all the love! Who of you would love to see it in a miniseries? 🤚 (edited) 6d
Texreader @tdrosebud I hope you love The Historian as much as the rest of us who posted here. It‘s crazy good. 6d
Kimberlone @Texreader would love to see a miniseries adaptation! I‘d have full trust in hbo doing a good job. 6d
Avanders I also really enjoyed the historian .. so if you read The Shadow Land I‘ll be curious to see how it fares! 6d
53 likes11 comments
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DannyOlda
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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I went on a blind date with a book at my favorite bookstore, Tombolo and got this. Definitely not a book I would have gotten on my own, but entertaining all the same. Nothing like a local indie book shop.

MaggieCarr I learned so much reading this title. I've added all the other by this author to my TBR and hope to get to them. Enjoy! 4w
DannyOlda Cool, thanks, @MaggieCarr , I'm looking forward to getting further into this one! 4w
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Tianarose
Shadow Land | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

Another stellar book by Elizabeth Kostova! This one hit me in all the feels!

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Tianarose
Shadow Land | Elizabeth Kostova
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Audio-braiding. This girl has so much hair! 👩🏾‍🦱 oh and this book just took such an emotional turn !

cswaingiggles Love the red!! 6mo
32 likes1 comment
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Tianarose
Shadow Land | Elizabeth Kostova
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Audio dishes!

43 likes2 stack adds
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Ddzmini
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

Just completely loved this lovely story 🥰🙌🏽

Crazeedi I agree 8mo
74 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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sparrowssavvy
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

I was really into this book for the first three hundred pages but the pacing really bogged me down after that. The story itself was really interesting and it was a rich and detailed portrait of Bulgaria. The writing was lovely and very poetic. But I found that the ending felt rushed in comparison to some of the meandering passages in this book. I utterly adore this authors book The Historian, and her later books have never lived up to that one.

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amok
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
Panpan

One of my favourite authors, but this novel is incredibly boring. The story drags itself along, the characters are superficial. What a pity, since this novel's theme is a very relevant one ...

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 💖📚💖 8mo
2 likes1 comment
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Ddzmini
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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I‘ve been waiting to read this since this time last year so here I go 📖😋

ju.ca.no Sounds intriguing😍 9mo
Ddzmini @ju.ca.no it is so far 📖😋 9mo
70 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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sparrowssavvy
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Lunch, tea and reading time

vumblereads That looks good! What is it? 9mo
sparrowssavvy @vumblereads I made a grapefruit spinach and walnut salad with goat cheese and avocado 9mo
14 likes2 comments
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Maude
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

This was beautifully written, the characters and locales were so well done. Though I didn't like it as much as, The Historian, it was better than, The Swan Thieves.

rachaich Absolutely agree! 10mo
65 likes1 comment
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rachaich
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

I read this enthused as I'd really devoured her other two.
I did find it rather too coincidental at times, and the plot was loosely intertwined. However, I still give it a thumbs up as sometimes that style is what I need!

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rachaich
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Ohhh, I've been resisting buying this for about a year... and lo and behold, it was in the library!
I adored The Historian and have high hopes for this one :)

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bookandbedandtea
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

This is a slow moving, albeit beautiful, story. It's so slow moving that for a long time I wasn't sure what story was even being told. The tale we eventually get is heart breaking, difficult to read in places, but the writing is lovely and the characters who contribute information to our MC are all interesting. I think Bobby deserves a book of his own...I adored him.

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bookandbedandtea
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Home again. Unpacked suitcase in background, new book in hand, tea by my side. #happyplace 😊

BookNerd9906 I loved The Historian. Please lmk what you think of this one? 12mo
bookandbedandtea @BookNerd9906 will do! I liked The Historian too. 12mo
BookNerd9906 Awesome! Thanks. 😊 12mo
bookandbedandtea @BookNerd9906 I finally finished. It's beautifully written, sad, fascinating.... and nothing at all like The Historian. 12mo
27 likes4 comments
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ElectricKatyLand
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
Pickpick

Bulgarian mystery, set in present day and post-war period. I didn‘t know anything about Bulgarian politics and history, but I gained an appreciation for both through this novel. The American protagonist arrives in Sofia to teach English and becomes embroiled in a dangerous multigenerational secret.

