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The Weight of Silence

The Weight of Silence

Написано Heather Gudenkauf

Озвучено Jim Colby, Eliza Foss и Cassandra Morris


The Weight of Silence

Написано Heather Gudenkauf

Озвучено Jim Colby, Eliza Foss и Cassandra Morris

оценки:
4/5 (78 оценки)
Длина:
10 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Oct 27, 2009
ISBN:
9781440775987
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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Описание

Heather Gudenkauf ensnares listeners in the spellbinding web of her suspense-filled debut novel as the mysterious disappearance of two seven-year-old girls dredges up unsettling suspicions and painful secrets in a small Iowa town.

Dragged into the woods in pre-dawn darkness, little Calli Clark wants to scream. But she can’t. She hasn’t breathed a word since being traumatized as a toddler. Soon, her best friend Petra—Calli’s voice for the last three years—peers through her bedroom window and is lured into the same woods. Already haunted by the unsolved murder of another local girl who was recently snatched fromher home, Sheriff Martin launches an immediate search for the missing children.

In this riveting tale—seamlessly told from multiple perspectives—tension builds while fear and desperation pit neighbor against neighbor. Brilliantly illuminating such characters as a drunken wife-beater and a vengeful professor, a mesmerizing performance by a full cast of narrators keeps listeners in rapt attention right through the stunning conclusion.

“Deeply moving and exquisitely lyrical, this is a powerhouse of a debut novel.”—Tess Gerritsen, New York Times best-selling author
Издатель:
Издано:
Oct 27, 2009
ISBN:
9781440775987
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Также доступно как...

Также доступно как книгеКниге


Об авторе

Heather Gudenkauf is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not a Sound.  Heather lives in Iowa with her family.

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Что люди думают о The Weight of Silence

4.1
78 оценки / 51 Обзоры
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  • (3/5)
    This book started out absolutely fantastic, I was interested to see where the twist was coming in, because surely two little girls don’t just wander off at 4am.. right?

    The story about a selective mute and her best friend had so much promise, when they both go missing. You know a little more than the characters, but it’s definitely misleading. What I initially assumed was wrong, which I love, but the reality sunk in pretty quick.

    One of the weirdest aspects of this book are the multiple points of view, it may not have been as big of a deal in print, but it was frustrating in audio to constantly have the switch of voices. Most of them are in first person, Callie is in third (which kind of makes sense given she’s mute) and Ben is talking to Callie. It was just a weird way to have a story written, and seemed a little too much. However the characters with the most chapters were vital to the story. I did however, really like that each character told a little piece of the collective background! That was a neat way to get all the information!

    Towards the end of the book things really pick up and I’m fully invested. I’m on the edge of seat, holding my breath. What’s going to happen?! Will they find the missing girl. Is anyone else going to be hurt, or worse?

    We hit the big climax, and it’s perfect, and then the rest of the book just plummets. There’s no slow climb back down, we go from the highest high to rock bottom, and I literally felt my heart sink. It’s not that I wanted more bad things to happen, because we all secretly want that happily ever after. (Which you may or may not get with this book!) but I felt the ending could have been done with a little more pizzazz.

    I would likely still recommend this book, as the overall tale was good.
  • (2/5)
    What is with these characters with mutism? It seems like such a plot device. I've never met or actually even heard of a real person with this condition. I've met many deaf people and they all tried to communicate verbally with people who don't sign. Maybe people who are profoundly autistic, but they have issues beyond mutism. I did not find these characters or the situation credible.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    In as many months, I seem to have coincidentally read three novels that focus on selective mutism in children; `Breaking the Silence' by Diane Chamberlain, `December' by Elizabeth Winthrop- and now this one. All of the books have their merits and all deal with the subject matter in different ways and all have made for enjoyable, informative reading.This is the second novel by Gudenkauf that I have read. I really loved `These Things Hidden' so had high hopes for this one too. It didn't disappoint and I think the writing style is similar to Chamberlain or Picoult, so should you like those authors then you will probably enjoy this book as well.Set in the US, this book features Calli, eight-years-old and selectively mute for four years, for reasons that slowly become clearer as the book unfolds. This is not just a story concentrating on Calli though; it is a look at friendships, relationships and family and was actually a much more absorbing read than I'd initially anticipated, particularly looking at some other less-than-favourable reviews this novel had received in the past.As a reader you are immediately engaged with the novel and the different characters as you see events from their perspective. Sometimes a multiple narrator approach just doesn't work, but here thankfully, it was successful and really pulls you into the story. It also allowed the plot to untangle much more quickly. I was never bored whilst reading this novel.I was however frustrated and also angry with a lot of the characters- particularly Calli's awful father and her mother who seemed blind to his faults. Though Griff (the father) was a horrible person it was actually Antonia, the mother, who came off as more irresponsible overall. Some of the matters that take place later (involving a child) are also a bit grim and upsetting but the reactions to them seem a bit `glossed over' (even in the prologue which was set four years later). I would have liked people's thoughts and emotions to these said matters to be divulged and expanded on just a little bit more, particularly given how serious they were- which is why I have deducted a star.Generally this was a compelling novel. I really hope to read more by Gudenkauf again in future and hope it is as strongly written as this. *This review also appears on Amazon.co.uk*

