The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesyle Walton

Author: Lesyle Walton 
Publisher: Walker Books 
Publishing Date: March 27th 2014 
My Rating: 3 stars 
Blurb Description: 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 na├»ve 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.

 My review: 
Some considered her an angel; Blessed, otherworldly! Some thought she was cursed. The journalists, from the minute they got wind of it, a little after she came to be, camped outside her mothers' delivery room, determined, each one of them vying to be the first to explain the phenomenon; a phenomenon that nobody had seen, let alone attempted to understand before. People who had devoted their lives to the sciences, for once, found themselves questioning their beliefs...

And yet, good or bad, angelic or a gift from the devil, boon or bane there was only one conclusion. The Girl Born With Wings simply could not and would not survive without them. They were as essential to her as, let's say, her heart!

To understand how The Girl Born with Wings came to be where she is, how her story landed on the threshold of the Yellow House, we must go back, Way Back, to one of the tiniest most gossipy cities in France where Emilienne Beaugard lived with her three siblings and her silent petite mother and her phrenologist father (if you must know, phrenology is the study of the shape of ones head and it's relation to your life and the success and love it can bring you!) who decided that his family was destined for greater things and just as soon, waved Bon Voyage to his tiny town from the deck of a huge ship, daring to sale simply a week after the Titanic sunk, on his way to his Utopia; America. New York...

It is in the city that never sleeps, the big apple, Emilienne finds herself thrown into a world so much, well, stranger that the one she was used to. It is here, in the city that can make and break you that Emilienne and her siblings learn the lessons of love, life, death and family and choose to act in ways that shatters everybody involved. From here, Emilienne finds herself in an arranged marriage to Connor Lavender, a one legged man. She gives birth to her daughter, Vivanne Lavender, Ava mother.

From France to New York to a little town on the West Coast, from simply waiting for love and engaging in all of its ups and downs to trying to see through the blinding cloud of pain and misery that Love can leave behind, from a picturesque little family to one irrevocably broken, never to be fixed again, with perhaps the exception of something unexplainable; something angelic, something extraordinary, something magical!

Ava lavender's story is one that shows you the fragile threads we all exist upon and what we do to stay upright. It shows how precariously we are attached to one another and how a small insignificant act can impact your life in ways you would never even dare to imagine. It shows us the sorrows are wants can bring us, particularly and most of all love. Lyrical and astounding, if you let it be, it will change you and show you what pain lies out there!

I loved this book! As intrigued as I was by the blurb for three quarters of the book I kept waiting to read about the girl born with wings, and instead I got the story of her Mother and grandmother, intriguing, and perhaps Even necessary, but not the point. I just wished it the book would have focused more on the Strange and beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender! A sweet and harsh, bittersweet and lyrical to be exact read, nonetheless!

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