The Silence Of Bonaventure Arrow: A Novel by Rita LeganskiThe Silence Of Bonaventure Arrow: A Novel by Rita Leganski

The Silence Of Bonaventure Arrow: A Novel

byRita Leganski

Paperback | October 15, 2018

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A magical debut novel from Rita Leganski, The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is the tale of a mute boy whose gift of wondrous hearing reveals family secrets and forgotten voodoo lore, and exposes a murder that threatens the souls of those who love him.

Bonaventure Arrow didn’t make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. But he was listening, placing sound inside quiet and gaining his bearings. By the time he turns five, he can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature tempests that rage inside raindrops. He also hears the voice of his dead father, William Arrow, mysteriously murdered by a man known only as the Wanderer.

Exploring family relics, he opens doors to the past and finds the key to a web of secrets that both hold his family together, and threaten to tear them apart.

Set against the backdrop of 1950s New Orleans, The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is a magical story about the lost art of listening and a wondrous little boy who brings healing to the souls of all who love him.

Rita Leganski holds an MA in writing and publishing and a BA in literary studies and creative writing from DePaul University. She teaches a writing workshop at DePaul's School for New Learning and was a recipient of the Arthur Weinberg Memorial Prize for a work of historical fiction.
Title:The Silence Of Bonaventure Arrow: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.9 inPublished:October 15, 2018Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062113763

