The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
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 naive 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.
I can’t possibly say enough to do this book justice. I am absolutely in love with this book. I took my time reading this one, as I believe everyone should, because the language is just so beautiful and lux, you need a moment between each chapter to fully savor and absorb the family saga.
I will agree that when I initially picked up this book I thought it would just be about a girl with wings, that publishers blurb is misleading and those looking for a light fantasy romp need to look elsewhere. Ava Lavender is much more akin to Weetzie Bat. Ava doesn’t appear until almost halfway through the book and you know what? I was okay with that because all of the characters are so fascinating and detailed. The magical realism is rendered in such a way that it is believable. I think part of that is that language, anything written with that much care must be true right? 200 hundred year old ghosts, sisters turned into birds, girl with angel wings, man disappears in a puff of smoke? All seem legitimate in this setting. While others might not enjoy reading all of the family history, I devoured it. Walton KNOWS her characters and makes sure the reader does too.
This book is all about love. Not always pretty and easy. Real. Complex. Both tender and harsh. “Love makes us such fools.” Agree 100%. I hope Walton writes many more because I can’t wait to pick up another. – BK
Click here to reserve The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender in the RFPL online catalog!