A Five Star Pick
Beautiful. This novel is uplifting, heartbreaking and adorable all at the same time. My emotions were doing somersaults as I laughed at certain moments and cried during others. There is that real sense of what true love is all about, even though it is portrayed first through the eyes of a hopeful nine year-old magician “wanna be” and then later when that same hopeful “Houdini” is seventeen. Vaclav has come to America with his parents from Russia and tries to excel at all things to fit in: school, performing magic and being friends with the most lovely girl in the world (Lena). Unfortunately, though Vaclav’s life seems full of promise, Lena’s childhood and living situation is brutal. Together they form a bond that allows them to see past all adversities, even after being separated for years. This book will be the Book of the Month at the library in February, the online book club title for April, and I hope to give a book talk about it in the Summer. I can only describe this story as magical. Read it so that you know why I am so hyped about it. My eyes are still stinging.