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 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 oh 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-mere Letice, plagued by grief and 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.
This book is the March selection for SheReads.org. This is my third month with the online book club. I’ve loved the books I’ve read with them so far, but I wasn’t as sure about this one when I started. It sounded good, but it didn’t sound like one that I would be head over heels for.
There were some things that I really liked about this book. Leganski did an amazing job of speaking for a child who does not speak. When Bonaventure was having conversations with his dead father, we heard this thoughts, but for the rest of his story, we just heard a description of what he heard, and his signing. Who would have ever thought that a silent character could have such a strong role in a book? It proves that in some books, you don’t need dialouge to drive it home. Leganski is an amazing story teller and this book proves it.
But it wasn’t easy for me to get through this book. It took me eight days to get through it, which is a very long time for me. I think that there were times that it was so descriptive, I got lost, caught up in what was going on in the book, and listening for sounds that I knew only Bonvanture could hear. I started thinking about colors and what they would sound like if I could hear them. I loved that this book reminded me to stop and listen.
I really loved Bonaventure’s character. While the others will leave a mark on you, the young boy makes you want to be a better person. Stop and smell the roses. Listen to the wind and trees. And love. This young boy, so different from others in his class and life, is so full of love. He has such a strong relationship with both of his parents, even if one isn’t physically here. And he wants the best for them and for them to be happy, even if it means he has to do something that doesn’t make him comfortable.
This book reminded me a lot of the style of The Lovely Bones and I think, done the right way, it could be a very interesting movie.
I give The Silence of Bonvanture Arrow 4 out of 5 bookmarks.
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