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I really, really liked this book. I thought it was a little confusing the way it switched narratives, but I read the book in 3 days because I just couldn't put it down. It was a sad book and it made me want to cry a lot throughout the book. It was a really scary one, since I have kids and can identify with the moms in this book a lot. Highly recommend this book!

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    It's amazing how not really all that much happened in this book, but how completely engrossed I was. It is pretty much a 24 hour timeline story, which I usually am not gaga over, but this one is an exception. The writing style is gorgeous. The characters are likeable. And, that ending..... I can't even claim to be a cool kid who predicted it.... Seriously, I was suprised! Spoilers lie ahead.................... Callie is a selective mute, i.e., there is nothing wrong with her she just chooses not to speak. She is a platform of what a bad enviroment can do to a person. The end, finding out what her Dad said to her makes me so sad. I am 100% okay with him being "out of the picture" in the end. Alcoholism is one of those diseases that just discust me, especially when it is someone who has children. This book was heart-wrenching for Callie, Ben and their Mother. I have a complaint though.... It kinda bothered me how the Mother's child was missing and she was traispsing through her childhood and early adulthood thinking of her 1st love, the deputy sherriff. I have never been in her shoes, but it seems like if my child was missing some past lover would be the last thing in my mind. Granted, her circumstances are different with a drunk, abusive husband and all. I can see why she would long for a different life, but just not so much while her child was missing. My other thing is, why had she not just left him a long time ago. Seriously, he was awful to her and to their kids. There has to come a point where enough is enough. If he hadn't been killed in the end, she probably still would have went back to him and that is just sickening. The reality of it is sickening.... I'd also like to know what Callie's Dad was thinking that morning he took her into the woods. What were his intentions? I feel like I have complained too much... This book is soooo very good. I whole-heartedly suggest you read it. It will leave you speachless for a while

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Uniquely written, hard to put down, the story is very gripping. You almost think you know what has happened, but your're not really sure until the end.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I was not really sure what to expect with The Weight of Silence, but I liked it. It was kind of a mystery (think The Lovely Bones), but it was more of a character piece told from various points of view. It is a rather emotional tale of two girls lost in the woods, one who doesn't speak. But it is so much more than that. Over the course of a day, we get to know the full lives of these characters, making it an excellent character study.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I love this book! Cant wait to read these things hidden! Love the authors writing! Love Cali ...the book is kinda predictiable but you dont know all the details so it still leaves u guessing till the end!

