the shadow landThe Shadow Land by Elizabeth Koskova (2017 fiction)

Alexandra Boyd travels to Sofia, Bulgaria, planning to teach and to see a country that her deceased brother had always wanted to visit. While helping an elderly couple and their son into a taxi, she comes away with one of their bags, and to her horror, discovers that it contains an elaborately carved urn filled with human ashes. In an effort to find the family and return the urn, Alexandra embarks on an adventure she never anticipated, and in the process, uncovers decades-old secrets that have current-day consequences. I think this is the first book I have read that is set in Bulgaria and involves its governmental upheavals. The descriptions of the country’s terrain and villages are wonderful, and Alexandra’s journey is both poignant and thrilling. Recommended.

Reviewed by Ginger Russell


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