The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow
Rita Leganski's prose cast a spell and hypnotized me for 374 pages. In an epic story spanning three generations, multiple character threads are woven together to produce the most perfect magical realist novel I have ever read. With a cast of characters showing that every action has its consequences both near and far reaching, Leganski provides everything a story with true love, questioning of social relationships, and wonderfully unconventional villains. The Louisiana setting saturates the story to the point of becoming a character itself with its hoodoo, voodoo and class divisions.
In an extreme version of loss of one sense amplifying another, Bonaventure Arrow's lack of speech amplifies his connection to the universe. His mother, Dancy, grieving for his father's death, causes Bonaventure to lose his voice and tune into messages no one else can hear. He grows to hear colors, feel souls of objects, and "speak" with his deceased father, William. William's mother and Dancy both blame and punish themselves for his death but Bonaventure's gift helps them forgive themselves. Karma and love mix with religion and revenge in this truly enchanting story that exemplifies how we are all connected to every bit of the universe.