ISBN - 13:9780062113764

Best Books of 2013


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartfelt story A very touching and intriguing story that will have you engaged and rooting for Bonaventure from the get go.
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book I've Read in Awhile I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I keep thinking about it even a week after I've finished it. I haven't read a book like this in awhile. It was magical and yet very mysterious because of the New Orleans time period which felt realistic for the story. Very well written and even though the narrative bounces back and forth in unconventional ways (I won't give away anything about it!).
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A ture gem of a book. I can't sing enough praises for this book. It is positively lovely, lovely, lovely! Rita has a way with words, that to me, sound like the lyrics to a beautiful song. I'm absolutely charmed.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourites This book is one of my all time favourites. The prose is beautiful and the story is lovely. It takes its time but that is part of the beauty of it. Its a bit of a magical story, which I really loved, but might not be everybody's cup of tea.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The silence of bonaventure Arrow Fabulous book. I thought it was beautifully written. The story line is different from most and intriguing I love books that touch on spirituality and the occult.
Date published: 2015-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow You will enjoy this book if you are a fan of magical realism. If you prefer cold hard facts, maybe not so much. Given the title, The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow, I don’t think I’m giving away too much when I say the main character does not speak, or at least not with words. Voiceless, he uses other means to communicate deeply with people (alive or dead) and with nature and the universe. Rita Leganski creates a charming character in Bonaventure Arrow. Because he doesn’t speak, Leganski can’t use traditional dialogue to convey his insights and emotions. She uses head nods, gestures, and thoughts in a way that I feared might get tedious and annoying after a while, but it never did. The mystical New Orleans setting matches the mystical nature of the story. Leganski brings in Southern Baptist tent revivals, Roman Catholic rituals, Voodoo curses, and Hoodoo charms to add spicy twists to her narrative. Occasionally, just very occasionally, the stilted dialogue of Bonaventure’s mother, Dancy, did not ring true to me. Dialogue is not Leganski’s strong suit as a writer. Her strength is beautiful, descriptive narrative that captures the essence of a thing. "Dancy did not know of Gabe's feelings, but Bonaventure could hear them and he thought they sounded like a pearl that forms in concentric layers of kindness to protect a helpless oyster from a hurtful grain of sand." Fortunately, since Bonaventure doesn’t speak, dialogue is not a prominent feature of the book, so the dreamy story flows. Leganski gives us plenty to think about: life after death, different ways to perceive the unspoken, the benefits and dangers of religion, the need for forgiveness (or not), acceptance of differences, and the poison of guilt, revenge and loneliness. The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow received unanimous approval from the members of my book club: fans of magical realism all.
Date published: 2015-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Christie's review I loved it. Great start to the series. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2015-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Supernatural Boy I read this book for a book club I belong to. A baby boy is born. He is perfectly normal except for one thing. He cannot speak. Everything else about him appears normal. He also has very good hearing. He can hear sounds from almost anyplace in the world. He can hear colours. He can even hear his dead father speaking to him. Only one other person is aware of his special gift. And she knows he is here for a special reason. His father was murdered before he born. His mother and grandmothers feel guilt over this, because they feel they are being punished for something they did. Bonaventure is there to lift their guilt. The character development was very good in this book. The complex, yet simple character of Bonaventure was very well developed. The other characters are also eccentric and well developed that helps the story move along. I did find the early part of the book moved slowly. It took awhile for the author to get the story. I like the book. The discovery of who the murderer is, is a big twist, that I thought I saw coming, but I did not want to think it. You ma have to believe al little bit in the supernatural. I would recommend this book
Date published: 2015-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful I loved this book. It truly was magical. The characters were real and believable, especially Bonaventure and his mother. I literally could not put this book down.
Date published: 2014-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A real eye-opener This recounting of the experiences of an Iraqi " terp" and the conditions in Iraq are most eye-opening. A worthwhile read.
Date published: 2014-08-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow Excellent... Forgiveness is so necessary in life
Date published: 2014-06-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow Excellent... Forgiveness is so necessary in life
Date published: 2014-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow Unique, faih building. Quite beautiful and thought provoking.
Date published: 2014-05-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A magical believable story Well defined characters play out a story in mystical, other-worldly New Orleans. A thoroughly engaging read.
Date published: 2014-05-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A magical believable story This was a very enjoyable read. The concept behind the novel, that Bonaventure can't speak and that he can hear things other people can't, is quite fascinating. I tend to be drawn to books that have an unusual premise such as this one. I recommend it for those with a similar bent.
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A magical believable story Unique premise and evocative descriptions of all that Bonaventure can hear, but a bit predictable and tidy at the end. The vivid descriptions of the worlds of the various characters makes their surroundings come alive and carries the story back and forth across time. Enjoyable.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A magical believable story This book had the potential to be really enthralling, bit the author falls a little short in providing the rich details that would have made this story more interesting, and lacks the how and why of Bonaventure's 'gift'. The ending also falls flat, with everyone's story tying up a little too neatly and without reason.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A magical believable story I enjoyed this book but found it a little precious and wearying.
Date published: 2014-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliantly Written I absolutely enjoyed this book! It was well written and different from the usual. I love the "sound" and "colours" that Bonaventure Arrow heard and saw. The story line was sad, heart breaking, funny and sometimes made me angry when Bonaventure's Grandma Roman was in the picture. I could have probably finished reading this book in one day, but the only reason it took this long is because life got in the way of my reading pleasure...LOL I really enjoyed this book and can't wait until the next book by Ms. Rita Leganski to come out.
Date published: 2013-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from unbelievably mesmerizing I bought this book because it was a 'Heathers pick' thought it sounded interesting. let me just say I have never read an author like this! books I have read after are lacking in comparison! beautiful words, fantastic imagery. love the characters. the story is very....different. my mother-inlaw read it too and didn't really have the words to describe it. she wish she had more time with it, wanted to savour the words instead of reading just for the sake of reading. well done, highly recomended. enjoy. and thank you!
