The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton | Book Review

★★★★★
January 30th – 31st

I sometimes have trouble with books that are mostly description. I find myself getting bored, glossing over the words and then trying to find the next section of dialogue to go to and keep me interested. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender didn’t make me feel that way at all.

This book was beautiful. This was the second book that I read by Leslye Walton, though this was her first novel. I absolutely loved this book. I read The Price Guide to the Occult back in July of last year, after hearing amazing things about this book. I was pretty disappointed by that one, so I hesitated to read this one.

I’m so glad that I did. The characters seemed so believable and relatable, and I loved the way that it followed the generations of women in this family, from France all the way through immigrating to the United States in New York City at the turn of the century, and then traveling across the country to eventually settling in Seattle. I loved how these woman loved and lost and carried their loves with them.

The story follows Ava Lavender’s story as a girl who was born with wings, her mother Viviane who fell in love too young, and her grandmother Emmaline, who sees the ghosts of her past loves everywhere. I loved the amount of love in this book. It was refreshing to see it through the different generations and in all of the different locations of the story.

Most of all, I loved the magic element of this story. It didn’t feel forced, or added on, but felt entirely natural to the characters and this world, like small elements. I loved how strong all of the women in this story were, even when they felt like they weren’t.

I think this book had the best ending of any book that I’ve read so far this year. It tied everything up, didn’t leave any questions for me, and felt like it was coming to a good point of closure where the characters had changed, developed, aged and become stronger and different.

I’ll defiantly need to get a physical copy of this one to add to my personal collection, because I loved it and will revisit it in the future.

-Siobhan