Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Expected Publication: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Format: Ebook; 320pg
Source: Netgalley


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 na├»ve 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.

This story will haunt me for the rest of my days. This book was unlike anything I have read before. It began on almost a whimsical note, introducing characters and locations with flourish and outstanding detail. The beginning of the story made me think of The Royal Tenebaums. The quirky way in which each character was introduced kept my rapt attention. As the story progressed, I realized there was so much that was unique about this book. However, a theme of darkness ran throughout.

As brutal as some of the aspects of this book are, I really enjoyed reading it. I loved how the story of Ava Lavender was told through three generations of women. There is Emilienne, the grand-mother of Ava, Vivienne, Ava's mother and Ava herself. All of the women have had their share of heartache and disappointment.

There were some scenes in the book that would make me say this is definitely NOT a young adult book. The story became so raw and violent. This book is definitely not for those that love happy stories. It is gritty and even though you have an idea of what is going to happen, you really hope it won't.

Overall, a beautiful and heart-breaking tale that will stay with you long after you have read it.

5 stars to The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.

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