The One Book One Middletown for 2014 is The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow. New Orleans in the 1950s is the setting for this debut novel, a magical fairy tale, by author and writing teacher Rita Leganski of Chicago.
From publisher Harper Collins: "Conceived in love and possibility, Bonaventure Arrow didn't make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. No one knows that Bonaventure's silence is filled with resonance — a miraculous gift of rarified hearing that encompasses the Universe of Every Single Sound.
"Bonaventure's remarkable gift of listening promises salvation to the souls who love him: his beautiful young mother, Dancy, haunted by the death of her husband; his Grand-mère Letice, plagued by grief and a long-buried guilt she locks away in a chapel; and his father, William, whose roaming spirit must fix the wreckage of the past. With the help of Trinidad Prefontaine, a Creole housekeeper endowed with her own special gifts, Bonaventure will find the key to long-buried mysteries and soothe a chorus of family secrets clamoring to be healed.
The author, whose book was published last May, lives in the Chicago area of Illinois. In November, the book was nominated for the New Orleans Library Society Award.
Leganski holds a master of arts degree in writing and publishing and a bachelor of arts in literary studies and creative writing from DePaul University. She teaches a writing workshop at DePaul's School for New Learning and was a recipient of the Arthur Weinberg Memorial Prize for a work of historical fiction.Original Story
Every December, book lovers of all ages anxiously await the naming of the city's next novel to be read by hundreds across Middletown.
Mayor Daniel Drew will announce the 2014 One Book One Middletown title this evening at the Middletown Rotary Holiday Wine/Beer Tasting and Silent Auction in Cromwell.
Check back with Middletown Patch tonight for the big reveal. OK — we'll give you a hint. It was written by a woman, it's her first novel and it's set in the Deep South.
The goal of the project, spearheaded by the Rotary, the City of Middletown and Russell Library, is to encourage reading by choosing a title that appeals to a variety of audiences, then holding events that bring people together to celebrate.
It’s kind of like a city-wide book club and states across the nation participate every year. The Library of Congress keeps lists of all the titles chosen and it’s a terrific jumping off point for those seeking highly regarded literature suggestions.
Since 2003, the spring ushers in book discussions, talks and other events coordinated with the book’s theme to encourage those of all ages to read and participate as a community. The Russell Library stocks dozens of copies of the book for check-out as does Wesleyan University's Olin Library.
One Book One Middletown
- 2013: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- 2012: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
- 2011: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
- 2010: The Soloist by Steve Lopez
- 2009: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- 2008: Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
- 2007: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
- 2006: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
- 2005: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- 2004: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
- 2003: The Giver by Lois Lowry.