• To the Lake

  • A Balkan Journey of War and Peace
  • By: Kapka Kassabova
  • Narrated by: Cat Gould
  • Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa. Two ancient lakes joined by underground rivers. Two lakes that seem to hold both the turbulent memories of the region's past and the secret of its enduring allure. Two lakes that have played a central role in Kapka Kassabova's maternal family.

As she journeys to her grandmother's place of origin, Kassabova encounters a historic crossroads. The lakes are set within the mountainous borderlands of North Macedonia, Albania, and Greece, and crowned by the old Via Egnatia, which once connected Rome to Constantinople. A former trading and spiritual nexus of the Southern Balkans, this lake region remains one of Eurasia's most diverse corners. Meanwhile, with their remote rock churches, changeable currents, and large population of migratory birds, the lakes live in their own time.

By exploring on water and land the stories of poets, fishermen, and caretakers, misfits, rulers, and inheritors of war and exile, Kassabova uncovers the human destinies shaped by the lakes. Setting out to resolve her own ancestral legacy, Kassabova locates a deeper inquiry into how geography and politics imprint themselves upon families and nations, one that confronts her with universal questions about human suffering and the capacity for change.

©2020 Kapka Kassabova (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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A wonderful book, with a merely adequate reader.

This is a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it. The reader is not a good fit for this book, though she is not terrible. She had a pleasant voice, but her reading has a sing-songy quality that I have sometimes heard people use when reading children's books. She does not differentiate the speaking voices of the various people, apart from slightly deepening the pitch for male characters. She mispronounces too many words - most egregiously, "Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, which is mentioned hundreds of times throughout the book. The reading doesn't spoil the book - it's an adequate job of reading. The book is so good, however, that it deserves a reader who is truly excellent instead of one who is just adequate.

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