A girl with wings. Something like an angel, or a fairy of sorts, either way she sounds otherworldly. Ava Lavender, our girl with wings, immediately creates a vision of a fantasy novel, something that surely is about love and has a happy ending while only giving brief moments of fright or wrongdoing. But this book is so much more than that. It does not shy away from the struggles of life and feelings of loss and it does not entirely focus on the winged girl.
Being blessed to come from a family of many strong women, I appreciated that this book focused on the females of Ava's family. It began with her grandmother's story, propelled into the life of her mother, and finished with Ava. All three women suffered and experienced life in a more bitter way -- or maybe it is a more honest way. Some novels will dance around the edge of heartache, it will never be very blunt about the errors of life. But we approach this novel with the questions what is it to not love? what is it to love but not be with the person you love? what is it to be loved too much and in a dangerous, deadly way? And we receive these answers, as the characters can provide them due to their own experience. Even if it is not pretty.
Walton weaves a web of beauty with her words. She is the type of writer I want to be and joins a ranking of many others. Her writing is beautiful and you feel like you may be reading poetry, rather than a fictional book. It's a book where you highlight passages because you want to be able to find those specific words and quote them or relish in the feeling the passage gives. I never so wanted to experience fictional food, or see a place, or touch the clothes worn by the characters or see the wings of Ava. I wanted to experience the house she lived in, I wanted to see the nature and the trees. It was, simply put, beautifully written.
But as I've mentioned, it's not a fantasy novel only briefly touching on sorrows. I mean, sorrows is in the title and it encompasses all. The sorrows of one affect all. And I state it now that a scene in the book can be horribly triggering for those who have been sexually assaulted, and that would be my biggest warning about the book. With the writing power that Walton has, the scene was descriptive and left me feeling sick to my stomach. Yet I kept reading, simply because I wanted to know what happened next.
Aside from that, this well crafted book was so beautiful and so original. I really was pleased by how unique it felt in a world where YA books seem to be the same story retold over and over again. It also should win awards for it's cover which is more beautiful in real life than in a grainy jpeg on this blog. Seriously, just look at the cover when you are at a book store next. Hopefully you'll also pick the book up to read it because it definitely deserves the attention of people.
Last Week's Review: The Circle Cast: The Lost Years of Morgan le Fay by Alex Epstein
Next Week's Review: The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees