I totally fell in love with The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski. Leganski grew up in Wisconsin, but, you’d swear she was Southern. Bonaventure Arrow cannot speak, yet he speaks loudly and clearly within Leganski’s pages.
This is a haunting, atmospheric story, uniquely Southern, replete with lyricism and magical realism.
A lyrical debut novel set in historic New Orleans that follows a mute boy whose gift of magical hearing reveals family secrets and forgotten voodoo lore, and exposes a murder that threatens the souls of those who love him.
Bonaventure Arrow didn’t make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. But he was only listening, placing sound inside quiet and gaining his bearings. By the time he is five, he can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature trumpets that rage inside raindrops. He also hears the voice of his dead father, William Arrow, mysteriously murdered before Bonaventure was born by a man known only as the Wanderer.
One day, Bonaventure’s world is shaken by anguished voices he’s never heard before–voices that trace back to a note written by his mother, Dancy, to a particular relic owned by his Grand-mere Letice: objects kept by each as a constant reminder of the guilt she believes she deserves. When Bonaventure removes the note and the relic from where they’ve been hidden, he opens two doors to the past and finds the key to a web of secrets that both holds his family together and threatens to tear them apart. With the help of his kindred spirit, Trinidad Prefontaine, Bonaventure sets out to calm these secrets and to release his family from a painful legacy.
Rita Leganski holds an MA in writing and publishing and a BA in literary studies and creative writing from DePaul University. She teaches a writing workshop at DePaul’s School for New Learning and was a recipient of the Arthur Weinberg Memorial Prize for a work of historical fiction.
The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow will be released February 26. Look for my interview with Leganski on March 4 (and a possible giveaway) and a book review on March 5. She Reads has chosen this book for its March Book Club Selection.