Book Review: The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

Book number 22 of my Goodreads Reading Challenge (and book number 3 of my holiday reading) is The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf.

‘  “Two little girls are missing. Both are seven years old and have been missing for at least sixteen hours.”

Calli Clark is a dreamer. A sweet, gentle girl, Callie suffers from selective mutism, brought on by a tragedy she experienced as a toddler. Her mother Antonia tries her best
to help, but is trapped in a marriage to a violent husband.

Petra Gregory is Calli’s best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli have been heard from since their disappearance was discovered.

Now Calli and Petra’s families are bound by the question of what has happened to their children. As support turns to suspicion, it seems the answers lie trapped in the silence of unspoken secrets.’ (Thanks to Amazon for the blurb)

This is a story about two seven year old best friends, Calli and Petra, who disappear from their beds one fateful night.

Firstly, this is not a light read.  This novel is about the traumatic experiences of two families when they realise that their beautiful daughters are missing.  You experience the horror of this discovery, their fears, anger and helplessness along with them.  Each chapter is written from the viewpoint of an involved character, which helps give a greater understanding of them as individuals, and the actions that they take throughout the course of the story.

You learn throughout the course of the novel of the close relationship Calli and Petra have, with Petra speaking on Calli’s behalf due to her selective muteness.  They know what each other thinks and feels, looking after each other as only best friends can.

As a mother this is a difficult read, with the concept being every parents worst nightmare. Heather Gudenkauf, writes with true feeling about the anxiety and fears of those closest to such a situation.

I definitely recommend this novel, please read!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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