Review: ‘The Weight of Silence’ by Heather Gudenkauf

‘The Weight of Silence’ is a tense thriller which focuses on two little girls being discovered missing one summer morning. Seven-year-old Calli has selective mutism brought on by a tragedy in her early years. Petra is Calli’s best friend and also works as her voice. But no-one knows where either of the girls are.

This non-linear narrative tells the story from various character’s points of view as well as revisiting the past to reveal family secrets. The book follows Calli and Petra’s parents, as well as the sheriff involved in the search and Calli’s older brother Ben.

I found this book a real page-turner with a compelling narrative. For a debut novel, this is quite a feat. Intelligently and sensitively written, Gudenkauf manages to explore the intricacies of family life as well as the effect secrets have on people.

The prose is almost lyrical in places and Gudenkauf manages to make you desperate to reach the conclusion of this tale.

Vic x

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One response to “Review: ‘The Weight of Silence’ by Heather Gudenkauf

  1. I fail to see where all of the rave reviews of this book are coming from. I had it on my book shelf for years and decided to finally read it. I did loan it to my suspense novel loving mother and she loved it. I gave it a try.
    First and importantly I felt no connection with the characters because the book severely lacked physical description; except for Calli, but for other reasons. I could be mistaken, but for the age of the children I thought there thoughts and rational were far beyond their age. If my daughter were missing I would not be daydreaming about my past boyfriend and him as a deputy on the case, about me. The author hints that Ben or Calli may be Lou’s child, but never pursues the idea which in deed would be a much more captivating story line. I knew Lucky Thompson had Petra long, long before the author reveal him. I found myself bored to death with the high school level drama and wanted to, but tried not to skip ahead to confirm my suspicion. The ending just laid there, except for Calli’s epilogue. I find it far fetched that Antonio, even after her husband’s death of ‘what’? Would still be unwilling to find happiness with Louis. For better or worse Antonio rationalized but not until death do us part. So I guess her mothers dying wish isn’t that she be happy. This book doesn’t make a believable sense and had a good story, but should have been better written. I would not recommend this book.

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