It’s been a while since we posted last as we were on holiday visiting family. But we’re here now with a non-spoiler review of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, a book on magic realism.
Name: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Publication: March 24, 2014 by Candlewick Press
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Lyrical Pose
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 naïve 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.
‘Love makes us such fools…‘
When we first read the summary of the book on the back cover, intrigued, we immediately picked it up as who wouldn’t want to read a book about a girl with wings? This short novel chronologically traces the life, growth and decay of three exceptionally dejected women in the Roux family.
The book begins with young Emilienne (Ava’s grandmother) marries in haste after falling in love three times, all resulting in her doom. After her husband’s death she takes over the responsibility of managing the bakery. Being an outsider she leads a reclusive life while simultaneously bringing up her daughter Viviane.
Viviane falls in deep love with her childhood sweetheart and a night of reckless passion with him results in an unfortunate pregnancy. Her love leaves, making false promises and she spends a chunk of her life caged and in solitude. She begets twins, Henry and Ava who are both born with supposed disabilities.
Ava Lavender was bogged down by constant questions regarding her self and the feathers on her back incessantly created a barrier between her and the populace. Since falling in foolish love was the birthright of Roux family, she also fell in its trap but the difference being that hers would last long. A harsh turn of events due to a pious man alters her perception of reality and she accepts her fate and starts believing in who she really is.
This book made us self reflective and affected our collective conscience which kept us engrossed in the story.
Stay happy, keep smiling and be fantastical 😀