Purchase the audiobook
"Magical realism, lyrical prose, & the pain & passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga."
Generations of the Roux family have learned this lesson the hard way. Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, in fact, which casts an ominous fate for its most recent progeny: twins Ava and Henry Lavender. Henry is mute for much of his young life and 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 delves into her family’s past and 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 dark and heartbreaking crescendo.
First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and haunting mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.
Praise for The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
★ "An entrancing and sumptuously written multigenerational novel wrapped in the language of fable, magical realism, and local legend. ... Walton's novel builds to a brutal but triumphant conclusion. It's a story that adults and teenagers can appreciate equally."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
★ "Walton's novel is both strange and beautiful in the best of ways. ... This multigenerational tale examines love and considers the conflicting facets of loving and being loved — desire, despair, depression, obsession, self-love, and courage. ... It is beautifully crafted and paced, mystical yet grounded by universal themes and sympathetic characters. A unique book, highly recommended for readers looking for something a step away from ordinary."
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Click here for more information about the novel, as well as read an exclusive excerpt!