Feb 6, 2014
Title: Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.
Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender was a magical book from beginning to end. This really isn’t a young adult or teen novel. It’s written in the vein of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and it’s beautiful prose and characters made it a wonderful story.
This book spans really 3 generations of women. Emilienne, Viviane, and Ava. It was beautiful from the moment it started in France, and chronicled the Roux family coming to Manhattan. I can’t even describe how amazing the book is without talking about all the depressing things that happened, but there was such beauty interwoven in it that it never made it less captivating.
All of their stories are full of betrayal. Emilienne, by her sister Margaux, and Satin Lush. Compounded by her brother Rene’s foolish belief in love which cost him his life. She fled Manhattan with Connor Lavender and lost him before she could really start to love him. Vivane had loved Jack Griffith from the time she was 6, but the woes of love followed her as well. He broke her heart and left her with two children Ava and Henry.
Ava’s troubles began with her wings and ended with Nathaniel Sorrows. I loved that the last part of the book gave finality to some of the more fantastical parts of the book.
I can’t even describe how highly I would recommend this book. It’s rare that I give 5 stars, but I feel like I’ve been giving them quite a bit lately. However, this book deserves every star. It was beautiful and haunting, and the characters displayed a depth of emotion that made my heart ache. I loved it, and I can’t wait to keep an eye out for this author.
5/5 – MUST READ, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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