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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by [Walton, Leslye]
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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Kindle Edition

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—A girl born with brown speckled wings, as Ava Lavender was, is surely bound to be a curiosity. In the Roux family, however, Ava is not really so strange. This multigenerational saga moves from France to New York before Emilienne, Ava's grandmother, becomes the family's sole survivor. She is accompanied by the ghosts of her deceased siblings when she moves to Seattle, where she becomes a baker. Her loveless marriage produces one child, Vivianne, who lives an ordinary childhood, despite the fact that Emilienne is believed to be a witch. Emilienne's hope that teenage Vivianne will avoid the heartbreak that plagued her own youth is dashed when Vivianne becomes pregnant and the father of her twins returns to college and his college sweetheart. Vivianne is not just brokenhearted when she gives birth to Ava and Ava's mute twin, Henry, she is also a heartbreaker. Gabe, who rents a room from Emilienne, is in love with Vivianne, but receives no reciprocation. This story of unrequited love, betrayal, brutality, and healing is beautifully narrated by Cassandra Campbell. Her pronunciation of French proper names and pastries is authentic, as is her characterization of various personalities. This fantasy tale of ghosts, humans with feathers and wings, and cherries that ripen in Seattle in February will appeal to older teens.—Ann Weber, Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, CA

From Booklist

Ava Lavender, a typical girl in every respect except for the fact that she was born with wings, sits upon a family tree of doomed lovers. Her great-grandfather, her grandmother, her aunts and uncles, and her mother were either unlucky or foolish in matters of the heart. Family stories have become local legend, and Ava must explore them all to discover the two questions that haunt her: Where did I come from? . . . What would the world do with a girl such as I? What the world eventually does is to foist itself rather viciously on her. Ava is alternately shaped and trapped by her family’s saga, and her voice at times gets lost in the telling. But it is a beautiful voice—poetic, witty, and as honest as family mythology will allow. There are many sorrows in Walton’s debut, and most of them are Ava’s through inheritance. Readers should prepare themselves for a tale where myth and reality, lust and love, the corporal and the ghostly, are interchangeable and surprising. Grades 9-12. --Kara Dean

Product details

  • File Size: 1437 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0763665665
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (March 25, 2014)
  • Publication Date: March 25, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,912 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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