I’ve been working my way through my summer reading list thanks to a far more manageably stress level, and this week unexpected travel. Today’s review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton.
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
Why I read it: In selecting the next book for one of my book clubs, this book was thrown out there. While we didn’t select it, the fact that more than one person mentioned it told me I needed to read it.
ZOMG Yes! I had no idea what I was getting into when I read this book. I actually expected it to be a contemporary, because it was thrown out there with a bunch of other contemporaries. Clearly, I was wrong. I’m so glad I was.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve found this new love for contemporaries, but magical realism is like a sort of Kryptonite for me. The books that have stuck with me the longest fall into this category for sure.
I loved so much about this story. The way three different generations’ stories were woven together. The seemingly effortless inclusion of the supernatural. The love. Oh, the love.
But guys, this book broke my heart. I won’t tell you why if you haven’t read it. But I will say that the scene that did it (the one with Ava, the scene with her mother also broke my heart) was one any reader saw coming. Still it cut pretty deep.
I read this book on my way to my grandmother’s funeral and I think that the wonder of it was just what I needed as I was dealing with my own grief. So for that, Leslye Walton, I thank you.
kthxbai I very much recommend this book. It’s beautifully and thoughtfully written, and it will easily sweep you away.