The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Written by Leslye Walton

Family / Home Stories Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for Young Adults Recommended Children's eBooks Romance / Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize Best Fiction for Teens Award 2015  - One of our Books of the Year 2014 - October 2014 Debut of the Month    *** Suitable for 15+ as some explicit content  An enormous family saga unfolds in this story shot through with magic that is helped on its way by lashing of luck – both good and bad – and a great many extraordinary and truly unexpected happenings. Ava Lavender, a girl born with wings which cannot be explained or hidden, charts the history of her family from its origins in nineteenth century France to poverty in Manhattan before a long, long journey to Seattle and a new start for a new generation – all before Ava is even born. Although Ava is the most unusual of her family there are many others who will surprise and entertain before the story is fully unravelled.

A Piece of Passion from Gill Evans, Fiction Publisher...an exquisite and mesmerizing story of love and desire told in an exceptional and wonderful way. The magical realism of her style is reminiscent of One Hundred Years of Solitude, but this family story and quest for understanding follows four generations from France to America. Foolish love has beset the Roux family for generations. For Ava Lavender, a girl born with the wings of a bird, it is a burdensome legacy. In her quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl, Ava ventures into the world. But in a world which may view her as
girl or angel, it is a dangerous place to be. On the night of the solstice, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air and Ava’s journey and her family’s saga reaches a devastating crescendo.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Synopsis

This is a mesmerizing, lyrical tale of the bright and dark sides of love and desire. Foolish love appears to be a Roux family birthright. And for Ava Lavender, a girl born with the wings of a bird, it is an ominous thing to inherit. In her quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to join her peers, Ava ventures into the wider world. But it is a dangerous world for a naive girl - a world which may view her as girl or angel. On the night of the summer solstice celebration, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air and Ava's journey and her family's saga reaches 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. This is a stunning literary young adult novel, won at auction, which marks the debut of Leslye Walton. Magical realism weaves through this generational saga which is reminiscent of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, with a taste of Chocolat.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Reader Reviews

Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Emer O'Brien, age 16 - 'This book contains brilliantly written, beautiful storylines, all collected together like a book of pressed flowers, albeit slightly macabre ones...this book is gorgeously written, surprisingly thrilling and overall an exciting and mesmerizing read.' Read full review >
  • Alice Horncastle, age 14 - 'The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender really hooked me to another world, where anything can happen! The hugely complicated plot unfolded in such a simple yet attention grabbing way, fab!' Read full review >
  • Millie Windeler, age 15 - 'This book is exceedingly well written and an immaculately thought out story...It is a must have book for when you are looking for something a bit different.' Read full review >
  • Ciara McIlvenna, age 16 - 'A haunting yet beautiful tale of both the darkest desires and selfless sacrifices that love can cause us to make. A divine masterpiece. Walton has captured human emotion so purely in this novel.' Read full review >
  • Isobel Read, age 13 - 'The characters are now etched on my heart as this story went from climax to climax , making me cry many times along the way.' Read full review >
  • Aimee Sweet, age 13 - 'I knew this book was going to be good as soon as I turned the first page...I give this book, without any hesitation, a five star.' Read full review >
  • Rose Heathcote, age 14 - 'This book failed to grip me from the beginning but once in I started to enjoy the story but it was difficult to follow in parts.' Read full review >

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Press Reviews

Entrancing and sumptuously written. Publishers Weekly, starred review

This fantasy follows Ava Lavender's discovery of her one-of-a-kind self. Teen Vogue Recommended Read

Absolutely mesmerizing... This book is a wonder and completely took my breath away. Once Upon a Bookcase

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781406357738
Publication date: 02/10/2014
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781406348088
Publication date: 27/03/2014
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406357738
Publication date: 2nd October 2014
Author: Leslye Walton
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Suitable for: YA readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Fantasy / Magical, Romance / Relationship Stories
Recommendations: eBooks
Other Categories: All Shortlists and Winners, Reviewed by Children

About Leslye Walton

Leslye Walt on was born in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps because of this, the author has developed a strange kinship with the daffodil – she too can only achieve beauty after a long, cold sulk in the rain. Her debut novel, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, was inspired by a particularly long sulk in a particularly cold rainstorm spent pondering the logic, or rather, lack thereof, in love – the ways we coax ourselves to love, to continue loving, to leave love behind. Leslye Walton has an MA in Writing and lives in Seattle. When she’...

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