The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
A fairytale in the most pure and heartbreaking form, a love story and coming of age story molded effortlessly into one, a book of hope and sorrow. This beautiful, astonishing and heartbreaking story leaves you speechless after you read the last word and analyze the last period. For a short moments you travel into a whimsical world, not very different yet extremely different from ours.
The book narrates the life of Ava Lavender and the women in her family, her grandmother, her mother, the women of the town. Basically it is a whole story about this small town and we see it all from the point of view of a simple girl born with wings.
"To many myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a master, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was one mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth - deep down, I always did.
I was just a girl"
The characters: Every character is beautiful and stranger. The story is set in many different time periods and all of the stories are very well developed allowing us to get a feel of each and every character that affects Ava's life directly or indirectly. There is not one character you cannot fall in love with (expect Nathaniel because even though his pain and sorrow was drawn out beautifully I hated him)
The magical realism: I had wanted to read a magical realism book for a long time now. For me Gabriel Garcia Marquez did a splendid job in 100 Years of Solitude and I had not found an author who could write the way he did in the sense that you could read something completely fantastical and not blink an eye for how normal it seemed. I absolutely adored this part of the book, it allowed the story to have another extra layer to it completely.
The theme: The theme of love is very recurring and it is one that acts like a character on its own, as well as death. They both counter each other beautifully seeming to fight with one another in each of the characters, each trying to defeat each other and the end can just be simply explained as the two finally molding to give light to the life of Ava Lavender.
The ending: I read some reviews saying how the ending is very open and many people think that Ava dies. I however do think that this beautiful scene just showed to depict how Ava becomes a beautiful angel and lets herself love and live the life she was always secluded from living. This scene for me was her way of living. At the end she ends up flying but first she had to have had her wings taken of so she could really find it in herself.
I have nothing bad to say about this book, just that I wish I could read it again and again and that the author writes another story because it started of my 2018 with a great start.
--- 5 stars ---