The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender by Leslye WaltonThe Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender

byLeslye Walton

Hardcover | March 25, 2014

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A 2015 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist

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.
Leslye Walton says that The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender began as a short story that came to her while listening to a song. She has an MA in writing, and this is her first novel. Walton is a native of Tacoma, Washington, and she currently teaches middle school in Seattle.
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Title:The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava LavenderFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 8.52 × 5.8 × 1 inPublished:March 25, 2014Publisher:Candlewick PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0763665665

ISBN - 13:9780763665661

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from pretty great! enjoyed this read! really great magic realism
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical Realism at its Best! Stunning, unique and utterly captivating!
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning. “And that might just be the root of the problem: we're all afraid of each other, wings or no wings.” This is easily going to be the best book I have read all year and it quickly became one of my favourite books of all time.
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review Number of pages: 301 Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1 Rating (out of five stars): 3 I’m not sure what I expected from a book about a girl with wings, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. I’m not disappointed; I think there is something with magical realism that simply doesn’t click with me. I’m also not one for deep messages and hidden meanings behind everything in books. I am not going to pay attention to minute details just to figure out the ending (this is not a direct criticism of the book in question). I think the thing that bothered me the most was how we didn’t meet the titular character until 100 pages into the book. I guess it was interesting to see two generations of background, but you would think the book would focus more on Ava Lavender herself. I didn’t really care for learning about her grandmother’s sister turning herself canary. It was strange details like that that forced me to have to read sentences 10 times. They are just brushed over as if it’s nothing. Speaking of weird, it was a mix of too much weird with too little acknowledgement of how weird it really was. People spontaneously turning to blue ash; perfectly normal! Girls who don’t age; happens every day! It was so strange that a week later I still have no idea what happened at the end. The book is set around the 1950s, but it felt a little too modern once Ava was born. Maybe the 1950s were really similar to now minus cell phones and laptops, but I’m not convinced. On the plus side, this strange little book was incredibly well written with well-developed characters.  No characters were mentioned arbitrarily; everyone played a role in the story, no matter how small. It fit what I assume is the message, and the setting of a small town well. Overall, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender was well-written, but didn’t click with me, earning 3 out of 5 stars.
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from First magical-realism I took my time with this book, or rather, I felt that I didn't need to finish it so quickly. Every time I read it it was like being engulfed in magic. It wasn't all happy, in fact, I would say that most of the time the book made me feel very sad and every time something happened to the characters, I was no less heartbroken by it than the previous time. This is my first time reading a magical-realism book and I really shouldn't have read this one first because where else will I find one so good like this one? It's honestly so good. So good. I loved it. I realized that I had to give this book a five-star rating after Vivian's meeting with Jack. "She laughed. And she laughed. And she laughed." I read that part over and over again. If you've already read this book, you'd definitely know what I'm talking about. And this is only one of the many parts of the book that made me realize, 'I love this so much.' Don't even get me started on the meaning behind Henry's words, "There's blood on the floor and feathers everywhere". It broke me and it will break you too. UGH I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of a kind! At first, I was a little annoyed about how the book wasn't too focused on Ava until the last one-third of the book. But the book does such a great job being so wonderful, that I was just so absorbed in the story. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This story stands in the front of my mind as one of the most uniquely beautiful I've read. Despite the very fantastical elements, there is something so breathtakingly honest about this book. Spanning the course of three generations of women, the characters are crafted with such rich personalities. And even though there is a fairly large cast of characters, they are all developed and complex and significant in their own ways. What really strikes me is how Walton evoked such melancholy and bittersweetness. She will make you smile, she will break your heart, and you will leave this world not quite sure where you are left standing. All in all, the title says it all. This book is absolutely strange and absolutely beautiful.
Date published: 2017-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Indescribable I am entirely unsure what to think. I just know that I loved it.
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Left a lasting impact. Magical realism meets lyrical prose. This story follows the family of Roux family, three generation of women to be exact. This book isn’t driven by plot, it is driven by the characters. This is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. The family has been given the birthright of certain… physical and mental upgrades. This heartbreaking and tragic story will have you asking questions the whole way through, and they will be answered… all in due time.
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique This was an extremely beautiful novel and it's definitely one that I would recommend to anyone who wants to read a unique, well written story full of beautiful characters and metaphors.
Date published: 2016-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark, magical and beautiful Very interesting book that makes you think. It was quite dark. First time reading magical realism and thought it was wonderful. It was very surprising and I was a bit confused at the end of the book, kind of open for interpretation but i liked it.
Date published: 2014-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from Swept Away By Books The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavendar is the story of three generations of women whom have had love abandon them in some way. It was a tale of mothers and daughters, of lost loves and new love brought to life, of a girl with the wings of a bird and another of a girl who turned herself into a bird over love. In all, this story is one that was so beautifully written, full of hope while at the same time tragedy. "Love makes us such fools"  Ava Lavender tells the story of her Grandmother Emmelienne Roux and her tale of falling in love and consequently losing it. Of the bakery that she relied on to live, and the two children she never realized she had let into her heart. She tells the story of her own mother, Viviane Lavender as she spends a lifetime waiting for her childhood love to come back to her, all while secluded in their drafty house with a widow's walk and a rumour of ghosts. And she tells the story of her own youth, as being kept secreted away in the house with her strange twin brother Henry, and how she makes the choice to become who she wants to be, despite her differentness, and the consequences she has to face for some of her actions. The magical realism aspect to this story is subtle, as is known to the genre. But it is so fitting to a story that deals with love the way it is done here. Mother's disappear from thin air, girls are born with wings, ghosts linger and sisters choose to be canaries rather than humans any long. It was bizarre and wonderfully weird.  The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender was a brilliantly told, stunningly written and wonderfully imaginative story of a girl with wings who only wanted to be normal. I absolutely fell in love with Leslye Walton's writing, and know that this book is a rare gem among the young adult genre. 
Date published: 2014-03-17

