I first learned about The Weight of Silence at Book Expo America in the Harlequin booth. I saw the poster but I did not see any ARCs. I didn't know anything about the book, but the cover really drew me in (Have I ever mentioned that I sometimes DO judge books by their covers? Well, at least, I select them that way). The photo of the dirty hands of an obviously young girl holding a music note necklace -- its a great cover! Then I saw an ad in my Shelf Awareness email about the book. And there was a preview! As soon as I read the 20 page excerpt, I knew that I needed to read this book.
Calli Clark is 7 years old and she is mute. She hasn't spoken since she was 4. But her older brother Ben and her best friend, Petra Gregory, protect her and speak for her. But one morning Calli is dragged into the woods by her father, Griff, unbeknownst to anyone. When Petra's parents discover her missing as well, the stories of the Clark and Gregory families become even more intertwined. As we learn more of the story through the eyes of numerous characters, the tension and mystery builds. What has happened in the woods? And who is responsible? Those looking for the girls (especially Ben and Calli's mom Antonia and Petra's parents, Fielda and Martin) question whether they have let Calli and Petra down, if there was something else they could have done to prevent these young girls from going missing.
Some books stay with you long after you stop reading them. And this is one of those books. I keep going back to the story in my mind and thinking about all the characters and how the choices we make impact not only ourselves, but sometimes also those around us, in ways that cannot be predicted. A story about friendship and family, Heather Gudenkauf, in her debut novel, has written a story that is at once moving and suspenseful. I was not disappointed and can't wait to share this book!
The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf will be published on July 28, 2009.