Kelly's Reviews > The Weight of Silence

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
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's review
Apr 30, 12

For some reason I've been on a losing streak with books. I keep picking things up and starting them only to put them back down never to be read again or finishing and finding them wholly unsatisfying. Thank you Heather Gudenkauf for breaking my losing streak. While the subject for her plot and the trajectory it followed were very Jodie Picoult-esque I found her writing style to be infinitely more fulfilling. There were some aspects that faletered a little, such as the epilogue, but overall the writing style was compelling.

The book starts in the middle, with a little girl who does not speak running out of the woods. It then moves to a different point in time where you begin to learn about Petra and Calli, their friendship with one another and relationship with their family. While Petra's character could have been better developed and I found the whodunnit aspect of the book to be a predictable afterthought, the author used care and skill in developing the characters of Calli and her family. I found myself genuinely caring about these people and thoughtfully working to unravel certain aspects of the mystery.

I'd also note that while the overall plot question was not that complicated and the resolution not that surprising the smaller questions concerning the characters' relationships with one another really made me think. As someone who works with victims of domestic violence, I also thought the author did a superb job of portraying Calli's family dynamics in a genuine, believable way, while making the characters and their choices relatively identifiable. I never felt tempted to judge Antonia and her decision to be with Griff and I thought her feelings of inadequacy and guilt as a mother were incredibly realistic.
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