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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

by

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Cover

ISBN13: 9780763665661
ISBN10: 0763665665
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Walton debuts with an entrancing and sumptuously written multigenerational novel wrapped in the language of fable, magical realism, and local legend. Ostensibly about a 16-year-old born with wings, the novel is also a rich retelling of Ava Lavender's family history, including her stalwart grandmother Emilienne's journey from adolescence in rural France and 1920s Manhattan to a hardscrabble life as a widowed baker in Seattle; and Ava's mother Viviane's unrequited obsession with a childhood love and the rearing of her children. Halfway in, Ava's story moves front and center, as she longs to leave the safety of her home, sneaks out with her friend Cardigan, and begins to fall for Cardigan's brother, Rowe. Flirting with fairytalelike occurrences throughout — Viviane has a supernatural sense of smell, one of Emilienne's siblings transforms into a bird, ghosts are everywhere — Walton's novel builds to a brutal but triumphant conclusion. It's a story that adults and teenagers can appreciate equally, one that's less about love than about the way love can be thwarted and denied. Or, as Walton puts it, 'the scars love's victims carry.' Ages 14 – up. Agent: Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Associates. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Walton's novel is both strange and beautiful in the best of ways....This multigenerational tale examines love and considers the conflicting facets of loving and being loved — desire, despair, depression, obsession, self-love, and courage....It is beautifully crafted and paced, mystical yet grounded by universal themes and sympathetic characters. A unique book, highly recommended for readers looking for something a step away from ordinary." School Library Journal (starred review)

About the Author

Leslye Walton says that The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender began as a short story that came to her while listening to a song. She has an MA in writing, and this is her first novel. Walton is a native of Tacoma, Washington, and she currently teaches middle school in Seattle.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

just chris, October 20, 2014 (view all comments by just chris)
Ava Lavender is born with wings; her twin brother is not. What's a mother to do? But before we meet Ava, we are introduced to several generations of her family and how they found themselves in the house on the hill on Pinnacle Lane. This book is beautifully written and haunting. It reminds me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez crossed with "Like Water for Chocolate".
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
kauyyek, May 21, 2014 (view all comments by kauyyek)
Magical realism? Check. Setting in France and Seattle? Check. These are three things that I love and I am so happy to have found this book that combines them in such a beautiful way. Do not let the fact that this is considered a teen-read stop you from picking up this book. It is definitely a story that will be appreciated by fans of Like Water For Chocolate, even they are two very different books.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780763665661
Author:
Walton, Leslye
Publisher:
Candlewick
Subject:
Love & Romance
Subject:
Children s-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20140325
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Age Level:
from 14

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Paranormal
Young Adult » General
Young Adult » New Arrivals

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender New Hardcover
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$17.99 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Candlewick - English 9780763665661 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Walton debuts with an entrancing and sumptuously written multigenerational novel wrapped in the language of fable, magical realism, and local legend. Ostensibly about a 16-year-old born with wings, the novel is also a rich retelling of Ava Lavender's family history, including her stalwart grandmother Emilienne's journey from adolescence in rural France and 1920s Manhattan to a hardscrabble life as a widowed baker in Seattle; and Ava's mother Viviane's unrequited obsession with a childhood love and the rearing of her children. Halfway in, Ava's story moves front and center, as she longs to leave the safety of her home, sneaks out with her friend Cardigan, and begins to fall for Cardigan's brother, Rowe. Flirting with fairytalelike occurrences throughout — Viviane has a supernatural sense of smell, one of Emilienne's siblings transforms into a bird, ghosts are everywhere — Walton's novel builds to a brutal but triumphant conclusion. It's a story that adults and teenagers can appreciate equally, one that's less about love than about the way love can be thwarted and denied. Or, as Walton puts it, 'the scars love's victims carry.' Ages 14 – up. Agent: Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Associates. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Walton's novel is both strange and beautiful in the best of ways....This multigenerational tale examines love and considers the conflicting facets of loving and being loved — desire, despair, depression, obsession, self-love, and courage....It is beautifully crafted and paced, mystical yet grounded by universal themes and sympathetic characters. A unique book, highly recommended for readers looking for something a step away from ordinary."
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