Vaclav & Lena [Audio]
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|Other Information: ||Relay time: 600min; 8 Units|
|Published In: ||United States, 01 May 2011|
Offering a new glimpse at the American immigrant experience, a stunningly gifted young novelist delivers a timeless love story set in New York's Russian migr community.
About the Author
Haley Tanner lives in Brooklyn. This is her first novel.
As children, Russian immigrants Vaclav and Lena practice their magic act after school every day under the watchful eye of Vaclav's mother, Rasia, who imagines all kinds of dangers befalling her son in their Brooklyn neighborhood. She also worries about Lena, who is too thin, sneaks food into her backpack, and lives in abominable conditions with her aunt. Should Rasia simply mind her own business, as her husband, Oleg, tells her to do? When she witnesses something terrible on a visit to Lena's home, she calls Child Protective Services and Lena is taken away. In the second part of the novel, Vaclav is 17 and has never gotten over losing Lena. When Lena reconnects with Vaclav, what is initially bliss quickly turns to pain as the truth about the past surfaces. -VERDICT Tanner's captivating debut novel is a love story of unusual innocence and intensity. Her prose is understated but powerful and also quite funny. A -suspenseful, literary work that is hard to put down, this is a highly -recommended addition to any collection. [See Prepub Alert, 11/22/10.]-Joy -Humphrey, Pepperdine Univ. Law Lib., Malibu, CA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Tanner's romantic and moving debut tells the story of two children, both born of Russian immigrants in Brooklyn, whose lives intertwine from an early age. Vaclav is a precocious eccentric devoted to list making. Lena is a quiet, stubborn, secretive child. The pair, as children, imagine themselves destined for fame as magicians on the Coney Island boardwalk, though, in Lena's case, their friendship is a refuge from something worse. They hole up in Vaclav's room to refine their act each day while Vaclav's mother, Rasia, watches over them with gnawing concern and makes a quiet effort to intervene in Lena's life. The horrid specter of adolescence changes their relationship, but the abyss where Lena's family should be and the fact that Vaclav can't understand what happens when his friend goes home, all threaten to sever their connection. But this is a love story, and these two keep faith over the years, with each building an emotional shrine to their relationship until a reconnection years later proves to be magnetic, stormy, and revelatory. If the final reveal doesn't live up to the emotional crescendo that's been building throughout the novel, readers will nevertheless be more than taken by the one-of-a-kind relationship between two magnificent characters. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"In this charming and wonderfully engaging tale, the reader is swept into the beautifully rendered landscape of the immigrant childhood experience. Haley Tanner has created a world peopled with characters of great poignancy and they will linger in the mind--and heart--long after the book is put down."
--Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge
"There are books you enjoy, and then there are books you live in. Haley Tanner plunges you into the Russian emigre community in Brooklyn, where two souls connect under a maternal watchful eye. Tanner's assured narrative voice finds new ways to describe emotion and character, stunning the reader again and again with small shocks of awareness. This book is sad, funny, true and shot through with grace."
--Judy Blundell, National Book Award-winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied
"Vaclav & Lena is a wonderful achievement, generous, playful, moving and refreshing. It was the voice that first captivated me here, a voice that allows Haley Tanner to say anything at all, and to say it truly. Give this novel a few short pages, and I guarantee you'll want to read it to the end."
--Kevin Brockmeier, author of The View from the Seventh Layer and The Brief History of the Dead
"A terrific, enlightened debut."
--"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
"From the Hardcover edition."
|Publisher: ||Random House Audio|
|Dimensions: ||8.46 x 18.95 x 2.84 centimeters (0.29 kg)|