The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Book - 2014
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"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 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. 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."-- From publisher.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, ©2014
ISBN: 9780763665661
Branch Call Number: WALTON
Characteristics: 301 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Aug 03, 2018

This is such a thrilling, lyrical and swiftly moving story. I couldn’t put this book down. I don’t like books that take me a while to get into— but this definitely wasn’t one of them. It’s not hurried or brusque. The strange and beautiful sorrows of Ava lavender is giddy tale about what it means to exuberant and vividly different— but also a tragic plot of how people may take advantage of that.

Jul 04, 2018

This book is so strange, gorgeous, lovely, weird, sparkling and odd. I can’t think of anything I can compare it to. I usually read the author’s bio on the back flap of a book first thing- and this one in particular opened up a little door into this magical book. “...she has developed a strange kinship with the daffodil— she too can achieve beauty only after a long, cold, sulk in the rain.” And, hand on my heart during the last sentence of the book... deep breath. I’m going to be thinking about this one for a long time. Loved it.

Apr 23, 2018

This book is indeed strange and beautiful. I can't figure out how I feel. I can't stop thinking about this book.

Jan 06, 2018

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender shattered my heart into a million feathers. It is not a tragedy, but it is definitely beautiful, strange, and sorrowful (just like the title suggests). When I started reading the novel, I though it was very fascinating, especially when it described the lives of Ava's mother and grandmother, but I did not consider it amazing, yet. As I read on and reached the climax of the story, all the build up from the beginning came together and ripped my heartstrings apart. Suddenly, the whole book became a musical masterpiece, something like the song, Moon River. Every sentence contributed beautifully to the entire song.

Love truly makes us all such fools.

Jun 22, 2017

Beautifully written Magical Realism, but it was a little too sad for me to recommend the books to others.

BostonPL_LauraB Oct 31, 2016

This book was very well-written - lyrical and fantastical. Silly and absurd at times, heartwarming and heartbreaking in others. I am honestly surprised this is categorized as YA at all, as it didn't feel like it at all to me. As a personal preference, I'd give this a 3.5/5 stars because it was a little too much "magical realism" for my tastes, but I completely understand it's enchantment for most readers. Recommended!

LPL_KimberlyL May 11, 2016

The YA for Grownups pick for May 2016! Set in France, New York, and San Francisco, this multi-generational fairy tale follows the family of Ava Lavender and all of the magic and tragedies that have occurred along the way. A stunning example of Magical Realism, along the lines of Chocolat, Like Water for Chocolate, and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Feb 27, 2016

I truly like this book. It's like a fairy tale, but not. Perfect for teenagers after their own personal fairy tale. :)

martha_w Jan 16, 2015

I enjoyed this quite a bit, though I'm iffy about whether I actually consider it to be YA - the main character is a teenager, but only from the halfway mark onwards, when she actually becomes the focus of the story (it's multigenerational), and I think it might be more accurate to classify this as an adult book with YA appeal. Having said that, since everyone is calling this YA, it's refreshing to read a YA book featuring magical realism, which I thought was handled well. It's beautifully written with memorable characters - my only warning would be that the last 50 pages are kind of unexpectedly brutal, so readers should be prepared.

Oct 30, 2014

Amazing. This daring and luscious novel is almost too much. Can't wait to see what Walton writes for us next.

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Jun 03, 2014

Just because love don't look how you think it should don't mean you don't have it.

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