The Weight of Silence

The Weight of SilenceIt Happens Quietly One August Morning As Dawn S Shimmering Light Drenches The Humid Iowa Air, Two Families Awaken To Find Their Little Girls Have Gone Missing In The NightSeven Year Old Calli Clark Is Sweet, Gentle, A Dreamer Who Suffers From Selective Mutism Brought On By Tragedy That Pulled Her Deep Into Silence As A ToddlerCalli S Mother, Antonia, Tried To Be The Best Mother She Could Within The Confines Of Marriage To A Mostly Absent, Often Angry Husband Now, Though She Denies That Her Husband Could Be Involved In The Possible Abductions, She Fears Her Decision To Stay In Her Marriage Has Cost Her Than Her Daughter S VoicePetra Gregory Is Calli S Best Friend, Her Soul Mate And Her Voice But Neither Petra Nor Calli Has Been Heard From Since Their Disappearance Was Discovered Desperate To Find His Child, Martin Gregory Is Forced To Confront A Side Of Himself He Did Not Know Existed Beneath His Intellectual, Professorial DemeanorNow These Families Are Tied By The Question Of What Happened To Their Children And The Answer Is Trapped In The Silence Of Unspoken Family Secrets

Heather is the NYT and USA Today Bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and NOT A SOUND.

[Reading] ➷ The Weight of Silence By Heather Gudenkauf –
  • Paperback
  • 373 pages
  • The Weight of Silence
  • Heather Gudenkauf
  • English
  • 15 February 2019
  • 9780778327400

10 thoughts on “The Weight of Silence

  1. says:

    I wanted to like this book I really did It looked very fascinating on the Barnes and Noble top reads table and I waited for 3 months on a 200 person list to get it from the library But this book was nothing special, and was undeserving of all the hype, in my opinion.The basic plotline has been touched on alreadytwo young girls, one of who is a selective mute, for reasons unknown to anyone neighbors and best friends, each go missing one morning and their families and the town sheriff go looking for them During the search, each person takes time to reflect on their past and how it led him or her to be where he or she is today Because I know when my little girl goes missing I ll take time to reminisce about the time I bought my dad a color television set thirty years ago.The story is told from multiple points of view, so right off the bat we know exactly where the two girls are, and how they got there We don t know if they ll remain safe, or if they ll get back home, but we know they aren t dead, nor are they together, as their families presume This kind of kills some of the suspense right there.On top of killing the suspense, it s makes the chapters told from the point of view of characters other than the two missing girls seem very boring and slow paced Why would I bother to read about the parents wringing their hands in worry for pages and pages when I can just flip to the next chapter and find out myself how she is faring It should have either been told entirely from the point of view of the searchers, or entirely from the girls point of view, but flipping back and forth is a frustrating technique.Third, except for the missing girls, most of these characters are unlikeable, one dimensional cliches There is Cally s the selective mute father, an abusive alcoholic redneck, Antonia, Cally s mother, who is supposed to be this free spirited wondergirl, but is actually just a selfish twit too lazy and cowardly to protect her children from the emotional and physical abuse their father doles out None of the other players even get a personality trait, other than worried parent , or concerned citizen If you don t care about your characters, then you don t care about their problems, and you really don t care to read about them recounting their childhood which is of little relevance to the story at hand.Finally, the big twist at the end, why Cally is mute, was actually revealed thirty or forty pages into the book, I guess the author just thought we might forget about it and wanted to remind us Seems to me when you know your husband is abusive and your child just stops talking you might think the two might be related, but Antonia lives in denial and is also none too quick on the uptake.The ending is too pat, considering the heavy material, the characters range from bland and inoffensive to downright heinous and I m including Antonia in there along with her abusive husband and the pedophile discovered at the end of the book , and the chapters move at a maddeningly slow pace I would not recommend this book.