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Hooked_on_books
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Panpan

Oh, I don‘t know what to say about this book. As an exploration of Bulgaria, now and in the communist era, it is interesting with lovely writing. As a narrative story, it is a mess with too many coincidences that hangs on a completely unrealistic relationship that I couldn‘t buy into. I think there‘s a great book buried in here, but this just isn‘t it.

Cinfhen I bailed! 14mo
Hooked_on_books @Cinfhen You know, I would have bailed, too, but I was using it for my Litsy reading challenge. What a mess! 14mo
Cinfhen I admire your tenacity - that book was a HOT MESS 🙄 14mo
See All 6 Comments
zsuzsanna_reads Thanks for the feedback @Cinfhen and @Hooked__on__books ! Will give this one a miss then. 14mo
Cinfhen I feel bad @zsuzsanna_reads because there are people who really liked this book.... I say #BorrowNotBuy and see if it works for you 14mo
Hooked_on_books @zsuzsanna_reads I agree with @Cinfhen . Everyone‘s taste is different, so I would get it from the library and bail if it doesn‘t work. 14mo
60 likes1 stack add6 comments
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hes7
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Mehso-so

“From her plane window, Alexandra has seen a city cradled in mountains and flanked by towering apartment buildings like tombstones.”

My time in beautiful Bulgaria featured quite the road trip, involving an urn of ashes and a dangerous story. It was fascinating to learn pieces of recent Bulgarian history, but overall, the book was much longer than it really needed to be.

#BackpackEurope: Bulgaria ✔️

Nebklvr Nowhere near as atmospheric as The Historian. 1y
102 likes1 comment
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hes7
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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My next #BackpackEurope stop: Bulgaria.

BarbaraBB I love your trip, you are really going off the beaten track!! 1y
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bookandcat
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

#backpackEurope travelogue *fictional*
Country 16: Bulgaria is lovely. Beautiful Roman ruins, Black Sea beaches, monasteries, old streets. They're preparing for the Apollonia Arts Festival right now.
Another Kostova book - this again tells multiple stories across past and present and involves a mystery, albeit not as scary as Dracula's tomb. It's like a tour of Bulgaria with a story, though the history of gulags is a sad one. Scenic writing. 4/5

bookandcat Disclosure: I received a copy from #netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 1y
bookandcat Also book 2 #vacation and #boutofbooks - eek so many hashtags! 1y
49 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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MrBook
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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#TBRtemptation post 4! Young American Alexandra Boyd travels to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping to heal from the loss of her brother. Whole settling in, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi and accidentally keeps a bag containing a box with an urn. Setting out to return it, she'll uncover secrets about an oppressed musician, secrets tinged with their own danger. Be prepared to be immersed in Bulgaria! #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😁

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Sumi
Shadow Land | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

Beautiful, heartbreaking and mending. Set in Bulgaria- a place I didn‘t realize I wanted to know better. Read it!!!!

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Insightsintobooks
Shadow Land | Elizabeth Kostova
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I love Elizabeth Kostova, and saw this on sale today!!

Melissa_J Darn it! This one isn‘t on sale in Canada 😩 2y
Centique @Melissa_J we never get the same sales in Aus/NZ either. I wish we did; the US kindle sales look much better 😩 2y
shahn77 Awesome price! I really loved this one. Maybe even more than 'The Historian'. 2y
46 likes1 stack add3 comments
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CherylAnn
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Mehso-so

Alexandra helps an elderly couple get into a cab, accidentally taking one of their bags, in which cremated ashes reside. What follows is her attempt, with assistance from a taxi driver, to return the ashes. How could she know the past horrors or perils yet to befall its existence?

Had this been about 200 pages of descriptions less than its 477, it would have been marvelous. Still, I applaud her for this novel that will remain in my own memories

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LiteraryLona
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

Kostova does it again. I will read anything this woman writes! She has a way of taking you with her to exotic lands, weaving her stories in such a way that you feel like you‘ve truly met her characters. I loved this one!

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Stellina
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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I adored The Historian and I‘m hoping this book will be just as engaging.

#theshadowland #elizabethkostova #weekendreading #bookworm

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Karen5
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Ok let‘s do this !

Karen5 Ok I done with this book , love the story , love the two books I had read from her , can‘t wait to see what else she have . 2y
2 likes1 comment
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the_hibernator
Shadow Land | Elizabeth Kostova
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Selfie with insomnia and audiobook.

