On Sale Date:2/26/2013
Imprint:Harper PaperbacksPrint Run:75K
Conceived in love and possibility, Bonaventure Arrow didn’t make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. No one knows that Bonaventure’s silence is filled with resonance—a miraculous gift of rarified hearing that encompasses the Universe of Every Single Sound. Growing up in the big house on Christopher Street in Bayou Cymbaline, Bonaventure can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature tempests that rage inside raindrops. He can also hear the gentle voice of his father, William Arrow, shot dead before Bonaventure was born by a mysterious stranger known only as the Wanderer.
Bonaventure’s remarkable gift of listening promises salvation to the souls who love him: his beautiful young mother, Dancy, haunted by the death of her husband; his Grand-mère Letice, plagued by grief and a long-buried guilt she locks away in a chapel; and his father, William, whose roaming spirit must fix the wreckage of the past. With the help of Trinidad Prefontaine, a Creole housekeeper endowed with her own special gifts, Bonaventure will find the key to long-buried mysteries and soothe a chorus of family secrets clamoring to be healed.
What I think:
In THE SILENCE OF BONAVENTURE ARROW, Rita Leganski enchants readers with the story of a mute boy who hears extremely well and has no trouble communicating. Her description is beautiful, but the sheer abundance of it sometimes distracts from the plot. If you are looking for a faster paced read that quickly gets to the point, this is not it. BONAVENTURE is more about character development – the characters will be hard to say goodbye to – and setting. Oh, what a setting.
Once settled into the dream-like world of the story, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting New Orleans through Leganski’s conflicted characters. There are enough twists to keep things interesting and book clubs will enjoy plenty of insightful discussion.