The Weight of Silence
By Heather Gudenkauf
(Mira, Paperback, 9780778327400, 384pp.)
Publication Date: July 28, 2009
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It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.
Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler.
Calli's mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter's voice.
Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor.
Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.
Heather Gudenkauf graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education and for the past sixteen years has worked with elementary children. Currently, along with writing, Heather is an Instructional Coach, an educator who provides teachers with curricular, student, and professional development support. Heather lives in Dubuque, Iowa with her husband and children. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and running.
"The Weight of Silence is a tense and profoundly emotional story of a parent's worst nightmare, told with compassion and honesty. Heather Gudenkauf skillfully weaves an explosive tale of suspense and ultimately, the healing power of love."
- #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs
"Deeply moving and exquisitely lyrical, this is a powerhouse of a debut novel."
-New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen on The Weight of Silence
"Beautifully written, compassionately told, and relentlessly suspenseful."
-New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain on The Weight of Silence
"Gudenkauf's scintillating second suspense novel...slowly and expertly reveals the truth in a tale so chillingly real, it could have come from the latest headlines."
-Publishers Weekly on These Things Hidden, starred review
"One Breath Away takes the reader on an electrifying ride that is, by the end, both terrifying and satisfying. I dare you to forget it."
- New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Flock
"I have burns on my fingers from turning the pages too fast. Don't miss it. This is her best yet!"
-New York Times bestselling author Lesley Kagen on One Breath Away
"Gudenkauf...keep[s] the tension high and the reader glued to the pages."
-Publishers Weekly on One Breath Away