Review: The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow
Since Bonaventure Arrow was born mute to his widowed mother, his hearing is more fine tuned than most people’s. He can hear EVERYTHING, from inanimate objects to his father who’s residing in “almost heaven.” The only time Bonaventure has a voice is when he’s conversing with his late father. Bonaventure and his mother almost see his muteness as a blessing but his grandmothers think otherwise. In fact, his paternal grandmother thinks something in her past may have caused it. The Arrow family must make peace with their past in order to move forward.
Rita Leganski’s debut novel, The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow, is full of family secrets and magical realism. I enjoyed Leganski’s writing and thought her characters were wonderful. I adored Bonaventure – he’s thoughtful and fearless and accepts his disability even when it makes it hard for him to fit in. The secondary characters are well drawn too, and I felt I came to know all of them.
The writing and the characters weren’t enough to save this book for me, though – I struggled with the magical realism aspects of the story. I’m sure it’s just me, though, since I’m not a fan of fantasy and generally don’t enjoy supernatural or magical elements in a story. They’re a major part of this story, though, and that just didn’t work for me. I read this book for She Reads and most of the participating bloggers enjoyed it more than I did – if the book interests you at all, be sure to check out their reviews.