Ladies and gentlemen, gather round for Haley Tanner’s debut love story, Vaclav & Lena, which begins at the most unusual of places.
Behold Vaclav, an introverted Russian boy who wants nothing more than to become the next Harry Houdini.
After relocating to Brooklyn, his big-hearted mother, Rasia, sets Vaclav up on a fateful playdate with the beautifully broken Lena. On their very first Coney Island outing, the 5-year-olds find themselves too tiny for rides and wander into a verboten sideshow. The secret rendezvous instantly seals their bond, and the two begin plotting Vaclav’s debut as a magician (with Lena as his gold bikini-clad assistant).
Just before the big day, Lena fails to show at school. The reason, as Rasia discovers, is more than any kid should have to handle. Circumstances separate the best buds, forcing them to find their way back to each other and learn the sleights of hand necessary to protect loved ones.
It’s a story with more than a few tricks up its sleeve.
Available online at amazon.com, $15.
Photo: Courtesy of Random House
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