True to its name this novel was indeed both strange and beautiful in in its themes, prose, and story. While the title gives the impression that the plot primarily centers on the character of Ava Lavender, the book is more of an anthology of the fantastical experiences of several generations of women in one peculiar family.
This book isn’t simply about a girl named Ava who is born with the wings of a bird, but rather so much more. It is about life and love. It is about the passage of time.
The story and the way in which it is narrated—through the various perspectives of each of the characters—reflects on the drastic ways love effects people’s lives. Infatuation, lust, hatred, the pain of betrayal, love in all its forms—these are all emotions we all feel, and Walton portrays them with a poignancy and subtle grace that is utterly mesmerizing. The narrator’s repeating declaration that “love makes us such fools” effectively summarizes the overarching theme of the novel, which explores both the negative and positive consequences of such a visceral emotion in equal measure. This story isn’t solely about love. It is about humans’ interaction with the accumulation of emotions that make up love and all that it entails.
This is not an adventure story, nor even a coming-of-age tale, but rather a conglomeration of fantastical elements, superstition, and mythology and how they intertwine with reality. It is unique and bizarre in every sense of the word, but also incredibly profound. This is the perfect novel to cozy up with on your next rainy day.
📚✔︎ Would recommend for readers looking for a beautiful love story within a fantastic and magical world
If I could summarize the book in two words: bizarrely moving
Check out the official summary of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender on goodreads.
My rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★1/2