An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
Publisher: Mira Books
Publication Date: 4/16/10
10 hrs and 41 mins
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Recently discovering talented author, Heather Gudenkauf, after reading her latest book, LITTLE MERCIES, a social worker who finds herself living her own nightmare—a powerful "must read," 5-Star Winner! Every woman, mother, and daughter will relate to this gripping and emotionally charged novel. In addition, would also recommend, LITTLE LIES, a novella which I also found very engaging!
Ironically after reading Gudenkauf’s latest two releases, decided to go back to read Book #1 THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE, her debut novel, and work my way through the books I missed.
I listened to the audiobook, since I was traveling and found the narrators: Jim Colby, Eliza Foss, Cassandra Morris, Andy Paris, Therese Plummer, and Tony Wardors, very true to the character, each with their own unique voice, making it a little easier to keep up with all the voices.
As with another one of my favorite authors, Diane Chamberlain—I just finished her latest ARC #23 The Silent Sister, and then went back to read her debut novel this week (25th anniversary edition); and YES, both Heather and Diane are talented writers. By reading their latest books, and then going back years previously to read their debut, you can see how their writing has matured and changed (even better).
This is not to say the first, is not good, as both respective authors received many awards for their debut novels--highly commendable; however, both authors have demonstrated strong growth, and perfected their writing style along the way. (plus, they both write about social workers, which is a special favorite subject of mine)!
WEIGHT OF SILENCE begins with the disappearance of two 7-yr old girls, Calli and Petra, as they vanish from their separate homes in the wee hours of a hot Iowa night/morning. They live in an isolated area that is surrounded by woods. Calli Clark is a selective mute -- she hasn't spoken a word since a tragedy she witnessed at age 4. Her best friend, Petra Gregory, is her voice and has protected Callie since they met.
Although Callie's silence is not her choice, it is the willful keeping of secrets and lies of omission by all the characters---the events that bring about the unbearable weight of silence.
Shifting from past to present with each of the characters—Callie’s experience, Petra her best friend, Martin-Petra’s father, Antonia-Callie’s mother and Ben-Calli’s brother. There is also a voice Deputy Sherriff Louis who had a former relationship with Antonia, before she married Griff.
Meanwhile readers learn the secrets of Callie's mother, her brother Ben and Deputy Sheriff Louis--each carry their own thoughts of guilt; things said or left unsaid—each confront as the truths unfold.
Petra's father battles his own demons as he confronts the possible loss of a daughter, as he is desperate to find his child. Martin is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor.
The audiobook told in voices of each of the five characters, tells the story of a search, and the ghosts and secrets which haunt them. A riveting novel diving deeply into family dynamics and relationships.
Looking forward to reading more from one of my new favorite authors! 3.5 Stars