The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love the novel that introduces unique characters then surrounds those with the people I know in caricature. Such is this book. Additionally, many of the scenes are written in such a way that I couldn't help but completely immerse myself in the scene. I loved the way the book was paced, the characters progressed, and the way they lived and died.
The book begins with Bonaventure's birth. Although mostly expected in nature, there is an odd foretelling that his birth is surrounded by loss. The author quickly establishes that the baby is also exceptional as he never makes a vocal sound. Bonaventure happens to have the extraordinary gift listening and hearing sounds like colors, heartbeats, and the coming of his dreaded grandmother Adalaide 10 minutes before she arrives.
Going further in the past, the reader is treated to his parents meeting, their courtship, and his beginning. The tragedy that occurs is not only the rending of time but also the beginning of Bonaventure's giftedness. It is also the beginning of pain but also the beginning of healing, forgiveness, and stitching together past and present. The novel has flavors of good Christianity, Hoo Doo of New Orleans, as well as self righteousness and vindictiveness. Spoiler here is that good Christianity and positive root work win out and not without humor or karma.
This is a unique book with unique characters, sparse prose, humor, and feel goods.