Thursday, 10 April 2014

Review: The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski

Rita Leganski's The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is a wholly wonderful novel. It's an addictive, powerful, and touching story. HarperCollins always delivers when it comes to publishing high quality adult fiction, and The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is no exception!

Summary: 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.

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow delves into the dark and frightening unknowns of our world. The characters are at the mercy of the power of the universe, of God, of religion, and of our own human weaknesses. Bonaventure is born a mute, Dancy is a lonely, guilt-ridden single mother, Adelaide is a religious fanatic... there are many tragedies and trials to endure in life. The best we can do is learn to live with our lot, to always do right by our family and friends, and to press on with life.

The story is beautifully written, filled with colourful characters that you immediately fall in love with. Leganski constructs a world so real and tragic, it's easy to lose yourself in her writing. I loved how the story shows how we affect other people over time and space. Leganski shows how we can never full anticipate how our actions will alter the course of the future. From page one to the gripping conclusion, I was hooked by this moving story. Rita Leganski is a masterful storyteller. 

I finished this novel days ago, but the ending has stuck with me. This book more than exceeded my expectations. Rita Leganski has given the world a brilliant and magical debut. I highly recommend this novel!

4 Stars

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