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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
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Critic Reviews



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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sara W on 07-17-10

A jewel

I have a long commute, so I listen to MANY books. I often just glance through the descriptions and pick at random based on some little thing that caught my eye. This one was a jewel! I do not know how I discovered it, and can't remember why I picked it - but I am certainly glad that I did. It gives a new perspective on consequences of choices that we make in life - even the seemingly small and casual ones. The story of interwoven lives that unravel.....so much is sad but such a good listen.

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102 of 105 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Holly on 05-15-14

Great story, irritating protagonist.

What made the experience of listening to The Weight of Silence the most enjoyable?

The point of view and the various narrators was at first confusing. Once I figured out all the characters, it was very entertaining and a unique way of storytelling. I really enjoyed that there were several narrators and not just one. It was never difficult telling one character from the other.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Weight of Silence?

Ben challenging his father.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Callie described Antonia's playtime with she and Ben.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Ben defends Callie and Petra.

Any additional comments?

This was an entertaining book with an interesting story line and unique way of presentation. The narration was very enjoyable. However, Antonia's actions and words, and to a lesser degree, Martin and his wife's were extremely irritating. The three parents acted as though they didn't want to help with the search for their children by their lack of cooperation with the authorities. I found myself yelling and cursing out loud at Antonia's foolishness many times. Antonia's lifelong choices, her refusal to recognize and accept the root of the family's problems and her inactivity in protecting her children were more than I could bear many times. I do understand her actions were typical of a woman in a marriage such as hers, but the protection of her children should have overridden the lack of action and refusal to accept the reality of their situation.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Velvett on 09-06-14

Excellent Gripping Story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Would recommend this well written well voiced story.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

The actors gave depth to the seperate characters.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rozanne on 11-09-17

The Weight of Silence

Intense, Chilling, Suspenseful & Sad. Lots of twists & turns that keep you guessing until the end.
I really liked the multiple narrators

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