{DOWNLOAD PDF} Ù The Shadow Land ⚠ eBook or E-pub free

I really liked this novel, the characters had depth and I got to learn a lot because I didn t know much about Bulgaria The pacing was good too and I honestly did not know where the story was leading which was nice because I hate reading mysteries and knowing ten pages in what s going to happen That said I found it kind of awkward the way point of view kept switching, not just from person to person but from first person to third as well It interrupted the flow and was not needed Also the way the book was divided up into chapters but would divide a chapter up in the middle of the narrative when something was happening was pretty annoying as well The beginning was slow but about half way it picked up and I really enjoyed the parts that were from the past especially I do think a lot of the stuff could have been cut off from the story line without taking away from the plot The ending was also unnecessary, they could have ended it a chapter or so before Still I really enjoyed the book and I liked the writing very much, most of the problems with the book were just about writing too much which I think is a preferable problem to things like boring plots or flat two dimensional characters. There are a number of things that I liked about this book and some that didn t work so well for me, leaving me with a rating of 3 stars and an extra half star for the dead man whose ashes and life become the focus of the novel I found myself very engaged in Alexandra s story initially The back and forth in time giving us a view of her past, how she came to Bulgaria and the deep loss she feels about losing her brother Jack, was very moving I was engaged in the search she embarks on with Bobby, a taxi driver she connects with, to return a bag with the ashes of a man named Stoyan Lazarov, that she mistakenly comes to have in her possession I loved the descriptions of the places in Bulgaria where they traveled and learning a bit of this country s history I loved the historical sections of the book where we discover the man whose ashes they carry around This for me is where the story comes to life At some point, though the search felt like a wild goose chase and I just wanted it to be over I only became reengaged when the story focused on Stoyan, the only character I felt was fully realized He was the only character I felt I knew and I have to give that extra half star for how the gut wrenching story of his time in a prison camp and his passion as a musician lets the reader know him It was both heartbreaking and uplifting that he imagines playing his violin, his beloved Vivaldi to keep from losing himself What we know about Alexandra and Bobby come to us in snippets of facts not through seeing who they are through what they do I didn t get why there was such a mystery about Bobby and knowing earlier that he was than just an activist taxi driver wouldn t have made a difference to the story if we knew earlier While I enjoyed parts of this book, it felt somewhat overwritten at times Thanks once again to my friends Diane and Esil for our third read together It s always a pleasure to be enlightened by their thoughts I received an advanced copy of this from Text Publishing through NetGalley. Alexandra Boyd has travelled from America to Sofia, Bulgaria s capital city She chose Bulgaria largely due to her brother s fascination with the area in a geographical game they used to play as children Since Jack is no longer able to make this dream a reality Alexandra has gone in his stead, arranging a teaching post to augment her scant resources Shortly after her arrival at the wrong hotel in Sofia, she reaches out to prevent an older woman from a near fall and in her efforts then to assist the lady and her travelling companions, she inadvertently ends up in possession of one of their bags The bag contains an urn of human remains and Alexandra is understandably distressed by her accidental misappropriation of such a personal item She resolves immediately to do whatever possible to return the urn, with her apologies to the travelling trio she met briefly at the hotel In the process she meets and befriends Bobby, the taxi driver I confess I developed a little crush on Bobby Despite her resolve, locating the rightful owners of the urn, who Alexandra has since learned contains the ashes of a deceased musician named Stoyan Lazarov, proves difficult and leads Alexandra and her taxi driver Bobby across the country and up into the mountainous regions of Bulgaria Each new stop reveals a little of Stoyan s history and the political unrest of the times through which he lived Stoyan s history is told through a series of flashbacks, involving communist labour camps and the inhumane deprivation of political prisoners Their treatment is so merciless and unsparing, that in order to survive, Stoyan has to escape to a place of his own building, deep within the recesses of his mind Brilliantly handled by Kostova His is a past full of secrets with disturbing ties to the current day political landscape of Bulgaria But Stoyan s past is also full of music and Kostova s description of this, his first love, as Stoyan plays his beloved violin, is stunning in it s power to transport the reader I felt as though I too were standing in that tiny bakery, listening with bated breath, heart swelling, as Vivaldi s notes danced and rippled through the architecture of my ears Alexandra has her own history to overcome Her brother Jack disappeared forever years ago on a hiking expedition with her family, and Alexandra harbors her own feelings of guilt about the role she played on that fateful day, and it is perhaps this very need to atone for her own perceived sins, that is the driving force behind her resolve to return Stoyan s ashes to their rightful resting place I thoroughly enjoyed this trip across Bulgaria and no doubt learned something of it s history in the process, without ever leaving the comfort of my armchair Not a bad way to travel.My thanks to Text Publishing, Elizabeth Kostova and NetGalley for the opportunity and pleasure of reading this advance copy. Almost from the beginning I found the story problematic, the storyline that leads to the books true purpose struck me as unbelievable If you visited a foreign country, didn t know the language, stopped to help someone, and found you mistakenly had come to posses the ashes of