Kaye 🧐 2y
Dragon Is it supposed to be just a black square? If not , the photo didn‘t download? 2y
the_hibernator @Dragon it is a black square. It was meant as a joke, since it was the middle of the night 2y
Dragon 😂 that‘s typical of me, needing the joke explained. 2y
27 likes4 comments
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azulaco
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

I loved this book. It‘s a mystery set in modern Bulgaria, that winds back through the Communist era, including the concentration camps for enemies of the state, which I knew little about. Interspersed throughout are beautifully written descriptions of the country that make me want to travel there immediately. As an American who grew up in the 1970s-80s, I know little about the countries behind the Iron Curtain, so I learned a lot and enjoyed it.

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azulaco
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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I am loving this book. It makes me want to visit Bulgaria. The descriptions are beautiful.

And apparently it is acceptable in Bulgaria to breakfast on bread, cheese and salami. My kind of people.

Texreader And Scandinavia! So my Norwegian husband and my son can often be found eating these open-faced sandwiches right here in south Texas. Can‘t wait to read this book. Got it for Christmas from the hubs. 2y
22 likes1 comment
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azulaco
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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My library hold came in last week, but I was trying to finish The Queen of the Night, so I‘m just now starting it. I‘ve got seven days left on the lending period. It‘s already sucked me in, so we‘re off to a good start!

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shahn77
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

I loved this book. This book takes place in Bulgaria. It has a mystery, a little romance, and a lot of history. I really enjoyed the characters and the writing. This was a lovely read that kept me guessing.

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JenFowler
Shadow Land | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

Elizabeth Kostova is an excellent writer, although if I knew what the subject matter would be here I doubt I would of read this one. I add books to my TBR list and download any when they are available, so sometimes I start a book rather blindly. I just know they are recommended.

The pure brutality and evilness that exists in some human beings is shocking. It makes me hurt. I can't grasp why or how these people come to be. 😥

julesG I like your honesty. I'm the same. 2y
Andrew65 I want to try this one. 2y
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Trace
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
Pickpick

Something about this author and Eastern Europe. She did an amazing job with the characters and creating suspense and unexpected turns.

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Lynnsoprano
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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#uncannyOctober #setinEasternEurope I know a lot of people were put off by this book. Having lived in Eastern Europe in the early 90's, so much of what happens in this sounds very plausible to me. We heard similar stories. Since I've never been to Bulgaria, the picture is of Certovka in Prague, a favorite spot when we lived there. I didn't take this picture; our son gave it to us. You're seeing a picture of a picture 😄

Cinfhen Beautiful 2y
LeeRHarry I lived in southern Germany in the early 90s and visited Prague often - I loved it and I'm reluctant to go back in case my memory of it is spoilt 😔 I've read the Historian by the author - loved it - and I'm keen to read this one. 2y
kspenmoll Gorgeous! 2y
85 likes3 comments
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thegreentealibrarian
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

This one is a puzzle. I liked it more than The Swan Thieves, definitely. But it doesn't compare to The Historian. On its own it is a closer look at modern day Bulgaria and communist controlled Bulgaria. A sharp contrast with a lot of pain attached. I found this book to be a valuable perspective. B from me.

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Sharpeipup
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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"The violin should be able to tell the truth...and to cry."

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JSW
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
Pickpick

I will read anything Elizabeth Kostova writes. I have loved each of her books.

Rachellynnwright Agreed! 2y
25 likes1 comment
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KaatjeH
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

Elizabeth Kostova would be one of my favourite writers, just because I loved The Historian. I was not so sure about Swan Thieves though. This book confirms my feelings about this writer. I thought it was a great book.
It tells the story about an american girl who travels to Bulgaria, mostly to deal with her own past but soon gets mixed up in the past of a country and its people.

Texreader This is great to hear. We feel the same about the first two books. Am excited that I might actually like her new one. 2y
17 likes1 comment
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KaatjeH
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Saturday night reading with #morbidelli
#catsoflitsy

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Bindrosbookshelf
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

Young women travels to Bulgaria to help overcome her own grief and loss and ends up uncovering a country's tragic past when attempting to return the ashes she gets mixed up in her luggage to their rightful owner. The work camps and no one being able to leave the country for 40 years were hidden parts of history that I had no idea about. Past and present are woven in to show how important it is that we learn from our atrocities of the past

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Bindrosbookshelf
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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I met Elizabeth Kostova. She was amazing to listen to and how she came to love Bulgaria and write about it's history is so interesting, and her for foundation for Bulgarian writers and her fathers love for telling Dracula stories to her as a kid and her love for Sherlock stories and .... #authorsigning #introvertedselfwasawkward

