The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Genre: Young Adult Magical Realism
Goodreads summary: 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.
If you have been reading my blog for awhile now then you will know that I have been meaning to read this book for months and months and months. So when I went on holiday I decided to take it with me and finally give it a go – and wow I am so glad I did.
It is hard to explain this book to you as it has so many different elements within it that I have never experienced before when reading a book but it blew me away. The characters were so unique and despite the strange abilities or flaws they felt real and it became easy to sympathise with them. During a certain part of the book I wanted to cry and I was angry towards the actions that were being taken. I fell in love with the characters and their stories.
What I enjoyed most about this book is the back stories we get to learn about Ava’s family and the people in the town. I think this is what made the book so unique and special, because we got to see how everything interlinked and how things changes with time.
Despite the rest of the town not really liking Ava’s family or finding them strange, the way Walton wrote this book gave us an insight into their world and their lives which in term makes you love them not afraid of them like most.
Magical realism is not a genre I have really touched upon before and I would highly recommend this book to anybody else who hasn’t tried magical realism before but is intrigued by it. Despite the idea of a person with wings being something we might call a fairy tale or make believe, Walton actually makes you believe this beautiful girl with wings is real and you feel for her as you watch her life unfold.
I didn’t know what to expect from this novel but I am so glad that I picked it up. The plot is brilliant and everything intertwines with each other, and the characters are like no other characters I have read about before. This book is a one of a kind and you should pick it up if you haven’t done already!
Have you read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, what were your thoughts? Have you read any magical realism before – do you have any recommendations?