someone who belongs to the people you helped, would you travel around the country trying to return said ashes Would you get into a cab, the driver a young man you do not know, and travel back and forth across the country, now mind you no one knows where you are, trying to find these people I do mean back, and forth for over half the book, a few clues gathered here and there On the plus side the descriptions of the country were beautiful, Bulgaria a country I am not very familiar with, but the receptiveness and the tedium of learning the same thing, just in different cities really slowed the pacing The last third of the book when we learn of the imprisonment of the man who is now ashes, his treatment and the treatment of the other prisoners was the best part, the strongest writing and the most interesting In my opinion this book is best suited to those who can suspend belief and accept the basic premise If you are the type of, person who can pan for gold for four days or so just to come up, with a few nuggets, then this book will work better, it does require patience Many readers, from some of the ratings, are these type of readers, I am not Grab me quick and don t let go is my reading motto There were some nuggets of gold here, the music, Vivaldi being a safe place and I adore that musicians music The scenery as I said was gorgeous, learning a bit about a country new to me, all pluses and some of this countries history Just don t know if I would have had the patience to persevere to discover these if this wasn t a buddy read with Angela and Esil.ARC from publisher. 4.5 Stars This book is a train with many cars, the old kind, moving clumsily along a track at night One car contains a small supply of coal, which splits out into the passageway when an internal door is opened You have to step over piles of slippery black grit to get through the corridor Another car contains grain, shipped for export One car is full of musicians and instruments and cheap overnight bags, nearly half an orchestra sitting according to their friendships and rivalries in the seats of the second class compartments Another car contains bad dreams The final train car has no seats but instead is full of sleeping men, who lie crushed together on their coats in the dark The door to that one has been nailed shut from the outside.Alexandra Boyd is seeking something, a peace of some kind she s unable to find at home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, a home where she once roamed with her brother Jack Where Jack walks no , missing since the day they had an argument and she told him to get lost Trying to get away from all the memories for a while, she arrives in Sofia, Bulgaria with an upcoming teaching position, teaching English to Bulgarian students Bulgaria Jack s favourite country on the atlas when they were young, which was that perfect shade of green Alexandra s favourite always YugoslaviaA land that looked nearly untouched by history, a Grimms fairy tale setting in Alexandra s eyes She had shown the note with the name of the hostel written in Cyrillic script, to the Airport taxi driver, and trusted him to deliver her to the correct place After she s dropped off, she realizes too late that this is not the place, and in her confusion she ends up standing next to an older woman, an elderly man in a wheelchair, and another, younger, man while they re trying to hail taxis A brief conversation ensues, their English is sufficient for that She is so pleased with meeting such friendly people, she asks if she could take a photo of the first people to be kind to her in this country, so new to her With bags placed in proximity, amid the need to get the elderly man in the cab first, a bag of theirs ends up among Alexandra s things, and it is only after she is safely in her own taxi driving some minutes away that she realizes the mistake And even later, she realizes the gravity of that mistake It isn t just someone else s precious family possession she holds in her hands it s their actual family an urn containing the prah, their ashes Kostova effortlessly weaves in fairly tales, horror stories of prisoners in camps, the beauty of so many places in Bulgaria, love stories, and messages of hope Some parts are heartbreakingly sad, horrifying, other parts let enough of the good through, so you can breathe easily and calm your heart, and perhaps even charm you All through, the past that haunts Bulgaria is woven through this story until it meets the present, those who know of the stories but never really knew.Music is a profound presence in this story, as one of the main characters of the past was a violinist, classically trained, and I found myself wishing I could listen to these pieces as I read through those sections The descriptions of various locations are often so lovely that I would pause and read them once I felt as if I had been transported to the setting, again and again, by music or the magic and power of Kostova s writing There is a part that deals with the ugliness of the past, a past we know a variation of, or think we know, or maybe even know a bit about it We ve heard or seen a paragraph or two or a documentary or perhaps saw a special show on it once upon a time And we ve become complacent thinking this was so long ago, it s the past and not the present and, perhaps importantly, we didn t live it People die, ideas don t They return, reincarnate We need to remember that people let this happen Allowed this to happen, maybe even when they didn t want it to happen.Overall, this is lovely An assessment of the power we have to find significance and faith, optimism in the past, despite the despair To remember, to cherish those things worth cherishing and to leave behind those things that have the power to destroy I will remember you, will you remember me Don t let your life pass you byWeep not for the memoriesSarah McLachlan I Will Remember You RecommendedPub Date 11 Apr 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group Ballantine Barely 3 stars The Shadow Land felt like two books One of them was heart wrenching but really good The other one was long, meandering, pointless and implausible Alexandra travels from the US to Bulgaria to teach English and get away from some sadness in her life at home Immediately upon arriving in Bulgaria, she has a chance encounter with a Bulgarian family that leads to a luggage mix up, and she ends