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The Weight of Silence
The Weight of Silence
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
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 a tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler. Calli&#...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780778327400
ISBN-10: 077832740X
Publication Date: 8/1/2009
Pages: 384
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 469 ratings
Publisher: Mira
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Weight of Silence on
Helpful Score: 17
This was an engaging and fast read that was hard to put down. I liked the parallel storyline of two 7-year old girls missing at the same time from their homes in the early morning. I have to admit that I didn't see the twist coming, but the who-did-it part toward the end was not difficult to figure out. I like the retelling of the past from each character, especially the love story between Antonia and Louis who grew up together. The romantic in me appreciates the undying torch that Louis had for Antonia.

The 2 most compelling characters in the book for me are Callie and Louis whose perspectives I actually care about. The most annoying and uninspiring character is Antonia, who was weak and unsympathetic. Perhaps the author has to build a weak character in Antonia to create the desperate situation that Callie found herself in, but I wished that the author created more background or strength for Antonia. The book's other flaws included a general lack of believability where sometimes it just does not make sense why the characters do what they do. Again, more background on the character's past experiences or motives would have helped.

Overall, I would recommend this book for its suspenseful storytelling and the fact that it was an engaging read from start to finish.
reviewed The Weight of Silence on + 96 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Well written, the author has a very effective way of telling the story of these two families. Jumping to conclusions is a common theme that eventually brings everyone together as the plot unfolds. A good read, but caution for some. This story could be quite disturbing, especially for a parent who has lost a child or had a child abducted and/or molested.
reviewed The Weight of Silence on
Helpful Score: 5
This was a great book! I began reading it Saturday night and finished it within three hours. The book definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. One fo the best I've read in a while!
reviewed The Weight of Silence on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Calli Clark is a seven year old that suffers from selective mutism brought on by a horrible tragedy from when she was just a toddler. Calli lives with her kind and devoted mother and her mostly absent, angry, alcoholic father. Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend and her voice. She understands Calli like no other and knows what Calli wants, or needs to say.

One August morning, as dawn is approaching, both families awaken to find that the little girls have gone missing during the night. Calli's mother denies that her husband had anything to do with their abduction but starts to fear that her decision to stay in the abusive marriage may now have cost her more than just her daughter's beautiful voice.

Everyone in the town is searching the surrounding woods of the girls homes, including Calli's older brother Ben. Ben finds them in the woods and is horrified when he walks up. What does he see? Who all does he find and are they alive or dead? If just Calli's ok will she be able to overcome her mutism and speak or is the answer trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets?

This book started out very slow and was hard to get interested in at first. Each chapter is told by a different characters point of view, which caused the story to be somewhat jumpy and difficult to get a good feel of each personal character. As the story unfolded however, I couldn't put the book down. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to become of everyone. I enjoyed reading this book and it is one that I will probably put up to read again later on.
reviewed The Weight of Silence on + 151 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
When Calli Clark was a toddler she talked a lot, but then one day she stopped talking and does not speak any more. Her best friend, Petra Gregory, is her soul mate as well as her voice.

Calli and Petras families could not be more different. Callis parents have tumultuous marriage and her father is away from home often to work on the Alaska pipeline and when hes home he is abusive. Petras parents are loving and kind. Her father is a professor at the local college.

One morning, both girls disappear and the search for the two girls is lead by the local sheriff, who was Antonia Clarks, Callis mother, high school sweetheart. Although he has moved on as well and has a new wife, he and Antonia still question to themselves why they didnt stay together.

Antonia fears that her husband is responsible for her daughters disappearance and Martin Gregory, Petras father, starts to behave in ways he never believed he could.

This story held my interest with the suspense of who committed the crime. The perpetrator was not revealed until the end of the story.
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