Episode 9: Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner
When Vaclav & Lena begins, Vaclav is a ten-year-old boy, a Russian immigrant, living with his parents in Brooklyn, and wanting nothing more than to be the next Harry Houdini. Lena is his lovely assistant, a parentless nine-year-old girl who lives a few blocks away. Rasia, Vaclav's mother, knows something isn't right at Lena's house, but she closes her eyes to what's going on, until one day she can't anymore. And then Lena disappears, from Vaclav's life, from Rasia's, for the next seven years, until, on her seventeenth birthday, like magic, she is back.
Haley Tanner talks about eating borscht in Brighton Beach, crying in coffee shops, and what you do when an Amazon reader review confirms all your worst fears.