THE HISTORIAN/Elizabeth Kostova

image from Goodreads

Because I had the ebook version, I did not have any hesitations in joining the book discussion when the book club had this as book of the month for November. I had no idea how long (or short) it was, and I could not relate to the complaints of some members saying that the book was a perfect doorstop. I think having the ebook version was to my advantage because I was able to trudge on even through some boring parts, which is not that many, and finish it just in time for the face to face discussion, though of course I wasn’t able to participate due to distance (and budget) constraints.

I must confess that I have never faithfully followed book discussions and monthly reads of the book club before this. However, since the moderator is a very good friend, and it just so happened that I have a copy on hand already, I was more than eager to participate. Plus, the title is very close to home because I majored in History when I was in college.

Anyway, The Historian is a very interesting story. In fact, I have included it as one of my best reads for 2012.  I totally suck at writing summaries but I will try my best because the blurb on Goodreads is just ridiculously long.

The unnamed narrator recounts her bizarre experiences as a young girl which started when she discovered a mysterious book and several letters addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor.” The letters bring her to a long and laborious search about the identity of her mother, the sudden disappearance of her father, and the discovery of an ancient evil history has ever known.

First off, I must confess that I am not in anyway fascinated with vampires and vampire lores. This explains my being a Twilight series non-fan, no matter how enticing the hype is. However, what enticed me to read this book is actually because I didn’t know that it is a vampire story, more specifically that it is about Dracula. When I finally realized that The Historian is a Dracula story, I was already deeply entertained by the travelogues (yes, travelogues play a major part in the story), with the legend of Vlad The Impaler (why did we not study this back in college?), and with the cliffhanger chapter endings, that I could not be made to ditch it altogether.

What also drew me into the story is the mention of archives, libraries, museums which the major characters went into for their research. For me, they are fascinating aspects of being into the study of history and the mere mention of old books and libraries make me long to actually see them and touch them and feel them. Sounds crazy, yes? 😉 Aaand, of course, the Europe tour. I love Europe and more especially so because of this book! The Historian provides an enriching lesson of European history and geography, and I must say that the narrative portrays vivid and picturesque illustrations that I cannot help but check out the places mentioned on Google.

As to whether Dracula is real and whether he is alive even up to this day is a mystery I will leave to you to discover. Read The Historian if you love history, Europe, and a good mystery.

5/5 stars.

My copy: ebook downloaded for free from a site I already forgot.

 

3 thoughts on “THE HISTORIAN/Elizabeth Kostova

  1. Yes, someone else gave the book 5 stars but she wasn’t there at the F2F. Hehe. 🙂

    I gave it 4 stars when I first read it, and I gave 4 stars after the reread. You gotta love historical fiction. 🙂

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