They are surprisingly deafening. We have had one of those snows that leave the world in silence, except for the crack of tree limbs breaking off and crashing to the coated ground.
In the midst of this, I have just finished reading a beautiful début novel by Rita Leganski called The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow. Bonaventure Arrow’s birth is marked with the lack of a cry. He is a young boy who cannot make a sound. Counterbalancing this phenomenon is the gift of extraordinary hearing. He can hear people’s feelings, the sounds of colors, the creating of the universe.
The character development of Bonaventure, his mother, his two grandmothers, his dead father, a man referred to as The Wander, and a mystical woman named Trinidad Prefontaine pulls the reader into a world of secrets, silence and sounds, and the mystery of his father’s murder. Did I mention that the protagonist is only seven years old?
Set in the area of New Orleans, in the 1950’s, it is a beyond beautiful story, magically developed, and descriptively written. I hope Leganski writes more. She has the gift.
It was the perfect read for a snowbound time, in a world muffled by heavy snow and…what else? Silence.