The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

by Leslye Walton

Paperback(Reprint)

$8.99
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, September 23

Overview

“An entrancing and sumptuously written multigenerational novel wrapped in the language of fable, magical realism, and local legend.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763680275
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 09/22/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 71,257
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

  

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of book you get lost in. It's magic realism and it's incredible and enchanting and the kind of novel you'll end up finishing in one day. A disclaimer though: at one point in the book there is a graphic rape scene that is extremely upsetting. Please do yourself a favor and read this.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
Ava Lavender narrates this remarkable account beginning in the 1900’s when her family arrived in America. With great detail you learn about the lives of her great-grandparents and their trials and accomplishments that they encountered. Where there is love, there is also pain and that pain runs through the veins of the family causing suffering. Forever wanting and forever searching, the concept of love is an emotion that they can’t grasp. As I read, I felt a deep connection to the characters more so than I worried about the plot of the story. Please don’t misunderstand me, it was just the mannerism of the characters and the situations that they were in, I felt a deep connection to them and I really just wanted the story to end many time before anything else happened. As the story continues, there was nothing I would do but to read what happened to these individuals that I cared so much about. They were an emotional family tending to others as they baked their specialties at the shop, listening to the people’s comments and taking in different individuals. Living in a small town, gossip about the girl with the wings circulated and Ava’s family is quite known. Ava’s mother Viviane tries to keep Ava isolated thinking that was the best solution for a girl born with wings but Ava was curious about the world around her. It was during the Summer Solstice that Ava’s world changed, I almost cried when I read this section. Tears of sorrow and yes, tears of joy. It has to be the connection to the characters that had me so deeply involved with this book. They reminded me so much of older grandparents with their mannerism and their strict doctrine. The author tells the history of Ava’s family as I believe you have to have that to truly understand why Ava and Henry (her twin brother) are the way they are. History seems to be repeating itself in its way these individuals are unique from society’s norm. And Jack? His wife, Laura, hello?!? Such unique characters in a small town and I can see these small town folks talking into each other’s ears these secrets. This book needs to be for mature ya readers. Such a great fiction read with some fantasy thrown in. What bothered me was the issue with capitals letters. The beginning of sentences and proper nouns were not capitalized yet other words were capitalized that did not need to be. I thought this might be an issue as it was a Kindle version. The editing issues did not affect my reading; it is a terrific book that should not be looked over. NetGalley provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful escape into a magical family!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy magical realism, you will love this book. Think 100 Years of Solitude meets Like Water for Chocolate. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This beautiful story follows the family and upbringing of a girl named Ava Lavender, who was born with wings. This is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read, you will never forget it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walton's beautiful tale will haunt my thoughts fir a long time. It is an amalgamation of love, loss, and pain perfectly captured by Walton's delicately poised prose. I loved everything about this book—it is an absolute must-read.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
So YA, but not really sure I could have read it in my teenage years. There's just so. much. sorrow. Sure, the author tells you that in the title, but I mean, there's just loss after loss after loss. And yet, for all the sorrow, there's a magical realism that is so reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez which makes this book so lovely. It starts off with a French family, led by Beauregard and Maman, immigrating to Manhattan to start a new life in a new world. There, their four children grow up and experience the first of the sorrows. Emmaline, the sole survivor of the sorrows heads west and sets up shop in the Pacific Northwest. There, she gives birth to Vivienne and suffers more tragedy. Emmaline tries her best to get over her sorrows and raise Vivienne, but retreats to her practicality and ignores the ghosts of her dead siblings as they try to warn her of the impending doom. Vivienne grows up the best she can, falls in love with local hottie, Jack. She gives birth to twins - Ava and Henry. Ava was born with wings and Henry is on the spectrum. They grow up isolated in the house haunted by ghosts of their dead great aunts and uncles. But like all children, the twins grow up and Ava, at least, wants to branch out. More sorrow follows and, at times, it becomes a bit oppressive how much sorrow there is. Still, there was just something so beautiful and lyrical about this book that it was almost impossible to set down. It was so reminiscent of Latin American Mystical Realism / Southern Gothic literature. Lovely, lovely book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, beautiful story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a wonderful, heart-wrenching book. This story will stay with you for a long time. Read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My absolute favorite book. Read immediately!
anythingnovel More than 1 year ago
