The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf is a riveting mixture of family drama, mystery and suspense in the form of an abduction and the regrets we all feel from those decisions we sometimes make that end up impacting our whole lives. This novel kept me on the edge of my seat and turning the pages as fast as I could to find out how in the world it would end.
It is the early hours of the morning when Calli awakens and really has to use the bathroom. However she can hear that her father hasn’t left yet for his fishing trip and she wants to avoid him. She just can’t hold it though so she’s going to try and sneak by him. Unfortunately it doesn’t work and he calls her out on the porch. He gets angry with her as he does so often and decides to haul her out into the woods. You might wonder why Calli doesn’t yell out for her mother but you see she can’t – she suffers from selective mutism.
When Calli is four years old she and her family suffer a unimaginable tragedy which causes Calli to stop talking. Calli though has a friend in Petra. With Petra she doesn’t have to talk; Petra always seems to know what Calli is thinking or needing and she essentially becomes Calli’s voice. So, on the morning that Calli gets taken into the woods by her alcoholic father, Petra is at her bedroom window and sees someone going into the woods. Is it Calli and her father she sees or is it someone else? Whoever it is that Petra sees going into the woods causes her to leave the house in her pajamas to catch up to them which leads to two missing girls – Calli and Petra.
The Weight of Silence is told in several alternating viewpoints -Calli’s, Petra’s, Antonia (Calli’s mother), Ben (Calli’s brother), Martin (Petra’s father) and Deputy Sheriff Louis. Even with all these alternating voices the story is not confusing or jumbled. It flows from beginning to end as it builds up to the heart pounding ending. The only thing I would say is that I wish there would have been more from both Calli and Petra. When their sections ended I was always left with wanting more from that part of the story.
This is a debut novel for Heather Gudenkauf and if this novel is any indication then she is an author to watch. As I said this was a hard one to put down. It is written in such a way that you feel you are in the story, you are feeling the drama unfold around you and you are desperately wanting to know what the conclusion will be. The Weight of Silence would make a wonderful book club pick as well. There are so many issues ranging from alcoholism to abuse and family dynamics.
Please be sure to pop by Heather Gudenkauf’s website here and you can pick up The Weight of Silence here in the US and here in Canada. I read this novel for Heather’s TLC Book Tour so thank you so much Trish with TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read this great book. Make sure to check out all the tour stops for The Weight of Silence here. As well You can buy The Weight of Silence at a discount! Use the coupon code SILENCE10 at eharlequin.com for 10% off of The Weight of Silence, and this is effective August 1 – September 15 at eHQ for print or digital.
I’m going to leave you with the book trailer for The Weight of Silence. Enjoy…