The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow, by Rita Leganski, is the story of Bonaventure Arrow, a baby boy born mute to the newly widowed Dancy Arrow. Bonaventure doesn't make a sound, but his hearing is astounding—he can hear the tiniest sounds far, far away, sounds of colors, or sounds of events that had happened long ago. It is his supernatural hearing that helps him identify his father’s murderer.
Bright, thoughtful, and spirited, Bonaventure’s unique abilities seem almost believable as he communicates with his father, William Arrow, now in Almost Heaven. Dancy Arrow’s young husband is murdered before Bonaventure is born by a man Leganski calls “The Wanderer.” The shooting seems random and unplanned, carried out by an unstable and damaged man who has no identification and is unable to communicate sensibly after his arrest. William’s mother is unable to rest until the murderer’s identity is known, and when the police are unsuccessful, she hires a private detective.
In the meantime, Dancy wallows in her grief, raising Bonaventure with the help of William’s mother and their hired help, Trinidad Prefontaine. Trinidad is their cook and housekeeper, and has knowledge of hoodoo—the use of charms and plants to bring about good fortune. She is inexplicably connected to Bonaventure, but as the family secrets unravel and the murderer’s identity is revealed, readers will learn about this connection and others which will bring release for William and healing to those who grieve.
The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow was published in 2012 by HarperCollins.