The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ave Lavenderby Leslye Walton
Synopsis: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.
Everyone in Ava’s family has suffered at the hands of love: Her Great-Grandmother when she was left by her husband after having to immigrate from France to “Manhatine”, her Grandmother Emiliene when she loses the love of her life and every one of her siblings, and finally her mother Vivianne when she was abandoned by her childhood sweetheart after a night that left her pregnant with twins Ava and Henry. When the story moves on to Ava’s tale it shows a girl who is trapped by family history and her own reality (she was born with wings); a girl who is trying to figure out where she truly fits in the world and if the world can even accept a girl like her. Emiliene, Vivianne, and Ava all live in the same house together but all of them due to history or circumstance are hiding and it is only when Ava endures a violent assault from a soul misguided in his obsession that love’s wounds begin to heal and the women start to relate to each other as a true family. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ave Lavender is a multi-generational novel that tells of love and it’s victims. With events that could easy have come out of a fairytale setting - Emiliene’s sister turns into a bird and Vivianne’s incredible sense of smell - Walton has created a beautiful and haunting story that perfectly blends magic, myth, and realism together.