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The Weight of Silence

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  37,116 ratings  ·  3,718 reviews
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 bes
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Paperback, 373 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by Mira (first published August 1st 2008)
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Abby
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I really did. It looked very fascinating on the Barnes and Noble top reads table and I waited for 3 months on a 200 person list to get it from the library. But this book was nothing special, and was undeserving of all the hype, in my opinion.

The basic plotline has been touched on already...two young girls, (one of who is a selective mute, for reasons unknown to anyone) neighbors and best friends, each go missing one morning and their families and the town sheriff go l
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of suspense / mysteries with a preference for non-graphic content
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Hooked by Title and Cover
The Weight of Silence –I was drawn by the fabulous title. Keeping secrets is a coping skill we've all used, when taken to the extreme it can be deadly. Silence is this novel’s binding theme, hammered home by her choice to have the main character Calli a selective mute; a theme that lifts it above the slew of other child abduction stories currently on the market.
Calli and her best friend Petra go missing in the middle of the night. The suspicion is kidnapping, her alcoholic father the prime susp
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Charlotte May
This was quite possibly the first thriller/mystery I ever read. It set the bar for future reads, and what a high bar it set!
Two young girls, Calli and Petra; in a Southern American state go missing, after which follows the small town turning on itself and on each other. There is the top suspect, Calli's alcoholic father, as well as the underlying mystery of Calli's selective mutism.
The story moves between different POV including each of the young girls, the parents and also Callie's brother. It
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 Li'l Owl
Wow! The Weight of Silence is a dandy of a story! Heather Gudenkauf is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!

Seven year old Calli Clark doesn't talk. The doctor's say there's nothing physically wrong with her. One day when she was four she suddenly stopped talking. What could have happened to stop a happy, talkative child from uttering another word for three years?

Petra Gregory lives next door and is not just Calli's best friend she's also Calli's voice.

Then one summer morning the Gregor
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Mallory
Dec 17, 2009 rated it liked it
This one had 4 stars until the end, which totally ruined it. There were some good moments, but all things considered, this reads like it was the author's first book and she has some growing to do.

One thing I liked was that, though the author toys with the oh-so-trendy multiple narrator/first person writing in each chapter, the chapters from Calli, a select mute's, perspective were in third person past tense. An interesting choice which bodes well for future writing, but it didn't really play off
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Myrna
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Heather, I don't know why I haven't read all of your books?!? This book took me on a wild ride! It was suspenseful with a good plot line and characterization. One slowly learns what happened to the girls through multiple perspectives. Good paced book that is a winner.
Kristine
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like family dramas with a bit of mystery
Recommended to Kristine by: Katherine Montanez
Shelves: read-in-2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Funmi Adetunji
Jun 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book strikes me as the work of a beginning author. The writing is amateurish, and the characters are extremely under-developed. The narrator switches between several main characters, but as one reviewer commented, all of their voices blend into one indistinct blur. Calli, the main character, has none of the little-girl-charm that keeps readers glued. Just because she doesn't talk doesn't mean she shouldn't have a personality! Calli's dad, another abusive-angry-father stereotype (pretty easy ...more
Bleu
Aug 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is one of the few books I gave 5 stars to. It was, in two words, absolutely beautiful. It's been a while since I can hardly make my eyes move across the page fast enough. Reading some of the reviews on here, I see not everyone thought it was as awesome as I did, but for some reason, this book really 'spoke' to me.

The characters Ben and Petra especially touched my heart.

"You ran upstairs to your room and wouldn't even look at me for the next ten days. But I knew you were sorry. I kept f
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Aoibhínn
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely amazing novel! I found it very hard to put this novel down. This is one of those books, were you're desperate to get to the end, to find out the outcome, but at the same time, you don't want the novel to end. Heather Gudenkauf writes from the perspective of each character, and her descriptions of the violence and the fear that surround Calli and Ben are both breathtaking and heart-wrenching.
Erica
Feb 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm not even going to bother continuing this tripe. A super duper wonderful little girl is a selective mute, and one morning she and another super duper wonderful little girl go missing. There's not a single moment of suspense, since both super duper wonderful little girls are POV characters at different points of the book, so we know they're not dead or hurt, unless it turns out they're ghosts! Wouldn't put that past this writer.

So let's go through our stock character collection: We've got the
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Jennifer
I will preface this review by stating that once I picked up this book, I could not put it down.

This novel, set in rural, small-town Iowa on a hot summer day, centers around the tragic day in the lives of two American families. Two seven year old girls, neighbours and best friends to one another, go missing from their respective homes on the same early summer morning. The novel chronicles the search for the missing girls.

I love mysteries and suspenseful reads, but I generally anticipate these t
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Amy Hatvany
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I tore through this book over two days...the author does a fantastic job with building suspense around the search for two missing little girls.

Becky
A few years back (OK, like 6, whatever, who's counting?) I read Heather Gudenkauf's second novel "These Things Hidden" and I loved it. It was just one of those books that worked for me perfectly at the time, surprised me, and kept me riveted.

