Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: From publisher and NetGalley for review
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.My thoughts:
This book is magical realism, but it takes that magic a bit further. The prose can be seen as literal or metaphorical or really both together. The book starts with Lavender telling the story, but really goes back to her great grandmother where all the strange things start to happen. All the stories seem to flow around the theme of love and what fools humans are for that feeling. The biggest theme is when it isn't true love, the things we do to try to force it and make it true... and the consequences of that making. It does take some dark turns, but it ends in hope and true love.
This book probably won't be for everyone. The strangeness of the family and what is seen as magic come to life might put off some people. The prose also takes some time to tell the tale. Both of these things may delight or irritate you depending on what you take from the book. For me, it delighted me and gave me something different than I was used to in the telling. It goes much further in the magical realism than Sarah Addison Allen does but the unusual parts to it enchanted me instead of distanced me from the story. It really comes down to a matter of what you are drawn to in books.
I give this book 4 stars. It's lyrical, metaphorical, and quite unusual. It may not be for everyone, but I encourage those of you willing to try something different. I think you may enjoy yourself within the pages.