Editorial Reviews

[A]n entrancing and sumptuously written multigenerational novel wrapped in the language of fable, magical realism, and local legend. ... Walton's novel builds to a brutal but triumphant conclusion. It's a story that adults and teenagers can appreciate equally.—Publishers Weekly (starred review)Walton's novel is both strange and beautiful in the best of ways. ... This multigenerational tale examines love and considers the conflicting facets of loving and being loved -- desire, despair, depression, obsession, self-love, and courage. ... It is beautifully crafted and paced, mystical yet grounded by universal themes and sympathetic characters. A unique book, highly recommended for readers looking for something a step away from ordinary.—School Library Journal (starred review)This love story by debut YA author Leslye Walton is as rare and perfect as Mona Lisa's smile.—Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books! (Alexandria, VA)It is just as the title suggests, both strange and beautiful, and should be read by every lover of books, regardless of their age.—Becky Quiroga Curtis, Books & Books (Coral Gables, FL)This remarkable, magic-laced family history continues and spreads to other members of Ava's Seattle neighborhood to produce a gauzy narrative of love and loss... [An] intentionally artful tale.—Bulletin of the Center for Children's BooksThis magical lyrical story is a beautifully written novel with much to offer readers. ... Exquisite.—Library Media Connection[Ava's voice] is a beautiful voice—poetic, witty, and as honest as family mythology will allow. There are many sorrows in Walton's debut, and most of them are Ava's through inheritance. Readers should prepare themselves for a tale where myth and reality, lust and love, the corporal and the ghostly, are interchangeable and surprising.—BooklistThe story's language is gorgeous.—Kirkus ReviewsIn a sweeping intergenerational story infused with magical realism, debut author Leslye Walton tethers grand themes of love and loss to the earthbound sensibility of Ava Lavender as she recollects one life-altering summer as a teenager. ... Walton presents challenges that most teens will hopefully never face. She writes of love, betrayal, birth, murder, affection and rape--and wraps them in prose so radiant that readers feel carried by Ava's narrative. The heroine's humor and wisdom as she looks back at her life let us know that she is a survivor.—Shelf Awareness (starred review)This. Book. Stole. Our. Hearts. It unfolds like a hauntingly beautiful dream (or is it a gorgeous nightmare?)... Strange and beautiful... violent and gorgeous. You gotta read it. A must-read for fans of beautiful monsters like Miss Peregrine's.—Justine MagazineUsing detailed imagery and an almost mythical storytelling style, teenage Ava tells the history of four generations of her family. ... [Teens] willing to enter Ava's world on its own terms will find themselves richly rewarded.—BookPage[Ava] navigates through her family's history—along with her own—with a lyrical prose that maintains a whimsical and traditional fairy tale feel despite the sorrowful themes. ... Overall, I'm both impressed and dazzled by Leslye Walton's debut. "The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender" is a novel that has so many layers that it demands your attention. Written with the finesse of a seasoned writer, it's stunning, magical, strange and, of course, very beautiful.—Tor.comFirst-time novelist Leslye Walton has crafted a beautiful, haunting family history that spans generations and continents. The story's narrator, Ava, is achingly believable. ... "The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender" is not a typical love story. Walton's tale, by turns tragic and comic, expects readers to explore the big questions love raises — why do we love the people we love, and why do we hold on to love that hurts?—The Times-News[This novel] should be remembered for the devastatingly beautiful character of Ava Lavender and how she depicts just what it is to be different.—The GuardianFoolish love and flight are Ava's family inheritance. Magical realism colors this tale of a girl normal but for the wings with which she was born.—San Francisco ChronicleThe characters are rich and familiar, and Walton does whimsy with a healthy dose of melancholy and tragedy. The storytelling is completely beautiful... A particularly toothsome and pleasurable read.—Toronto Globe and MailIn a swirl of hauntingly realistic prose and magical realism, "Ava Lavender" explores the depths of beauty and terror and the heart's capacity to rise above.—Richmond Times Dispatch"The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender" will appeal to both adult and young readers who love magical realism, fantasy, and fairy tales. It is 'magical realism at its best,' noted Tor... Strange and sorrowful, the novel is an uncommon debut -- exquisitely written and relayed with sophistication.—BookmarksThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton - It's set in the real world, but it transports you to some other universe. Not at all about travel, this favorite of mine from 2014 is a beautiful, heart-wrenching, charming story. Read if you're stuck on a family trip to somewhere commonplace and you want to escape to somewhere magical.—Kindle Daily Post (blog)