Monday, March 4, 2013

Adventures in the Bayou

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski
Before I started this book I was really curious about the title, except within the first few pages the title makes perfect sense. Bonaventure Arrow is simply a little boy who can't speak, which perfectly explains it. Except while he can't speak he has hearing like no one else. He can hear the trees talking, books tell him their stories, and of course, he can hear dead people.

The number one thing I loved about this book was its setting, New Orleans in the 1950s. Part of me wants to say it brought me to Louisiana, except that doesn't make sense because I already live in Louisiana. But I love seeing Louisiana in the 1950s, and I loved seeing all the notable Louisiana locations in this time period (Cafe du Monde, Hotel Montelone (which is home to the Carousel Bar), Mardi Gras Balls and more). It definitely felt like Louisiana to me, which is a little surprising since it doesn't look like the author ever lived here.

Unfortunately, my biggest complaint with the book, was that it was slow and seemed to drag on and on. I kept waiting for it to the point, except by the novel's end I realized what I had been reading was already the main point of the story. I did love the way things all wrapped up together, except probably would have liked a little more closure on a few of the plot lines. And while I did wish the story would pick up a little more, in some ways looking back, the whole thing felt like one of those long summer days that seems to linger. And I get the feeling that may have been the point.

I do think this would be a fun book to read on your first trip to New Orleans, since I don't think you could read this and not want to visit the locations mentioned or try the meals the characters ate. And I know when I visit a new place I love reading something that takes place there, I think it helps bring the place alive a little more. While I don't necessary think this is a book that I'd list as a favorite, I do love the way Louisiana is brought alive in it's pages.


Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Although I agree that the setting of the story played a big part in it, I feel that it's meant to be more universal. I think that the author might have set in New Orleans because of the mystical religious aspects of the region with voodoo, hoodoo, and Christianity (two different denominations) being such an integral part of the area.

    I enjoyed this book immensely, especially because of its mystical, magical aspects. However, I was bothered by what I felt was a pro-Catholic bias on the part of the author. )And I'm a Catholic myself, by the way.)

    Thanks for your thoughts on the book! I'd love to visit New Orleans some day, since I've never been there! I've heard all kinds of wonderful things about the 'Nawlins' experience! You're SO lucky to live there! :)