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The Weight of Silence | [Heather Gudenkauf]

The Weight of Silence

It 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 night. Now 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.
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Publisher's Summary

It 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 night. Seven-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 toddler. Calli'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 more than her daughter's voice.

Petra 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 demeanor.

Now 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.

©2009 Heather Gudenkauf; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Edgar Award Finalist, Best First Novel, 2010

"Every so often you get really lucky, and a book comes along that just knocks your socks off: an absorbing, engrossing, suspenseful read that you just want to keep paging through, a novel that feels a lot like running downhill - fast and a little breathless - until it all winds down and wraps up. The Weight of Silence is exactly this kind of book.... Jodi Picoult has some serious competition in Heather Gudenkauf. [She is] an author to watch.” (Bookreporter.com)

"Deeply moving and exquisitely lyrical, this is a powerhouse of a debut novel. Heather Gudenkauf is one of those rare writers who can tell a tale with the skill of a poet while simultaneously cranking up the suspense until it's unbearable." (Tess Gerritsen)

"Gudenkauf moves the story forward at a fast clip and is adept at building tension. There's a particular darkness to her heartland, rife as it is with predators and the walking wounded, and her unsentimental take on the milieu manages to find some hope without being maudlin." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (862 )
5 star
 (277)
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (705 )
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Story
4.1 (705 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (116)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (20)
Performance
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  •  
    Laura KINGWOOD, TX, United States 04-22-15
    Laura KINGWOOD, TX, United States 04-22-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    15
    6
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    Story
    "Average suspense thriller"
    Any additional comments?

    I almost stopped listening early on when the hints of child sexual abuse made me very uncomfortable. The subject matter is tastefully handled and I enjoyed the book overall, but it isn't one I would highly recommend -- the underlying themes were disturbing to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alene L. Wesner Kansas City, MO United States 04-11-15
    Alene L. Wesner Kansas City, MO United States 04-11-15 Member Since 2014

    Alene

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    110
    13
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    0
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    "Excellent!"

    Excellent performance of an excellent book! Did not expect the outcome of this wonderful story! A great whodunit narrated by a fantastic cast!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Pittsburgh, PA, United States 04-08-15
    Amy Pittsburgh, PA, United States 04-08-15 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    409
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "sappy and poorly written"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    more subtle writing and narration


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    haven't finished it yet


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    NO. Way over-acted. She changes her tone several times within sentences! So sappy


    Any additional comments?

    writing is amateurish

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MJ Hollywood, MD, United States 04-07-15
    MJ Hollywood, MD, United States 04-07-15

    MJ

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    250
    17
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    Performance
    Story
    "Predictable"
    Any additional comments?

    Interesting story for most of the book, but then became predictable in a way to tie all the loose ends up. The narration, although good, made the going slow with the narrators individually giving different points of view from the characters. Would suggest waiting for this title to go on sale instead of using a credit for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bird Lady 147 04-07-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    35
    26
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    3
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Multi person narration"

    Normally I don't like books with multiple person narrators. They can get annoying jumping from voice to voice. But not in The Weight of Silence. It was done well and the voices were well chosen for each character. I liked the fact that the children's voices were not made to sound

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aletha 04-07-15
    aletha 04-07-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    26
    17
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    0
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    "buyers remorse"

    I just wanted it to end. Horrible story horrible story telling! Don't waste your money. if this were written by a 16 yr old with a limited imagination I could see that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    klsoltis 03-29-15
    klsoltis 03-29-15 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very well done!"

    I just loved the voice of Callie...spot on! I would recommend this book. It ended just as I hoped.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon United States 03-25-15
    Sharon United States 03-25-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
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    147
    134
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    5
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    Story
    "Beautifully written!"

    I love how the author gives you a picture of all of the characters' view points, instead of just one. It really makes the story 3-dimensional. I don't know if she does that with all of her books, but I am definitely interested in finding out!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monique 03-18-15
    Monique 03-18-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So so"

    The book was ok, it didn't capture my attention like other books. Without giving anything away, it sirta dragged in certain spots.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer streamwood 03-05-15
    Amazon Customer streamwood 03-05-15 Member Since 2012

    I am a wife of 30 years, mother of 4 wonderful grown children and a retired teacher....one of my new goals as I turn 50 this year is to become an author! I listen to one story on audible a week I am an addict!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    22
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    "started well, then dragged a bit"

    The concept of a voluntary mute made this book interesting, but it was disjointed between Callie and Petra versus everyone else. It was also difficult to be positive toward any of the adult characters, as they all seemed quite shallow and not very aware of their surroundings. Almost every adult was also incredibly self ' absorbed and not very bright.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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