The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Walton, Leslye J.

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Born with bird wings, Ava Lavender is well aware that love has long made fools of her family. When pious Nathaniel Sorrows mistakes her bird wings for angel wings, 16-year-old Ava faces the man's growing obsession, which comes to a head with the rain and feathers that fly through the air during a nighttime summer solstice celebration.

Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts :, Candlewick Press,, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780763665661
Branch Call Number: y WALTON 2014
Characteristics: 301 pages :,illustrations ;,21 cm


From Library Staff

Ava Lavender. Ava -- in all other ways a normal girl -- is born with the wings of a bird.

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Jan 16, 2015
  • Chapel_Hill_MarthaW rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this quite a bit, though I'm iffy about whether I actually consider it to be YA - the main character is a teenager, but only from the halfway mark onwards, when she actually becomes the focus of the story (it's multigenerational), and I think it might be more accurate to classify this as an adult book with YA appeal. Having said that, since everyone is calling this YA, it's refreshing to read a YA book featuring magical realism, which I thought was handled well. It's beautifully written with memorable characters - my only warning would be that the last 50 pages are kind of unexpectedly brutal, so readers should be prepared.

Oct 30, 2014
  • sagewolfe rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Amazing. This daring and luscious novel is almost too much. Can't wait to see what Walton writes for us next.

Jun 27, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Ava and Henry Lavender are unusual. Henry because he has been mute most of life and Ava because she has wings. Her mother shelters her family from the world but, of course, the world creeps in regardless. Part is done by Ava herself and her neighbours, the rest by Nathaniel Sorrows - a devout man who has mistaken her for an angel.

It's magical realism that you don't think twice about. Of course it's logical for people to turn into burns or be able to smell everything about a person or to commune with ghosts. It is utterly immersive and utterly heartbreaking as Ava tells her family's tale (starting with her grandmother) and how all those sorrows and pain lead up to Ava and her wings and the heartbreaking, devastating, trouble that brings. Despite how much your heart will hurt by the novel's end, this is a gorgeous novel and a brilliant first effort from Leslye Walton. I eagerly await her next work.


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Jun 03, 2014

Just because love don't look how you think it should don't mean you don't have it.


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