One of my favorite summer activities is sitting outside, preferably in a beach chair or on the back of my Dad's boat with a salty breeze in my face reading a great book. Unfortunately, I've been in a rut filled with mediocre books since finishing The Secret Life of Henrietta Lacks back in April. The streak finally broke two weeks ago, thus I have two books to share with you.
Vaclav & Lena is the debut novel by Haley Tanner about 10-year old Russian immigrants, Vaclav and Lena coming of age in Brighton Beach, NY. Their tale begins through a chance meeting when they are 6 and goes on to describe their life as immigrant children pursuing their dream of having their own magical act. Under the caring, yet watchful eye of Vaclav's mother, Rasia the pair struggle through daily life in America; school, homework, home life and their magic act. Things are going (seemingly) well for Vaclav and Lena until one day when Lena mysteriously does not show up for school and is then not seen or heard from again for 7 years. The story continues with Vaclav and Lena's lives apart and finally together again. Throughout this beautiful story, Tanner writes about the strength and depth of secrets, childhood bonds and the magic of love. Vaclav & Lena is wonderfully written with whimsical settings and magic(al) descriptions, sweet conversations between Vaclav and Lena and Vaclav and Rasia. I really enjoyed this story and the gamut of emotions it will put you through.
I just added a number of books to my list to read from here but be forewarned, these do not appear to be light and fluffy if that's what you're into for summer, and really, who doesn't love a puff piece for the beach?! What are you reading this summer, I'd love to know!