up with a bag containing an urn with human ashes The rest of the book consists of a long chase in the company of Bobby the taxi driver to return the ashes to the rightful owners As the story progresses, we get the back story about the guy in the urn The backstory was good It gave me insight into Bulgaria s history, and some of the atrocities suffered under the communist regime in that country The contemporary story was frankly silly That Alexandra would get into such a situation was beyond improbable The endless travel from one place to another was tiresome And the underlying mystery about why the family is so hard to track down hinges on way too many coincidences Which is unfortunate because buried in there is an interesting and emotionally engaging story about Bulgaria s past Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy And thanks to GR friends Angela and Diane for another great buddy read I definitely enjoyed the company if not the book. Alexandra s brother disappears on a family hike when he is 16 and she s 14 As a twenty six year old, she travels to Sophia, Bulgaria because it was her brother s desire to have traveled there She has no sooner arrived that she accidentally picks up a suitcase that contains someone s ashes And so it begins This is a beautifully written, wonderfully detailed book Kostova paints a picture with each chapter so that you can visually picture everything happening You feel as much the outsider as Alexandra, trying to make heads or tails of this country with a language that you don t speak that sounds nothing like English and doesn t even share an alphabet You gradually are given the story of the man whose ashes Alexandra is carrying around There is a bit of mystery to this story Not only the story of Stoyan Lazerov, but why is someone following Alexandra and Bobby, her taxi driver friend and damaging his car I knew next to nothing about Bulgaria s history This novel takes your through most of the 20th century Politics play a large part in this book, both present and past There is a candidate running on a campaign of against corruption with a purity angle This takes place in 2008 but hits close to home with the current anti immigration movements in the EU and US One of the most telling lines in the book is There you are, Bird In your country you don t care about history and in my country, we cannot recover from it This is not a fast paced novel It takes its time, moving from location to location, time to time I felt that Stoyan s time in the labor camp was especially slow and would have been better if compressed The ending isn t believable but it is satisfying Of course, the entire premise of the book isn t what you d call believable Ther are way too many coincidences and lots of leaps of faith required But if you re willing to suspend your critical thoughts about that, the book is very enjoyable My thanks to netgalley and Random House Ballantine Books for an advance copy of this nove This novel is by Elizabeth Kostova, who is, of course, best known for her wonderful novel, The Historian As such, if you are looking for of the same, you may well be disappointed by this novel, which would be a shame This is a very different book, but it contains much that is very special indeed and is as you would expect beautifully written.The story begins with a young American woman named Alexandra Boyd, who has travelled to Sofia in Bulgaria, in order to teach and to recover from the loss of her beloved brother, Jack in a hiking accident It is obvious that Alexandra blames herself for the loss and that she has travelled to Sofia, largely as it was a country that Jack always wanted to visit On her very first day, in the first in a long line of odd events, she is taken by her taxi to the wrong hotel Tired, disorientated and yet knowing that she cannot afford the expensive hotel she has been dropped at, she turns to take another taxi While waiting, she speaks to a group of people, including an elderly couple and another man One of their party is in a wheelchair and, while assisting them into a taxi, Alexandra finds herself left behind with one of their bags Burdened with her own luggage, she does not realise this until she is in her own taxi, driven by the man who is to become her companion on the strange journey she is about to embark on.For, inside the bag is an urn, containing the ashes of a man named Stoyan Lazarov and Alexandra and cab driver, Bobby, set off to find the relatives of Stoyan Lazarov and return them Along the way, Alexandra will discover the life story of the man whose ashes she carries so carefully and, through his life story, the history of the beguiling, beautiful and, often difficult, history of the country that is Bulgaria It is also the story of how Alexandra herself comes to terms with her own history and a place for herself in the world This is a very moving, quietly deceptive novel, which you need to take at a slower pace very much character, rather than plot, driven and masterfully written I received a copy of the book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review. {DOWNLOAD PDF} ë The Shadow Land ⚩ From The Bestselling Author Of The Historian Comes An Engrossing Novel That Spans The Past And The Present And 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 Taxi And 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 Oppression And She Will Find Out All Too Quickly That This Knowledge Is Fraught With Its Own Danger Kostova S 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 The language in this book is beautiful, mesmerising and detailed If you wish to get lost in the wonder of Bulgaria, then this is the closest you ll get to the experience of being there without actually going It made me want to pack bag and head off into the unknown, to feel that sense of trepidation and excitement that only happens when you go to a place you ve never been before and don t speak the language Butthat s where the talent lies in this book The words are perfectly crafted and evocative, but they have no real meaning as a function of the overall narrative Unless you consider again the value of the language, so much of it is unnecessary The plot never finds itself, it has wandered so far from the path that the reader feels adrift Those intrepid ones who stick it out till the end are far from rewarded, it stretches the boundaries of belief too far ARC via Netgalley