Godmotherx5 😲 Lucky you 😲 2y
14 likes1 comment
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KaatjeH
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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After going to an appointment with the doctor this morning, but going home again because the doctor didn't show up, I felt like I deserved a piece of chocolate cake and this book. ☺️
#currentlyreading

ABrakes85 Enjoy 😊 2y
KaatjeH @ABrakes85 Thank 😊 2y
Libby1 Get well soon. 🌻 2y
KaatjeH @Libby1 Thank you 😊 2y
13 likes4 comments
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mcipher
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Last #anditsaugust catch-up post. I read this in the car on our long (7 hours!) #drive to Maine, and if you don't count "the", this is a #twowordtitle I wish I'd remembered to do a car reading action shot! ?

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imabusybee
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Enjoying the cooler weather this evening.

21 likes1 stack add
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mcipher
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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I should go to bed, but first milk and ginger snaps and just a few more chapters! 😴

MinDea I want to read this! I hope it's good! 2y
kspenmoll Ginger snaps! Yum! 2y
LeahBergen I love ginger snaps. 👍🏻 2y
mcipher @MinDea So far It is. She has such a great way of evoking a place, so you feel like you're there. 2y
readinginthedark Aw, this makes me long for winter! I should eat some ginger snaps anyway... 2y
76 likes1 stack add5 comments
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islandstorygirl
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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I've been looking for a print copy for months now. Glad the local bookstore had one; I had to snap it up! I have three editions of The Historian (just so you know how much I enjoyed that book) but The Swan Thieves was rather forgettable for me. I'm only about fifty pages into this one but it looks promising!

Mrs.AntonacciReads I DNF The Swan Thieves... I just couldn't love it like I did The Historian. Can't wait to see what you think about this one! 2y
Texreader Same as you on her first two books. I've read The Historian many times. Bailed on Swans. Hoping this one is good but I've been seeing mixed reviews. Welcome to Litsy!!! 2y
islandstorygirl @Mrs.AntonacciReads @Texreader I finally finished The Shadow Land! It wasn't as gothic as I had hoped (in fact it goes off in a different direction), but there was still so much emotion behind the book that I couldn't put it down. She shows a different Bulgaria here, one removed from the mysticism that surrounded The Historian. Won't be one of my faves, but I thought it was still a pretty solid read! 2y
See All 7 Comments
Mrs.AntonacciReads Officially on my list!! Thank you!! 2y
islandstorygirl Enjoy, @Mrs.AntonacciReads! 😊 2y
Texreader @islandstorygirl Thanks so much! Then it's still on my tbr list. 2y
islandstorygirl Let me know how it goes, @Texreader! Have fun! 2y
8 likes1 stack add7 comments
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brennahawleycraig
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

I held off reading this one, I think partially because people said it didn't compare to The Historian, which is in my top 5 favorite books. I should have known better...finished this today and totally loved it! There's something about her writing that just puts me in the place she's writing of. And I found the story captivating.

Reviewsbylola I've had my eye on this one. I enjoyed The Historian. 2y
24 likes1 comment
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brennahawleycraig
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Saturday night: dog asleep, wine with a cat around the stem, angel food cake in the oven, Cary Grant on the tv and an excellent book.

CindyMyLifeIsLit Everything Cary made was great! 2y
brennahawleycraig @CindyMyLifeIsLit my husband has never seen North by Northwest! But yes, totally agree. 2y
TheBookStacker My favorite of his is Charade. Mainly because I absolutely adore Audrey Hepburn 💙 2y
See All 6 Comments
brennahawleycraig @TheBookStacker Me too!! My favorite is Sabrina. Have you seen the art of Julia Denos? I have a couple of her prints on my walls! https://www.etsy.com/listing/197765622/audrey-on-the-silverscreen 2y
LeahBergen Perfect!! 2y
TheBookStacker Sabrina is my favorite Audrey movie as well!!!!!! 2y
32 likes6 comments
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BarbaraJean
The Shadow Land: A Novel | Elizabeth Kostova
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Pickpick

I find Elizabeth Kostova to be a consistently good read... which is why I couldn't resist grabbing this from the "New" shelf at the library in spite of an already (always) overloaded reading list. I enjoyed both the increasing mystery of the framing narrative as well as the picture Kostova draws of her real main character, Lazarov, through his narrative at the center of the novel.