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I enjoyed this book so much i bought her other book. 4/5 stars from me. At times i found this book predictable but i enjoyed it none the less.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (2/5)
    Can I just start out by telling you that this is a terrible book? I'm going to be as nice as I can, but I only finished it because I was reading it with a friend and also I have a problem getting rid of books I haven't entirely read, and I wanted to get this one safely out of the house. So, the basic plot of the book is that two seven-year-old girls go missing early one morning from their small Iowa town. They are best friends and both live in houses that back onto a large forest. Petra is the only child of a middle-aged professor and his younger wife, who struggled for years to have a baby. Calli is the daughter of an abusive alcoholic father and a negligent, but loving mother who has a lot of issues. Calli has also not spoken since she was four and no one knows why, primarily because no one has tried to find treatment for her, although the school does send her to the guidance counselor a few times a week. The deputy in charge of the investigation had a long relationship with Calli's mother before they both married other people and they have a lot of unresolved feelings for each other. The story is told in very short chapters, switching between several points of view, making this book quite a bit shorter than its page count indicates. Luckily, the name of the person narrating is put up at the top of each segment in large letters, because the voice never alters. The seven-year-old girl sounds exactly like the middle-aged professor who sounds exactly like the under-educated mother. One of the girls has a third person narration, for no purpose I can fathom. There are several weighty issues dealt with in this book, from spousal abuse to child abuse to selective mutism to kidnapping to assault to alcoholism, but since there is so little room to explore each issue, you don't have to worry about taking any of them seriously and, indeed, the characters themselves don't worry about things too much. Are you wondering if I liked anything about this book? The cover was nice. I mean, it's a standard illustration, featuring the torso of a young girl facing away from the camera, but the clothes and the age of the girl actually correspond with a character in the book and it's a pretty picture. That was good. There was nothing really objectionable in the book; it didn't espouse satanism or have much in the way of swear words, which is something of an accomplishment considering one of the narrators was a twelve-year-old boy. The crime scene people were very tidy, which is nice because who wants to clean up fingerprint dust, right? They also don't find any clues, which are obvious and left to a parent to find, which means they may not have done the best job, but I really hate dusting and would not want to be having to worry about the parents here having to vacuum while their daughters were missing, so it was considerate of them. I think I, personally, might have wanted hundreds of law enforcement officers marching around my home in muddy boots if one of my children had disappeared, but the characters here seemed fine with the half dozen officers mentioned in this book, wandering around, talking about starting a search tomorrow sometime, so who am I to judge? Also, if the police had done their job, the thrilling climax would have been avoided entirely, and we all know that a thriller-like book needs a thrilling and dangerous climax.
  • (4/5)
    The Weight of Silence is described in more than one place as a book Jodi Picoult fans will love. Well I’m a Jodi Picoult fan, but to be honest that’s not something that would make me want to read a book, what’s the point of reading a book that’s like a book you have already read, I don’t know. I can certainly see the comparison between Gundenkauf and Picoult, they have very similar writing styles and both seem to like using multiple narrators. However that’s where the comparison really ends. While Pioult’s books tend to have some central moral issue which gets the reader thinking there was no such issue in Weight of Silence. I suppose it is similar in the way we see different emotions and views of an event, but there is no internal debate.I did enjoy it all the same. It was actually a little bit of a mystery as we tried to work out what had happened to Petra (we are basically told what happened to Calli, or at least to a certain point). I admit that I did expect Calli’s mutism to be more of a central theme but really, while it was an interesting aspect, it didn’t seem necessary [highlight for spoiler]and where it could have mattered it didn’t that much. Nobody thought that Calli’s brother had actually hurt Petra, even though that was all she said. Calli’s big moment could have been done so much better and given a twist in the plot, or even just taken the reader in another direction. I did also guess what I think was meant to be a twist in the story [highlight for spoiler] and quite early on suspected Lucky. I really wasn’t surprised when we found out for sure it was him.The story was quite moving though, but not to the level where I felt uncomfortable reading it (I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not). It was very readable, in that it was written in an easy way to read and in that I wanted to find out what happened next. I also really liked how Calli’s chapters were written in the third person rather than her own voice (as the other chapters were) which suggested she couldn’t tell her story.
  • (5/5)
    i saw where this book was going in the end but i didnt have any idea how it would pan out which is why i didnt give it five stars.the character ben is just amazing for everything that he does for his little sister. how he speaks up for her when she herself cannot talk. how he would play with her and become her best friend.some of the characters in mthis book did get under my skin but if some of them didnt then it wouldnt be a good book right? i would recommend everyone to read this book. i couldnt stop reading it i read it in one day
  • (4/5)
