It began with the beautiful marriage between Beauregard Roux and Maman in the mid-late 1800s. He, with his big personality, and she with her small one. Beauregard's dream was someday to move to the American city of Manhatine and eventually this became reality. Between the dream and reality came four beautiful children to the couple. Emilienne was the first and she would fall in love exactly three times. Rene was next, and he was so beautiful people would stare when he passed by. Margeaux was the third and devoutly followed Emilienne's footsteps. Pierette was the baby and the tiniest fragile creature of the four siblings.
Reality hit hard when the Roux family moved to Manhatine. Living in squalor and a filthy tenement, the children didn't understand why anyone would consider this paradise. When you live in a place like this, things get worse most of the time instead of better. Death took most of the family, and Emilienne knew she had to escape. She found her way out of the tenements and into the lush, green world of Seattle, where she started her own family in a periwinkle house on Pinnacle Lane.
Life didn't come easy for Emilienne but she braved through the storms and eventually had a baby girl named Viviane. She was a bright and intelligent girl and was talented in many ways like her mother, but was especially gifted at being able to attune her sense of smell to not only people, but situations as well. Rain would smell different during the seasons. And the love of her life would always smell of soap and Turtle Wax. Their love produced a set of twins, Ava and Henry, both of them carrying on the uniqueness of the Roux side of the family.
Ava was born with wings, and Henry was born not wanting to be touched or to talk. Hers was a gift people could see, while his was a talent not fully understood until that tragic day....a very tragic day for the Lavenders...
Leslye Walton writes such a beautiful story filled with allegories, metaphors and lyrical writing. It's in her writing that the characters fully form in all of their gloriousness as well as the juxtapositions she explores in the settings and personalities found in the book. Walton's book is meant to be read, but it should be read not only with the eyes, but the soul as well. Not only meant for teens, this is a novel that adults, especially those who enjoy depth, will love. No wonder this is a finalist on YALSA's Morris List (new debut authors). I LOVED this book!! HIGHLY Recommended high school and up.