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton is a novel that follows the family of Ava Lavender, beginning when her great grandparents first immigrate to the United States. This story is much like Big Fish, in that it uses a whimsical storyline with darker implications to make readers consider love, and the feelings it arouses in a different light. Beginning with Ava’s great grandmother, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. describes how love, lust, and infatuation have affected different family members. Whether it is Ava’s great aunt who turns herself into a canary in an attempt to capture the love of an avid bird watcher, or Ava herself, who becomes the obsession of a religious fanatic, convinced that she is an angel sent to give him a message from God. This novel is creative and insightful. Walton causes readers to question how we become attached to the people we love and if the mysticism that comes with beginning romance, is more helpful or hurtful to a relationship.
EllenRozek More than 1 year ago
This may have been one of the most beautiful, and beautifully written, stories that I've read in a long time. I knew I would fall in love with this novel before I'd even finished the prologue, because every sentence shines in the most enviable way possible. Ava Lavender's story is as much about family, ties that bind, strange new worlds, and lasting friendships as it is about oddities or doomed romance or the weight of the histories that every character carries with them. Although there are some truly magical moments in Ava's life that have their roots in her mother's and grandmother's girlhood, the moments that carried the most poignancy for me were the ones centered around ordinary people performing ordinary acts of kindness or courage. THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER is the kind of book that will stay with me for a long, long time. It is perfect in spite of the heartache it inflicts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will leave you wondering whether you believe love is worth what we put into it. Flawed human love is exemplified in this beautifully versed novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book grabbed me and wouldn't let go. Both beautiful and sad but with hope.. Amazing first book from this author. Hope to see more. 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful, pure and simple.
Shelby_Mead More than 1 year ago
* I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley * Trying to describe this book is like trying to describe air...or color. Sure there are words you could use to get your point across but they will never be adequate enough to do it justice. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender was kind of epic. I could try to describe it to you but I won't even come close. The best comparison I can come up with, after much internal debate, is the movie "Big Fish" and that's not even close, not really. I found a few small quotes in the book that stood out to me. The first one is "whimsical beauty" and the second one is "a strange kind of attractiveness". If I had to, these quotes would be the ones I would pick to describe this book. It was kind of strange and sad and magical...and so beautiful. Do yourself a favor and take a chance on a book that you are not likely to ever forget.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is probably one of the best books I've ever read. It's filled with a lot of heart and is very emotional. Magical realism at its finest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a magical book. The writting is so beautiful that you never want the book end.
HorseAnimeFreak More than 1 year ago
I was not expecting to actually like this book ;) It was very interesting, fun, it got a little dark sometimes, vivid, yeah slow but it's so well written that you kinda forget that and before you know it you've been reading for 2 hours ;D Hehe anyway I somehow very much enjoyed this book and I would give it a 6/10 :D
kayla_rea5 More than 1 year ago
The  Strange  and  beautiful  sorrows  of  ava  lavender.  Leslye  Walton  is  the  author.  She  was  born  in  the  pacific  northwest.  Leslye  Walton  has  an  MA  in  writing.  When  she’s  not  writing,  she  teaches  middle-school  students  how  to  read  and  write  and,  most  important,  how  to  be  kind  to  one  another,  even  on  days  when  they  don’t  really  feel  like  it. Emilienne  Roux  and  her  family  moved  to  the  United  States  from  France.  Her  father  was  in  the  army.  Her  father  had  passed  away,  then  after  that  the  rest  of  her  family  members  started  to  pass  away,  her  mother  and  her  siblings.  So  she  was  left  alone . She  married  a  guy  named  Conner  Lavender,  he  owned  a  bakery. A  little  after  they  married  he  passed  away.  He  left  behind  a  wife  and  a  baby  because  she  was  pregnant.  Emilienne  was  just  loosing  everyone  in  her  life.  After  her  husband  died  she  took  over  the  bakery.  She  had  the  baby  and  she  named  her  Vivian.  Vivian  grew  up  and  fell  in  love  with  this  guy  named  Jack  Griffith.  They  were  so  in  love,  then  he  left  to  the  army.  She  told  him  to  keep  in  touch  but  he  didn’t.  When  he  came  back,  he  came  back  with  a  fiancé.  Vivian  was  heartbroken,  they  met  up  to  talk,  then  talking  led  to  other  things.  He  still  had  feelings  for  her  but  they  weren’t  as  strong.  He  left  with  his  fiancé,  and  left  Vivian  all alone. She  then  later  found  out  she  was  pregnant  by  him.  When  she  was in  delivery  she  a  healthy  baby  girl,  but  the  doctors  told  her  she  wasn’t  done  there  was  still  another  baby  in  there.  Finally  she  had  the  second  baby,  it  was  a  baby  boy.  She  named  the  Ava  and  Henry. Ava grew  up  to  be  just  like  her  mother. The  point  of  this  book  was  to  show  that  there  are  many  obstacles  in  life,  you  just  have  to  learn  to  live  with  them.  At  times  it  can  be  very  sad,  but  then  again  it  can  be  joyful  and  wonderful.  You  just  learn  to  live  with  what  life  throws  at  you. This  was  a  good  book,  it  was  sad  at  times  but  then  at  others  it  was  happy.  It  had  a  good  plot,  it  told  different  stories. This  is  book  is  a  good  recommendation  for  people  who  have  lost  a lot  of  family  members.  The  narrator  is  a  little  girl  telling  her  family’s  past,  and  how  they  overcame  it..  Overall  the  book  was  good.