    This novel tells the story of two young girls who go missing one morning and follows the fallout as people question each other while trying to find them. The two seven year olds are best friends even though one of them, Calli, has been mute for the past three years. The story alternates between the search and exposition of the stories of their families. Although I enjoyed the book very much, I would have liked it more if the author delved into the characters and relationships. I wonder why Calli's mother would marry her father, an abusive drunk, instead of her high school sweetheart who clearly still cares for her. The novel does explore why Calli became mute, and more important, what will make her talk again. I read this in the airport and on the plane and it held me rapt; hopefully it will do the same for you.
  • (3/5)
    2 girls go missing in this fairly meh mystery; chapters vary by character as the story progresses. I knew who did it early on, found a lot of the characters either just plain dumb, annoying, or cardboard cutouts. I liked Calli the best (one of the missing girls) and likely would have liked Petra (other missing girl) but she was never really developed. Again, I say meh.
  • (4/5)
    I read These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf first and enjoyed it enough to read this previously published book. I enjoyed it just as much as These Things Hidden. Both novels have an element of mystery and a personal stories that interconnect that they are page turners when you get into the meat of them. The fact that she never tells us why Callie cannot talk until the end makes you try and guess throughout the book. I loved the chapter when Callie finally describes what it is like after she utters that first word after 4 years.
  • (3/5)
    3.0 out of 5 stars Two little girls go missing in the night..., April 29, 2011I was expecting this to be a terrific read based on recommendations from several book lovers I know and admire. Unfortunately, in many ways, the novel fell short of my expectations and I turned the last page feeling let down and disappointed. I do tend to end up judging my books by the ending -- and this was part of the reason that I rated it only as 3 stars which means "it's OK" to me.The story premise -- two little 7 year-old girls, Calli and Petra, vanish from their separate homes in the middle of a hot Iowa night. They live in an isolated area that is surrounded by woods and it is there that much of the main story action is focused. Calli Clark is a selective mute -- she hasn't spoken a word since a tragedy she witnessed at age 4. Her best friend, Petra Gregory, is her voice and has protected Callie since they met.One morning, Calli's drunken brute of a father, Griff, drags her into the woods. Around the same time, for reasons not given to the reader, Petra leaves her house as well. When the girls are discovered missing, Deputy Sheriff Loras Louis launches a search for the girls. The deputy also happens to be the ex-boyfriend of Calli's mother, Antonia, and though he's married, he is of course still in love with her. The whole love triangle aspect of this book was completely predictable and left a negative impression on me and decreased my appreciation of the novel.The drama surrounding the disappearance and the reactions of the parents of the girls and Calli's brother Ben provided the best suspense of the book. The story was told, however, in different points of view and the characters never seemed to find their own individual voice so I didn't end up really connecting with any of them.The resolution falls flat and the epilogue, though it tied up all the loose ends, did not satisfy. I don't know if I will read this author's next book or not.
  • (4/5)
    This isn't my usual kind of novel. I don't generally read mysteries or "popular" "adult" fiction, sticking mostly with the fantasy genre or YA fiction. But I had heard a lot of good things about this book and found it at the library. Calli and Petra, two best friends, go missing one night. Calli has had selective mutism for years. The story unfolds mostly through the voices of Calli's mother and Petra's father. Who could have taken the girls? The obvious suspect is Calli's father, an abusive alcoholic. But Gudenkauf keeps us guessing as she peels back the layers of her small-town characters. A well-written novel. Recommended.
  • (3/5)
    This book was supposed to be suspenseful, yet the secrets were pretty easy to guess and that kind of ruined the suspense. Not bad, but not fantastic.Love the cover, though.
  • (4/5)
    This one was hard to read. You just wanted to reach in and slap the dad, and the mom too. The author certainly had my emotions at the surface. It would have been nice to know what happened to the other girl from their town, but it wasn't central to the story so I guess it wasn't necessary.
  • (5/5)
    An excellent story presented in the words and thoughts (presenting their backstories) of multiple characters in the book. Well-written and thought provoking about how simple words can devastate in the right (or perhaps wrong) circumstances at the right moment especially when delivered to children.
  • (4/5)
    I really liked who the chapters were narrated by different characters. It kept me interested to see what the characters were going to say since they were so different. I was shocked by the ending, but i still loved it.
  • (5/5)
     What a fantastic novel! It is incredibly well written, realistic, and heart wrenching. Each sentence is filled with passion so that as you read, you find yourself lurching with the emotions of the individual whose psyche you currently watch. My only qualm was that Gudenkauf sometimes transitioned between point of views too often, which took out some of the intensity of a moment
  • (5/5)
    I REALLY enjoyed this one! I enjoyed Heather's writing style and the way that she pulled this story together.The book is told from a different point of view in each chapter which kept it interesting. Each character really had their own "voice" and you were able to see the story from each perspective.The storyline was sad and touching but at the same time showed what people can overcome. It also had some unexpected plot twists which really shocked me. I also found it to be a quick read. I liked it and hope you'll check it out.
