The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
By Leslye Walton
This book was so fantastic and so phenomenal that I had to read it twice.
Ava Lavender was the book club pick for this month. The first time I read it, I had it done in just 2 days.
I thought I should read it a second time before our monthly meeting to make sure I did not miss anything since I devoured it the first time. I took a little bit longer to read it the second round so I could grasp more of the details; 4 days.
To many, I was a myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth–deep down, I always did.
I was just a girl.
Myth incarnate……but just a girl.
The book follows 3 generations of women through life; we walk with each of them through their journey with love, loss, tragedy, understanding and redemption. It is unique, however, in the fact that the story is told from the narrative of Ava Lavender, the 3rd generation in this line of women.
I loved the background story the author gives us so we can understand what makes Ava who she is and how the women before her fit into her story. Emmilienne seeks to forgive, Viviane seeks love and Ava seeks normalcy and acceptance.
Lesyle Walton, in her debut novel, weaves just enough realism within the story that there are moments that you have to check in with your mind to remember that it is magical realism and pure fantasy. She makes it easy to get so wrapped up inside the pages and the characters that you tune out the world around you and forget that it is just the result of a brilliant imagination and extraordinary writing.
The writing, the words, the language, the flow of the story of Ava Lavender is quite captivating. It is poetic, it is whimsical and it is exceptionally enchanting to read.
Just a girl……normal…..accepted…….is that not what we all want, wings or not?
There is some adult content. While it is a YA book, I recommend this for older teens and for you to pre-read it to gauge what fits into your family’s level of acceptable literature.
This next section is where I usually add to my review after my book club meets and include some thoughts and opinions of the other ladies, but I do not want to ruin the magic of this book for you by giving away spoilers.
The majority of the ladies enjoyed the book, although magical realism is quite different from what we typically read.
I highly recommend this book and it is definitely one I could see myself reading multiple more times.