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
Branch Call Number: YF WAL NVD
Characteristics: 301 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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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. :)

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.

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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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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