Saturday, November 15, 2014

November 15, 2014: 'The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender'

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Date: November 15, 2014

Spoilers Ahead

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Leslye Walton

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 naïve 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.

City Calendar:
This is what happened during the week.
Great-grandparents move to America. Beauregard is mistaken for someone else and is shot. Maman slowly fades. Emilienne falls in love with a multitude of people. Pierette turns into a canary to make someone notice her. Emilienne gets betrothed. Margaux kills herself after giving birth to Emilienne's betrothed's child. Rene is killed by his lover a married man. Emilienne ends up marrying Connor Lavender a crippled man.  Viviane is born. Connor Lavender dies. Emilienne starts working in Connor's bakery. No one buys bread there because Emilienne is a witch. Wilhelmia comes in and buys bread before working there. Viviane falls in love with the neighborhood boy Jack. Jack leaves for college during the war. Viviane meets Gabe. Viviane finally goes to the solstice festival and gets pregnant with Jack's child when she sees him at last at the festival. Ava and Henry are born. Ava has wings. Henry is mute. A dog comes and gets Henry to speak a little. Emilienne feeds the devout Marigold Pie a treat, and Marigold indulges in pastries. Her nephew Nathaniel Sorrow comes to help her out. Ava goes to the reservoir. She shows off her wings but denies that she can fly. She goes to the solstice festival. Her friends are there with her. Rain comes after a long drought. Henry and Ava go missing during the rain. Viviane gets Henry  from Jack who found him. Ava goes to Nathaniel's. He rapes her and cuts off her wings. Nathaniel is killed by Ava's ancestors. Ava is put in a hospital. Emilienne quits her bakery. Viviane steps in. Ava's wings heal and reform. Rowe Ava's friend and love come home from college. Jack moves to the house by the reservoir. Ava tries her first flight. And succeeds.  
And that's what happened this week.

Personal Ads:
Ava Lavender.
Mystical. Magical. Quiet. Looking for friendship and love. Shy.

I liked the premise. But I felt a bit disappointed. 
The premise was good at least. It was a good idea. Girl with wings? Definitely. I like that premise. The execution was a bit  poor, though. 
I felt like there was too much on the backstory. There wasn't much on Ava. And this is her book. Her name is in the title. It was about Emilienne and Viviane. Why? I don't get it. Why isn't Ava the main character? Why isn't it her story? There isn't much to the plot. I think that the story could have been better. More on Ava. More drama.
I also feel like there is little plot. There isn't much happening. I feel like I'm reading backstory. Not plot. It doesn't seem like there is much plot. What is happening? What is the story about? I don't get it. It's a bit dull. 
The romance is also a bit much. Why do the characters end up with terrible people? I mean...Viviane and Jack? Really? I don't get the relationships. There are many. They form quickly. The chemistry isn't something completely explained. It isn't in depth. Especially with all the different relationships. Why are there so many anyways? 
The characters are okay, though. They seem to have terrible pasts. It's interesting to see how they deal with things. They handle things differently. They keep calm. Often. Emilienne goes through so much sorrow and death. I don't get it. Why does she go through so much? Why can't this family cry? Why can't they break down? I think that they need to do that. They don't seem too human when they don't cry. They seem...emotionless. But that's interesting. Most would break down. They don't. And the questions is why. 

Cloudy with an 80% chance of rain


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