MAN, I wish I could say the same about this book.

I actually read (or listened) to this one during my Goodreads Hiatus of 2017, but it just wasn't the same. There were a lot of the same aspects - multiple perspectives and narrators, secrets, regrets, and tr
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Rhonda Ruff
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought I had read all of heathers books! Not sure how I missed this one! I literally could not put this down! The story the short quick chapters wanting to know what happened next! All of the above make for a great book! And didn’t see that coming!
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
Going into this book I had expected a mystery about two missing girls and while it does have its moments of suspense it was much more of a lighter character study of a group of broken souls. The book starts off with a good amount of tension and I was easily pulled into the life of Callie, a seven-year-old selective mute who goes missing along with her best friend, Petra.

The story is told via several different points of view and you're not going to like all of the characters who are quite flawed
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Rachel Aranda
At different times, I liked and disliked this story. This book was a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction (2009), Barry Award Nominee for Best Paperback Original (2010), and Edgar Award Nominee for Best Fiction by an American Author (2010), so I expected to really be blown away by this book. Instead I found myself reading a pretty predictable plot that at times didn’t fully interest me. If it wasn’t for the wonderful narrating cast of the audiobook then I would have DNFed this audiobook ve ...more
Steve Lindahl
Oct 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Heather Gudenkauf's novel The Weight of Silence is a nearly perfect book with a major flaw. I'm rating this book as five stars because it gives me as much of what I want out of a story as I can get. It's a page turner at times. It has believable and flawed characters. It makes me think about situations from other people's points of view. I can't ask for more than that. Still, I couldn't get my mind off of one problem while I was reading it.

Calli Clark is a young girl, five or six years old, in a
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Orient
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Kalbanti tyla gali būti sunkiai ištveriama. Ji gali priversti jaustis lyg sulėtintame kine, pasimetimo, bejėgiškumo ir baimės apsuptyje.

Visa tai knygoje yra pristatyta įtraukiančiai su įtampos ir paslapčių prieskoniu. Joje pateiktas nusikaltimas yra žiaurus ir pati istorija skamba kaip tikra non-fiction, bet prisipažinsiu – man palengvėjo kad ši knyga visgi yra vaizduotės vaisius. Bet tai nereiškia kad tikrovėje taip nebūna.
Man labai patiko kad kiekvienas skyrius atspindi vis kito veikėjo jaus
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Ruth Turner

For the most part this was an enjoyable read. Just a couple of things bugged me.

The first was the multiple narrators. The chapters all read the same to me. If I got interrupted I often had to scroll back to the beginning of the chapter to find out who's pov it was.

The side story of Petra felt like an after thought.

And the ending. Everything was tied up a just little to neatly and left me feeling flat.





Jamie Knight
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such an amazing story! Absolutely loved this book.
Carol
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a great story full of secrets and who-did-it suspense! Keeps you guessing and interested throughout the entire book.

As two seven year old girls are found missing from their beds, Calli a selective mute and Petra her best friend, the search begins in the woods near their home with Calli's father, a mean drunk who is supposedly away on a fishing trip a likely suspect. The story is told from each character's perspective, Ben, Calli's brother, the girl's parents and Assistant Sheriff Louis, Cal

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Heather
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a fast-paced thriller told in many different voices. It's not high brow literally but it's gripping and I read it in one sitting
Donna Gilles
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelf-2
Quick read and a page turner for me. The author kept me guesses as to who was responsible in hurting Petra.
Zoey
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intense, Chilling, Suspenseful & Sad. Lots of twists & turns that keep you guessing until the end.
Michelle
Dec 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carmaletta Hilton
Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Louise
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this book – I liked it and I didn’t like it. I felt the beginning was great but then began to get weighed down with way too many words and too many details and then seemed a long time in getting to the end. After all that, we never did find out why one girl was even taken!

At four years of age little Callie stopped talking due to something her father said to her on one particular day but no one knows about this other than Callie herself. Callie’s mother Antonia is hear
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Britany
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I would give this one 3.5 stars.

2 young girls go missing one early morning and this book follows the day from many different character perspectives. Each chapter changes to another person and their take on what is going on. The way that the novel was laid out held my attention and made it really easy to keep reading right through it. I couldn't wait to see what happened in the end. I loved how when one chapter ended, the next chapter picked up right where the last one left off, without leaving
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Deera
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
This was a hard and heavy read. Two girls, best friends, go missing one day in the middle of the woods at 4:30 AM. The little town is frenzied by their dissapperance.

The author does well at developing the characters. She makes sure that you love some characters and hate others. Intially, I was disappointed because I thought I had predicted the ending but I was so very wrong. It took a completely different turn toward the end. There were some moments, however, that I thought the author went into
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Heather is the NYT and USA Today Bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and NOT A SOUND.
“But you know all about that, being sorry and having no words to say something when you know you should but you just can't” 63 likes
“Every five-year-old kid should have a pair of happy pajamas. (217)” 41 likes
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