Bonita Avenue: A Novel
Siem Sigerius appears to have the perfect life. A brilliant mathematician, beloved university rector, accomplished athlete, and loving father, Siem inspires within and without academia. His step-daughter’s boyfriend, Aaron, idolizes Siem, and revels in his favored role as judo partner and (hopefully) someday son-in-law. Unfortunately, Aaron and Joni Sigerius have a secret, a secret that will cause Siem to rethink everything he knows about the couple. When the fireworks factory in the family’s hometown of Enschede explodes and damages Aaron’s home, the delicate balance of familial goodwill tips, and formerly disregarded suspicions and animosities begin to hold sway. Can the Sigerius family recover from the truth?
Buwalda assembles the Bonita Avenue plot like a jigsaw puzzle. By telling the story with a series of flashbacks and alternating points of view, he carefully doles out key pieces of information. This allows the reader to assemble the story frame, but not to fill in the details until they have the most emotional impact. Certain conflicts have to happen, but when and how will keep the pages turning. Bonita Avenue is a skillfully written and entertaining surprise.