The Weight Of Silence


Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by a tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler. 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.

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.


“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

“Brilliantly constructed, this will have you gripped until the last page.”

Closer on The Weight of Silence

“Deeply moving and exquisitely lyrical, this is a powerhouse of a debut novel. Heather Gudenkauf is one of those rare writers who can tell a tale with the skill of a poet while simultaneously cranking up the suspense until it’s unbearable.”

–Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Keepsake

The Weight of Silence is a cleverly crafted exercise in sustaining tension. Her technique is faultless, sparse and simple and is a master class in how to construct a thriller…A memorable read…a brave first novel.”

–Sunday Express

“In her debut novel, Heather Gudenkauf masterfully explores the intricate dynamics of families, and the power that silence and secrets hold on them. When you begin this book, be sure you have the time to finish it because, like me, you will have to read straight through to its bittersweet conclusion.”

–Ann Hood, bestselling author of The Knitting Circle and Comfort: A Journey through Grief

The Weight of Silence is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and kept me involved throughout. I’d especially like to congratulate Gudenkauf on her police procedures, which are spot on; and the Deputy Sheriff, who was, to me, very believable and true to his character. Absolutely recommended.”

–Donald Harstad, Internationally known author of the novels Eleven Days and Known Dead

The Weight of Silence is a beautifully detailed and deeply intriguing exploration of human emotion through the eyes of several different people involved in this story of the disappearance of these two children. The characters are so elaborate that they almost seem real…this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.I will definitely keep an eye out for more novels by Ms. Gudenkauf!”

–Review from

“A brilliant, nuanced examination of a small town – Jodi Picoult, eat your heart out. Gudenkauf has a lyrical voice, shifting effortlessly through first person narrative from a variety of characters, including the focus of the novel, a little girl named Calli who is a selective mute. I met Heather a couple of months ago, and she described the book to me thusly: “Two girls go into the woods, and only one comes out. And she can’t talk.” I can’t rave enough about this book – it’s just fantastic.“

— JT Ellison, bestselling author of Judas Kiss14 and All the Pretty Girls

The Weight of Silence is beautifully written, compassionately told, and relentlessly suspenseful. Heart- pounding suspense and a compelling family drama come together to create a story you won’t be able to put down. You’ll stay up all night long reading. I did! ”

–Diane Chamberlain, bestselling author of eighteen novels