Sunday, January 24, 2010

Review: The Weight of Silence

This is a novel of suspense and mystery, examining the mysterious disappearance of two seven-year-old girls, one of them suffering from selective mutism-- silent since she was a toddler. Built around this mystery are a complex web of human relationships. Calli Clark's family is decidedly troubled; her mutism developed after a family tragedy. Her friend Petra Clark has remained her faithful translator. When the two disappear their families are thrown into a state of turmoil. By the end of the book we find out what happened to the girls, and we see the two families forced to confront their demons. This book is basically a well-written mystery. The whodunit clearly drives the plot forward, but it is given weight by attention to human relationships. I'm a sucker for a suspenseful story with literary merit, and I read this one straight through to the end in one evening. Essentially, this book satisfied my desire for a good mystery without making me feel like I was reading trash.

Heather Gudenkauf, The Weight of Silence (Mira, 2009) ISBN: 077832740X

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