Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Book Review: The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Content Alert: lots of violence, child sex abuse
The Weight of Silence is another book that was being offered as one of the Audible deals of the day, and I decided to buy it despite not knowing much about it (this must have been during the time when I was ignoring all of my favorite podcasts, allowing them to keep downloading until they filled the memory of my iPhone and I was left with over 120 podcasts on my to-listen list-- I'm slowly digging out, but I still have more than 80 TED talks to wade through). Anyway, Calli Clark is seven, and she hasn't spoken for three years on the morning she disappears from the quiet street on which she lives in a quiet Iowa town. Calli knows the woods that surround their town, so her mother Antonia isn't initially worried, but Calli's best friend Petra is also missing, and the secrets of the girls, their families, and other people in the town come to light for readers as the story unfolds.
The Weight of Silence is a hard book to listen to. As a mom, my greatest worry is that something traumatic will happen to one of my children, and this book is a fictionalization of my fear. Add in an abusive, alcoholic father, several other characters with questionable backstories, and some terrible things happening in the woods, and it becomes something that's hard to listen to. However, it's a compelling story-- once I got started I had a hard time turning it off. I needed to hear the resolution to the story, which is not an altogether happy one.