A magical debut novel from Rita Leganski, The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is the tale of a mute boy whose gift of wondrous hearing reveals family secrets and forgotten voodoo lore, and exposes a murder that threatens the souls of those who love him.
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.
You can read a bit of the book HERE.
"This novel was absolutely fantastic. It took me quite some time to get over the fact that this book had ended. I did not want to leave the world that Rita Leganski had created in this novel. The story within these pages sucked me in from the first page and it almost hurt me to close the back cover at the end. This was one of those novels that is so well written, I had to read parts out loud to release the beauty of the language into the world. Not only is Bonaventure's world magical, but so is the writing of Leganski. She wrote so beautifully, I had no choice but to run away with Bonaventure, William, Dancy, and the Wonderer.
Dancy and William fell quickly in love. They were blissfully happy and could not control their longing for each other. It wasn't long after their indiscretion, that Dancy became pregnant. The two were quickly married and began a perfect life together. That was until William was shot and killed on his birthday.
The grief that Dancy feels after William's death is so deep and numbing, it actually changes her unborn child, Bonaventure. When Bonaventure is born, the family quickly realizes that he is very different. He doesn't cry, he doesn't fuss, he doesn't make a sound. Although some thought that this was a defect, Dancy knew her son was special. Indeed he was. Bonaventure didn't speak because he knew that he could learn more from the world if he just listened. Soon the world was talking to Bonaventure. He could hear his mothers guilt, his grandmother's grief, and even his father's ghost.
This superb hearing wasn't just a gift, it was a fate. Bonaventure soon found that his hearing could help him heal his family. With the help of a hoo doo woman who understands Bonaventure's gift, he begins to unravel dark family secrets and release the hold they have on his family.