“Some sacrifices aren’t worth the cost. Even, or perhaps most especially, those made out of love.”– Leslye Walton
I’m usually not a fan of magical realism, but this one blew me away. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender follows a generation of Roux women and their misfortunes in love. We follow Emilienne Roux as she becomes Emilienne Lavender in her desire to leave Manhattan, her daughter Viviane as she falls in love with her childhood friend, to Viviane’s daughter, Ava, who is born with wings. I’m putting a list of trigger warnings at the bottom of this post. You can choose to read them or not at your discretion.
This book is lyrically told without being too flowery or over the top like many other magical realism books I’ve read before. It’s heartbreaking, relatable, and beautiful all at once.
What I loved most about this book is that there are so many threads woven into this book. Every piece fits together perfectly and comes back full circle. I hope to reread this book soon, because I’m sure there are moments of foreshadowing I missed the first time.
While the first few chapters are a bit slow, it’s definitely worth pushing through. This book was so well-crafted and the magical elements were fascinating to read.
Trigger Warnings: rape, sexual assault, and suicidal thoughts.