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Review of Heather Gudenkauf’s ‘The Weight of Silence’

by Gabi Rutherford

Callie Clark, now seven, lost her voice when she was four. Antonia Clark, Callie’s mother, has worked to be the best mother she can to Callie and her brother, Ben, but she fears marriage to an angry man is hindering her mothering abilities. Petra Gregory, Callie’s best friend, speaks for her, and the two of them get along wonderfully. Martin Gregory, Petra’s father, is an older man who loves his daughter dearly. But when both Callie and Petra go missing one August morning, both of their families must push themselves to move past the fear in their hearts to find their girls.

Heather Gudenkauf portrayed this emotional story very well. By letting the reader see the point of view of many different characters instead of keeping the focus on just one, the reader is able to get insight about the situation and the characters. Since we can look at the situation from so many angles, the story falls into place and we are able to grasp more than if it were a one-person narrative. Gudenkauf used this technique to her advantage, and it is one of the things that made her story successful.

I really enjoyed this story. It’s heartbreaking and emotional from the first page to the last. With so much going on in the storyline, I was never bored, and the switching of characters kept me alert and focused. Learning details about why Callie doesn’t speak is crucial to the story, and I believe that the reasoning was well put throughout the story. I would recommend this story to most everyone, especially those who like mysteries or emotional stories.

Check it out today at the WIU-QC library!

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