The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf


An enchantingly lyrical novel mixed with shockingly menacing overtones, sees two sets of parents worst nightmares emerge. Deep within the woods during a humid Iowa summer, two seven year old girls disappear, already gone when their parents wake early one morning and go to check on them.

The story follows the characters of Fielda and Martin, parents of Petra, and Antonia, Griff and Ben, parents and big brother of Calli, as the events of the day unfurl and with them bring many uncomfortable moments, thoughts and memories to the forefront.

The novel is tightly wound with suspense that really does keep you turning the pages. It explores the secrets and consequent silence surrounding these secrets that can shape the path our lives take.

Calli suffers from selective mutism, she has not spoken since she was four years old, and we are taken on an unsettling journey which traces back to the moment her speech ceased.

The book is told in parts by each of the main characters and the descriptions of the woods are extremely life like, you can almost smell them!

A highly intelligent and poetic novel, that unravels at a quickening pace, bringing with it the questions of how the choices we make in life effect us and the consequences of these choices and missed opportunities

More information on Heather Gudenkauf can be found here –


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