The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Book - 2014
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Born with bird wings, Ava Lavender's well aware that love has long made fools of her family. When pious Nathaniel Sorrows mistakes her bird wings for angel wings, 16-year-old Ava faces the man's growing obsession, which comes to a head with the rain and feathers that fly through the air during a nighttime summer solstice celebration.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780763665661
0763665665
Characteristics: 301 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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From Library Staff

July 2015

Ava Lavender is just a girl, except she happened to be born with the wings of a bird. To discover how she came to be, Ava takes us back in time along the branches of her family tree, exploring stories of love and loss that span generations.


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satx_bookshark Jan 24, 2019

A wonderfully magical book that will leave you hoping that you can find a similar kind of magic in your life one day. This book is heavy on the magical realism, and is a multigenerational book in surprisingly few pages. I have read the book and listened to it and both versions were magical and lovely.

Trigger Warning: rape

w
WhenIrise
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.

h
heidijoemonty
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.

h
hannmsha
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.

c
CassandraOverney
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.

r
rasha1784
Jun 22, 2017

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

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.

d
danthetiredboi
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. :)

s
sagewolfe
Oct 30, 2014

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

KateHillier Jun 27, 2014

Ava and Henry Lavender are unusual. Henry because he has been mute most of life and Ava because she has wings. Her mother shelters her family from the world but, of course, the world creeps in regardless. Part is done by Ava herself and her neighbours, the rest by Nathaniel Sorrows - a devout man who has mistaken her for an angel.

It's magical realism that you don't think twice about. Of course it's logical for people to turn into burns or be able to smell everything about a person or to commune with ghosts. It is utterly immersive and utterly heartbreaking as Ava tells her family's tale (starting with her grandmother) and how all those sorrows and pain lead up to Ava and her wings and the heartbreaking, devastating, trouble that brings. Despite how much your heart will hurt by the novel's end, this is a gorgeous novel and a brilliant first effort from Leslye Walton. I eagerly await her next work.

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liuvv
Jan 05, 2019

Love makes us such fools.

v
vickiheck
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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