The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski
This is a story of lives intertwined and circling back on events gone by. One might call it karma, but in the depths of the New Orleans bayou, it’s more appropriately termed gris gris — the magic that brings love, luck and can uncross a hex.
It’s also the story of Bonaventure Arrow, born without the gift of speech, but with an amazing sense of hearing that transcends the present and what the rest of the world hears as audible sound. Indeed, Bonaventure can hear colors, long buried stones, and music from long ago days.
Bonaventure was born without his father, who was killed in a seemingly random act of violence at the A&P grocery store. He leaves behind a wife and mother who both feel deep guilt in the role they feel they played in his death, and who while cherishing the gift that is Bonaventure, cannot move completely beyond their guilt.
With his almost mystical powers, Bonaventure finds a way to help his family release their grief, and in doing so also frees himself. This wonderful story takes the reader deep into the heart of what is singularly magical about the bayou.
Book clubs will discover a very unique boy in Bonaventure Arrow, who will remain in the readers’ hearts long after the covers close. This is an inspiring tale about the lifting of long-harbored guilt and a truly different look at love.
Harper/HarperCollins; ISBN 978-0- 06211-376-4; $14.99.