  • (3/5)
    I found this book at a Walmart while taking an anniversary trip with my boyfriend. I'm not really sure what motivated me to read it so quickly. It read like a Jodi Picoult novel, although not quite as good. The journey was fun and I'm glad I read/own it. But I can't bring myself to give it four stars because it isn't super exceptional in my opinion. While it's a fun ride, it begins to pan out towards then end and you can see the ending and epilogue almost laid out on a platter.
  • (4/5)
    This wouldn't usually have been the kind of book I'd pick up to read, but since it is a TV Book Club pick I thought I'd follow that finest book club ethic and give it a go. It opens with two little girls, Petra and Calli, leaving their homes in the early morning. Calli, a selective mute who stopped speaking after a tragedy when she was a toddler, is dragged into the forest by her drunken father Griff, and Petra follows the two familiar figures she sees out of her window, hoping to say hello. Within hours, both girls have been reported missing and the story really begins. Where are they, why have they disappeared, and who is responsible? And will this dreadful day help unravel the mystery of why Calli lost her voice? The narrative is split into short, bitesize chapters, switching between several characters as events unfold. I found this quite a compelling device, as it helped slowly fill in the blanks as to what was happening and kept up the pace effectively. It also allowed the history between characters and within the two families to be explored from different viewpoints, though at times this felt quite dull and dragged me too far out of the excitement of the search for the missing girls. The viewpoint of Ben, Calli's devoted older brother, was my favourite, as it managed to help explain their family dynamics and offer a moving portrait of a protective sibling relationship, without ever becoming dull or cloying. Calli's narration is the only one written in the third person, which seemed odd since she may be mute, but she still has the same thoughts and reactions as her friend Petra.On the whole I enjoyed the book, but found it a bit bland. There are a lot of intense themes incorporated into this novel, including domestic violence, child abuse and alcoholism, but Gudenkauf never really delves deeply enough into any of them to make it a serious fictional study; nor is the investigation into the girls' disappearance exciting enough to slot this into the category of crime thriller. It was definitely a well-paced book, easy to finish within a couple of days, but it didn't really hit the spot for me and I won't be keeping it to read again.
  • (4/5)
    Early one morning in a small town in Iowa, two families (neighbors) wake up and discover that their two 7 year girls are missing. Calli Clark has been a "selective mute" since age 4 and no one is really sure why although her mother suspects. Petra Greogry is her best friend and the other missing girl. The story is told from several different characters' points of view. I enjoyed the first person storytelling. The angst felt by the parents of these girls is real and all throughout you are hoping for the best while learning secrets from the past.
  • (5/5)
    I felt this book got off to a slightly slow start, but as soon as I was into the story I was absolutely flying through it, and couldn't wait to get to the next chapter to see what had happened to the two girls who had gone missing from their beds during the night.All the action takes place over one day as the girls' families and the police try frantically to find them. The story is told from a number of different viewpoints, in nice, short, easy to read chapters, and it unfolds really well, as we find out more and more background information about the girls' family life.This book will appeal to fans of Diane Chamberlain, as the style is very similar. I look forward to reading Heather Gudenkauf's next book.
  • (5/5)
    The story of 2 missing children takes on a new flair when it is told from all of the main character's perspectives - 1 child, a father, a brother, a mother and the local sheriff. The impact of this event and the memories it brings to life add a new dimension to an often told story.What makes "Weight of Silence" so compelling is that the reader feels for each of the characters - did i treat my sibling like this when i was a child, how would i react if I were the parent, would I put work over family if I were the Sheriff?The book is very easy to read even given the troubling story line. The viewpoint of each character moves the story quickly and emotionally engages the reader. I found that I couldn't put the book down and couldn't wait to pick it back up. The author chooses not to go into graphic detail on the events which added to the story - sometimes our own imagination is more graphic than any words on a page.A very good read that I would recommend whole heartedly!
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book, and it's style of being told through many different perspectives. I would have liked more of a conclusion in the end of some of the story lines, but otherwise I loved this book. I was charmed by Callie, and her brother, mother and Petra, and some of the other characters as well. I also as intrigued about one the relationships in the story and how that would end up. Overall, great story with a unique way of being told, and great characters.
  • (4/5)
    This is the story of two missing seven-year-old girls. The entire story takes place during one day and through the points-of-view of numerous characters. The main character Calli is one of the little girls missing and has not spoken in four years and no one knows why. As the mystery begins to unfold the past of the characters is told as flashbacks. The characters were interesting and the scenarios that took place were exciting. There were times when I could not put this book down. For me the most interesting part of the book was not the missing girls per se but on Calli’s selective mutism. The way that both mysteries were interwoven was excellent and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.