Tuesday, 28 February 2017
The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
American Alexandra Boyd travels to Bulgaria to teach English in the hope that her stay in this fascinating and historical country can help to salve the pain of her brothers disappearance. Bulgaria was somewhere he had planned to visit when he was older. Alexandra is only in the country five minutes when she finds herself in possession of a strangers ashes, driving around a strange country with a strange man, locked in a room, and at the receiving end of some nasty threats.
This book started off for me full of promise and while it did live up to some of my expectations it also became a bit of a let down on others. I loved the characters especially the main characters of Alexandra Boyd, and Bobby the taxi driver but they weren't enough to hold my interest for very long.
The writing and the story just appeared to drag in places, and it felt almost as though the author had run out of story but needed to fill out the book and so we were taken on a nonsensical journey around the Bulgarian countryside. I really don't know why Alexandra felt the need to take off in a strange country with a strange man, hauling an urn of ashes around the place for days, when she could have left the urn at the police station on day one. The whole things seemed absurd to me. I was much more interested in her brothers disappearance and the whole story behind that.
On the whole this book needs some severe pruning back and it could then be a much sharper, bouncier read.
Thank you to Lovereading.co.uk and the publisher for my printed arc of this book.