  2. says:

    This was quite possibly the first thriller mystery I ever read It set the bar for future reads, and what a high bar it set Two young girls, Calli and Petra in a Southern American state go missing, after which follows the small town turning on itself and on each other There is the top suspect, Calli s alcoholic father, as well as the underlying mystery of Calli s selective mutism.The story moves between different POV including each of the young girls, the parents and also Callie s brother It is a fantastic mystery, unraveling the flaws and secrets of so many of the characters and I loved them all Even knowing the outcome I still love to get into the heads of the characters and its such a perfect setting Highly recommend.

  3. says:

    Wow The Weight of Silence is a dandy of a story Heather Gudenkauf is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors Seven year old Calli Clark doesn t talk The doctor s say there s nothing physically wrong with her One day when she was four she suddenly stopped talking What could have happened to stop a happy, talkative child from uttering another word for three years Petra Gregory lives next door and is not just Calli s best friend she s also Calli s voice Then one summer morning the Gregory s and Clark s wake to find both girls missing They often play in the woods surrounding their home but not ever at 4 00 in the morning After a quick search of the immediate area without finding the girls Deputy Sheriff Louis calls for an organized search Calli s mother, Antonia, and brother, Ben are sick with worry Petra s parents, Martin and Fielda are equally frantic to find their daughter As the hours pass and the day becomes hotter there is still no sign of Calli or Petra When Antonia discovers some adult size footprints alongside some obvious child size ones together in the dirt the fear that this could be an abduction ramps everyone s fears into overdrive Antonia s abusive, alcoholic husband becomes increasingly suspect but he went fishing with his buddy at 3 00 am Didn t he This is a fast paced, thriller that will take hold and keep you running full throttle through the pages Highly recommended

  4. says:

    The Weight of Silence I was drawn by the fabulous title Keeping secrets is a coping skill we ve all used, when taken to the extreme it can be deadly Silence is this novel s binding theme, hammered home by her choice to have the main character Calli a selective mute a theme that lifts it above the slew of other child abduction stories currently on the market Calli and her best friend Petra go missing in the middle of the night The suspicion is kidnapping, her alcoholic father the prime suspect we follow the families in their search for the missing children Gudenkauf adopts the current trend of telling a story through several points of view, a style she handles with refreshing cohesiveness She builds strong, multi faceted characters then ratchet s the tension between them to high Calli a surprisingly resilient little survivor Ben struck a personal cord, the older protective brother every little girl wants I lucked out and had one It s got a swift moving plot and thwarted love thrown in for good measure Child abuse is an element, but the reader is spared the graphic details Negatives Fairly predictable outcome and kinda clunky dialog What bugged me most was the police investigation, incompetent to the point of silliness view spoiler Seriously, a professional search team doesn t notice the prints of a child being dragged away from her very own front yard hide spoiler

  5. says:

    This one had 4 stars until the end, which totally ruined it There were some good moments, but all things considered, this reads like it was the author s first book and she has some growing to do.One thing I liked was that, though the author toys with the oh so trendy multiple narrator first person writing in each chapter, the chapters from Calli, a select mute s, perspective were in third person past tense An interesting choice which bodes well for future writing, but it didn t really play off Almost every chapter, even the third person Calli chapters, read exactly the same it s not enough to just change the name on top of the chapter, there needs to be a change of voice Another thing I liked was that the plot, which pans out over roughly 24 hours, was riddled with flashbacks that let the history of the story unfold along the way Again, nothing new to the world of fiction writing, but it worked in this instance While this book is largely a thriller Will they find the girls Are the girls together What happened Who did it etc , it felt like the weight of silence the title refers to is the weight of unspoken history, particularly among families The secrets that are kept are mostly interesting, relevant, and the bulk of the story You know from the prologue that at least Calli will be found, which gives you the luxury of watching the characters through the unfolding of the story instead of wondering worrying about the fate of the missing children.I didn t like that not enough time in my opinion especially considering the end was given to Petra and her family, and I would ve liked from Louis besides the whole unrequited love bit I also thought the epilogue was dreadful and there were a good amount of places where I encountered writing that was just plain uncomfortable I don t know if Gudenkauf has written anything prior to since this book s publication, but this novel indicates a young writer who has a lot of potential to grow into a good storyteller Her craft needs some polishing and she could use with a better editor, but the meat of the story is solid and her ideas have a lot of potential and beg further exploration.Long story short Totally not crap, and possibly something I ll re read if I m really bored, but nothing earth shattering or even really to be recommended.

