Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Date Added: August 2, 2016
Date Started: August 6, 2018
Date Finished: September 3, 2018
Reading Duration: 28 days
Genre: Fantasy/Magical Realism, Paranormal, Young Adult (YA)
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.
Note: I’m going to split this into two sections: Review and Analysis. The Analysis section will have spoilers whereas the Review will be just that.
Foreseeing the future…means nothing if there is nothing to be done to prevent it.
Ava Lavender is a girl born with brown speckled bird wings in a world where magic might blend with the mundane but does nothing to mitigate grief. Ava’s life is seeped with sorrow, and she came by it honestly. The first part of the novel lays out the past to feature her French forebears with the apt surname of “Roux.”
All of them saddled with unlucky love and dying too young to reap the full sorrows. Only her grandmother Emilienne survived to birth her mother Viviane who herself suffered love unreturned.