Date published: 2013-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The silence of bonaventure arrow What caused Bonaventure Arrow to be mute? Interesting tale of a boy and his family
Date published: 2013-11-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The sound of silence I thought this book started out beautifully and sadly it was all downhill after that. When Bonaventure hears the fury of every raindrop or the sound of a rose petal falling to the ground, this story has all kinds of potential. When the furniture is "talking" to Bonaventure, the book loses its prose and becomes hokey. I expected this to be a story about Bonaventure and the miracles in his life as a consequence of his extraordinary hearing. But ultimately, the book was about his father William's death, the quest for the killer's identity, religious obsessions, voodoo and the two or three degrees that separate the lives woven together in this book. Ultimately, I just wasn't sold on this author's suspended reality. It was at times hauntingly beautiful, and at too many times, too hokey to move the reader's heart and mind.
Date published: 2013-10-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Silence Of Bonadventure Arrow A very unique book....for me it was a hard start ..But soon I was hooked and could not put it down
Date published: 2013-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Quiet Protagonist Whose Voice Resonate The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is a luminous book that I devoured in a single sitting; quite simply I couldn’t put it down! Rita Leganski is a new voice from whom I’m looking forward to hearing more. Simply put, the novel is a meditation on love, grief, letting go and the power of friendship. The book also tackles the power that secrets can have in our lives. A sparkling debut.
Date published: 2013-07-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Odd, yet captivating Didn't think I would like this book after the first chapter due to the mystical side, but I found it so captivating! Couldn't put it down and was sad when it ended!
Date published: 2013-07-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed this book This book is a bit different than any book I have ever read. But I enjoyed it. I read in France while I was vacation. It is different because the main character listens to the world in a different manner. The plot was also very well written, and I looked forward to the outcome of the book.
Date published: 2013-06-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Couldn't Get Into It Story Description: HarperCollins Publishers|February 15, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-06-211376-4 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-mere Letice, plagued by grief and a long-buried guilt she locks away in a chapel; and his father, William, who’s 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. My Review: Well, this is the second time today I’ve posted a book that I didn’t like. This one I tried to read many, many times, trying hard to convince myself that I was thoroughly enjoying the story. But the sad truth was, I wasn’t, at all. Just something about this story struck me as silly and uninteresting which came as a great disappointment to me as I’d heard so much hype about this novel. People were raving about it, I had friends telling me about it, but sadly, I just didn’t like it at all. Not much else to say on the matter I suppose. I know a lot of people did enjoy it so that’s a plus.
Date published: 2013-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Marvellous book This is a book to be savoured. Reading it quickly will cause you to miss the colours that are woven so intricately in this tapestry of characters. It will stay with you long after you have finished it
Date published: 2013-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Touching story Dear Reader's, Rita Leganski has written a masterpiece for a first book, amazing! This is by far, a book everyone will love and want to read again and again. Please, support new authors and buy her book. Just think, when she becomes famous you'll have her first book. Thanks.
Date published: 2013-05-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical debut I've been hearing things - good things - about Rita Leganski's debut novel The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow. And, after the first few chapters I have to agree wholeheartedly. I have my favourite genres, but sometimes there's something about the description of a book or the opening lines that grabs me and I just know that this is going to one of those special books that stays with me. Until I lend it out - because I'll definitely be recommending this one. "Bonaventure Arrow didn't make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. But the child was only listening, placing sound inside quiet and gaining his bearings because everything had suddenly changed. His silence gave pause to the experts who examined him; here was a curiosity beyond their expertise. (They could never have explained Bonaventure anyway because there is no scientific word for miraculous.) They didn't know that through his remarkable hearing he would bring salvation to the souls of those who loved him." With those few opening pages, I felt like I was sitting down to hear a storyteller spin a magical yarn of what could be... or who knows - what is. I was entranced by the idea of a boy who could hear what inanimate objects were saying, their stories, hearing the unspoken sorrow and sadness, the joy and pain of people's lives, the sound of everything. "Bonaventure Arrow had been chosen to bring peace. There was guilt to be dealt with, and poor broken hearts, and atonement gone terribly wrong. And too there were family secrets to be heard; some of them old and all of them harmful. I really don't want to say much more about the plot - it's just so much better to have it unfold before your own eyes. The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow is not a book to be rushed through; instead it should be savoured and enjoyed. Leganski's writing flows so easily. Her prose are beautiful and lyrical, and I often went back to read them a second time. The love between Bonaventure's parents was beautifully depicted. I very much enjoyed Leganski's descriptions of what Bonaventure hears. It's a nudge to remind us to stop and listen - and not simply hear. The book is set in 1950's New Orleans and I was fascinated by the setting, culture, description and exploration of the city, but also of hoodoo, voodoo and Catholicism. Leganski weaves a unique and magical tale exploring love, loss, guilt, forgiveness and redemption in an utterly unique and magical voice. A fantastic debut and an easy recommendation. Fans of Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen would enjoy this novel.
Date published: 2013-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Writing and Wonderful Characters in a Beautiful Story I was impressed with the quality of the writing and the audacity of the author who dared to describe the sounds of things that surrounds us through an amazing boy name Bonaventure Arrow. This story will enfold you in its beauty and will make you curious about the sounds of things that surround us and teach us about love that goes beyond living.
Date published: 2013-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic This is a book that is impossible to read quickly. Every sentence needs to be ingested as you would a favourite desert that is meant to be savoured. I dare you not to fall in love with young Bonaventure Arrow, whose innocence and kindness comes across on every page. So, so good.
Date published: 2013-01-29

Editorial Reviews

“Suffused with the mystical charm of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou, Leganski’s lyrical debut novel conjures dreams of voodoo, the power of healing, and the distinction between hearing and listening. This extraordinary, evocative novel will cast a spell over fans of magical realism.”