  6. says:

    Heather, I don t know why I haven t read all of your books This book took me on a wild ride It was suspenseful with a good plot line and characterization One slowly learns what happened to the girls through multiple perspectives Good paced book that is a winner.

  7. says:

    I loved this story I thought it was compelling and moving SPOILERS The story is about two girls who go missing from their own beds early one August morning The race to find them before night falls is only intensified by the fact that one of the girls father a raging alcoholic is also MIA and may have something to do with it It reads as a thriller as it changes from one narrative voice to another and each person is experiencing the ordeal from a unique standpoint When the girls are found there are still several unanswered questions which Calli, a selective mute, cannot answer.I loved the way Gudenkauf wove the stories of these two families into one I thought it was intense and kept me reading for 200 pages straight The pacing of the story was wonderful and did not give you a moment to rest after discovering a new piece of the puzzle, before it was plunging you again into the sad tale of these girls, leaving you on the edge of your seat once Now, onto what I did not like about this book I really like books that have different narratives, but in this instance, the narratives were not strong enough There was never a moment where I knew, just by speech or thoughts of a character who s perspective the chapter was from I think there should have been a huge difference between a 57 year old college professor s narrative voice and a 12 year old boy s And there simply wasn t On a personal note, I hate epilogues I feel that they simply serve as a moment of and they lived happily ever after, the end And I feel that this book could have used a wrap up, for sure, but just not as cheesy as it was Overall, however, I thought it was an amazing story and the plot pacing and development were both great I really enjoyed it

  8. says:

    This book is one of the few books I gave 5 stars to It was, in two words, absolutely beautiful It s been a while since I can hardly make my eyes move across the page fast enough Reading some of the reviews on here, I see not everyone thought it was as awesome as I did, but for some reason, this book really spoke to me.The characters Ben and Petra especially touched my heart You ran upstairs to your room and wouldn t even look at me for the next ten days But I knew you were sorry I kept finding Tootsie Rolls under my pillow every day for the next two weeks This quote and I suppose the whole scene was my favourite Also, the scene where Calli first meets Petra and the two share a sandwhich and jump rope pulled at my heart.

  9. says:

    An absolutely amazing novel I found it very hard to put this novel down This is one of those books, were you re desperate to get to the end, to find out the outcome, but at the same time, you don t want the novel to end Heather Gudenkauf writes from the perspective of each character, and her descriptions of the violence and the fear that surround Calli and Ben are both breathtaking and heart wrenching.

  10. says:

    I m not even going to bother continuing this tripe A super duper wonderful little girl is a selective mute, and one morning she and another super duper wonderful little girl go missing There s not a single moment of suspense, since both super duper wonderful little girls are POV characters at different points of the book, so we know they re not dead or hurt, unless it turns out they re ghosts Wouldn t put that past this writer.So let s go through our stock character collection We ve got the small time cop still pining for his lost love he missed his chance at true love , intellectual professor from humble roots betcha didn t know a hog farmer could be all into book learnin , drunk wife beater with less subtlety than Snidely Whiplash he pushed his pregnant wife down the stairs Of course he did , and the put upon wife who gets the shit beaten out of her on a daily basis because Lifetime tells us that s virtuous for some reason And guess what, Heather Gudenkauf Being a perpetual victim doesn t make someone sympathetic It makes her a coward.Seriously, I can t begin to imagine how over educated this terrible writer is I can guarantee she s got a notebook filled with similar premises in her desk drawer right now Two little girls are bestest friends, one dimensional characters, dumb mystery that s not actually a mystery, stir in some unrequited love filled with terrible flowery prose and READY SET WRITE

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