The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

  • by Leslye Walton
  • Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
  • 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga. Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender.
Ava - in all other ways a normal girl - is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naive to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the summer solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Beautiful and Haunting Fairytale

What a lovely book. It reads like a wondrous tale spanning three generations of women from France to New York to Washington State. Each given special attention and detail, the women traverse sad circumstances. The writing is superb and lyrical, akin to the style of Neil Gaiman.

Sorry I haven't given much detail, it deserves to be experienced and not chronicled out ruining the surprises.
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- FanB14

Inspiring and imaginative writing

If you could sum up The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender in three words, what would they be?

Beautiful, sad, artistic


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender?

Vivianne Lavendar goes into the Summer Solstice Festival describing the beautiful things around her: the musicians playing lovely tunes, the delicious pies made by the schoolgirls' mothers... and as she runs away from the festival in a sad state she describes the same items again through a different emotion: the drunk musicians and the over-baked pies. It was so beautifully written and I found myself inside of the book many times.


Which scene was your favorite?

When Ava is kissed for the first time. Leslie's description is lovely and so heartfelt. It reminded me of my first kiss with my husband.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

You must let them go for them to come back again.


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- Amanda Goeke

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-25-2014
  • Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio