The Friday 56, #70: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Friday 56The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join in every Friday, the rules are simple.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Also be sure to leave me a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

“I’ve been told things happen as they should: My grandmother fell in love three times before her nineteenth birthday. My mother found love with the neighbor boy when she was six. And I, I was born with wings, a misfit who didn’t dare to expect something as grandiose as love. It’s our fate, our destiny, that determines such things, isn’t it?”

Leslye Walton’s The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. The writing is enchanting, reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Reading it is like waking from a dream that makes you feel both light and heavy at once. If you enjoy or have ever been intrigued by magical realism, this book is for you.

From my review:

“The Roux family has always been unusual. The matriarch of the family eventually faded away, her children’s touch passing right through her, her daughter was born with a rather keen intuition, seeing signs where others may only hear an owl hoot. And strangest of all were the twins, Ava Lavender with her angelic wings and Henry Lavender, born mute until the day he finally spoke. Each generation of Roux’s has endured the euphoria of youth and the sting of love. Now Ava, secluded for far too long from the outside world, reaches out for freedom, not knowing that her uniqueness has drawn not only curious eyes but possessive ones.” You can read my full review here.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Series: N/A

The Roux family has always been unusual. The matriarch of the family eventually faded away, her children’s touch passing right through her, her daughter was born with a rather keen intuition, seeing signs where others may only hear an owl hoot. And strangest of all were the twins, Ava Lavender with her angelic wings and Henry Lavender, born mute until the day he finally spoke. Each generation of Roux’s has endured the euphoria of youth and the sting of love. Now Ava, secluded for far too long from the outside world, reaches out for freedom, not knowing that her uniqueness has drawn not only curious eyes but possessive ones.

“There it was again. Fate. As a child, that word was often my only companion. It whispered to me from dark corners during lonely nights. It was the song of the birds in spring and the call of the wind through bare branches on a cold winter afternoon. Fate. Both my anguish and my solace. My escort and my cage.”

Leslye Walton’s The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is full of magic, love, and woe. With a rich historical backdrop peppered with stories more closely resembling fables, this novel weaves both fact fiction together seamlessly. The writing is both whimsical and tragically mesmerizing, taking the reader on a journey from France, to New York, and eventually Ava’s birth and life in Seattle, Washington. Each generation’s story is told with care, the author laying out a great tale for the reader, one that charms with fanciful tales and peculiar characters.

Walton is a skilled storyteller. Each minor character is given personality and while some may only be given a few lines, as a reader you believe that each has their own story to tell even if this one isn’t about them. The women of the Roux family are the main focus of the narrative and every betrayal cuts to the core, forever altering their lives and consequently each other’s. Their brokenness breeds bitterness and isolation, their innocence, blind trust. They are alluring and stubborn, fearful and ethereal.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is unlike any book I’ve ever read. Full of characters that will fascinate and others that will fill your heart with trepidation, this novel will break your heart, horrify you, and have you falling in love all at once.

Rating: 5/5

★★★★★