“To many, I was 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.”
― Leslye Walton,
Goodreads 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 naïve to the twisted motives of others.”
How do I even attempt to review this haunting, whimsical, and absolutely stunning little book?!? It’s been about an hour since I read the last page of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, and since then, I have not stopped thinking about how much I adored this novel. From the very beginning, Ava Lavender had me hooked, and I’m not entirely sure how to explain why. One of the first things to draw me in was Walton’s beautiful writing style. There’s something very sensuous and dreamy about her prose. Whether Walton is describing the scent of spring rain, or the feeling of heartbreak, she does so in a vivid manner, rich with detail. However, what I love most about Ava Lavender is the emotional rollercoaster it sent me on. Despite the fantastical nature of the story, the characters felt incredibly real and poignant to me. I cried with their losses and experienced joy when they found new love.
Honestly, I think I’m doing a terrible job of explaining why exactly I found this book so beautiful, so I’ll keep things short and say that I found it absolutely hypnotic. I could quite happily spending all day, every day reading books like Ava Lavender.