Book Review: The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

So I just finished reading an amazing psychological thriller called the Weight of Silence. It deals with selective mutism, alcoholism/ domestic violence, child abuse abduction and the choices we make in life that affect how we raise families.

Callie is seven and has selective mutism. She has the physical ability to speak and did until she was four years old. Then her mother miscarried due to her father’s drunkin rage and Callie witnessed this. Over the three years that past it was thought that this trauma was the catalyst for her mutism but it ends up being much deeper.

On a Saturday morning Callie is dragged through the woods by her rageful alcoholic father in search of the man he believe is her bio father. This man happens to be a police officer in town, and her mother’s ex-gf. Meanwhile Callie’s best friend and soulmate Petra goes out into the woods following someone she sees outside her window. Unraveling the reasons behind the girls disappearance forces everyone to confront their past choices, current relationships, and pushes them to the edge of what they know about themselves and others. The woods and nature are a backdrop to this well told story and the emotional highs and lows, chilling flashbacks and twists and turns make for a story grounded in reality. The reality of abuse, being so traumatized youcan’t speak, family relationships and what it takes to heal. I highly recommend this book! It’s a bit different as it has an element of a mystery/ detective book which I don’t normally read but love the psychology behind each person’s choices, feelings and downfalls. And the ending is realistic even in certain elements of tragedy that occur, as well as not being overly happy even when very important good things happen. It’s hard as a mystery story as I don’t want to give anything away. But if you’re interested in any of these subject I’d say read!

If on the other hand the topics of severe trauma, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and abduction are too close to home read with caution. Let me know your thoughts!

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