Sara's Reviews > The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
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4.5 to 4.75 out of 5

I'd write a longer review if I wasn't traveling today. But this was a lovely book, beautiful in its heartache and whimsicality. The beginning threw me off a little; the story actually begins with Ava telling us about the loves and tragedies that her grandmother Emilienne and her mother Viviane experienced while growing up, before coming to Ava herself. But once I was lulled by Leslye Walton's graceful prose and fell under the spell of all the magical realism elements (Ava's wings, all of the ghosts, Emilienne's premonitions, Viviane's unique sense of smell, the little sister who turned herself into a canary), I really enjoyed it. I also liked the symbolism behind some of the magical realism choices, and was both intrigued and heartened by the ending. It's one of those closings that could be open to interpretation... And in my opinion, after the horror of what Ava endures in her story, I found it to be inspiring and even transcendental. :)

EDIT: Updated on 12/5/2017 when I noticed I'd use the wrong name for the protagonist. *oops*

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Reading Progress

June 29, 2016 – Shelved
June 29, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 18, 2017 – Shelved as: magical-realism
March 27, 2017 – Started Reading
March 28, 2017 –
page 22
March 28, 2017 –
page 22
7.31% "Hoping to finish this before my trip to Iceland next week! *fingers crossed*"
March 29, 2017 –
page 43
14.29% "I'm confused... I know that two of Emilienne's siblings died, and the third turned herself into a bird. But during Chapter 2, it sounds like all three of them have died. Did I miss something? Or did Emilienne leave Pirette (the bird) behind in Manhattan?"
March 31, 2017 –
page 104
34.55% "This didn't quite begin the way I thought it would (I wasn't expecting the story to start with Ava's grandmother instead of Ava), but I'm really enjoying this as it goes along."
April 1, 2017 –
page 155
51.5% "Can I go to Emilienne's bakery? Like, right now? I bet she makes some wonderful breakfast food. :)"
April 2, 2017 –
page 210
69.77% "Hoping to finish this between tonight and tomorrow!"
April 3, 2017 –
page 244
81.06% "I have that unsettling feeling that something awful is about to happen... possibly to Ava..."
April 4, 2017 – Shelved as: atmospheric-reads
April 4, 2017 – Shelved as: female-protagonists
April 4, 2017 – Shelved as: great-friendships
April 4, 2017 – Shelved as: great-sibling-relationships
April 4, 2017 – Shelved as: narrative-voice-love
April 4, 2017 – Shelved as: prose-love
April 4, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
April 4, 2017 – Finished Reading

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