|aVaclav and Lena seem destined for each other. They meet as childrenin an ESL class in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Vaclav is precocious and verbal.Lena, struggling with English, takes comfort in the safety of his adoration, his noisy, loving home, and the care of Rasia, his big-hearted mother. Vaclav imagines their story unfolding like a fairy tale, or the perfect illusion fromhis treasured Magician's Almanac, but among the many truths to be discovered is that happily ever after is never a foregone conclusion. One day, Lena does not show up for school. She has disappeared from Vaclav and his family's livesas if by a cruel magic trick. For the next seven years, Vaclav says goodnightto Lena without fail, wondering if she is doing the same somewhere. On the eveof Lena's seventeenth birthday he finds out.
|aBrooklyn (New York, N.Y.)--Fiction.
|aBooklist Editors' Choice: Adult Books for Young Adults