Bayou Cymbaline, in the 1950’s, Louisiana: a child is born who makes no sound, but can hear ‘the Universe of Every Single Sound’. Bonaventure Arrow is born into a family holding on to secrets and guilt and he becomes their means of redemption.
Dancy, Bonaventure’s mother is unable to let go of the greif caused by her husband’s untimely, seemly random shooting. Who is The Wanderer, why did he kill William? Dancy cannot move on to love another because she thinks William’s death is her fault.
Letice, William’s mother, is sure the secret sins of her youth are the cause of her son’s murder. She is seeking to put guilt to rest. Dancy’s mother Adelaide Roman is consumed by the Souther quassy -religious mania of the time, hoping to heal and redeem her grandson and release them from the curse of muteness. Behind it all is William, who from almost Heaven, tries to bring peace to his family and get to know his son.
And then we meet a chorus of Creole characters led by Trinidad Prefontaine who has the gift of Knowing, and is sure her destiny is tied up with the Arrow family’s hope for a better future.Astoundingly beautiful piece of writing, magical realism which captures the reader right from the first page.