Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

Sarah says:
I bought this book because it was on a "Buy 2 get a 3rd Free" table while we were on vacation in South Carolina.  Hilton Head is beautiful, we were right on the beach, my daughter was loving the sand....but I was pregnant and constantly nauseous.  I also greatly dislike sand EVERYWHERE (in other words, the beach), so I spent some quality time with some books while Sean and Sweet Girl did their best impressions of beach bums.  Of the three books purchases - two were part of the Twilight series (that's a whole other post; I have issues with Twilight but I did read all four books) - this was my favorite.

The story is set in rural Iowa and centers around the two young girls and their families.  The two girls, best friends; one chooses not to talk and the other chooses to be her communicator, are missing in the woods surrounding their homes.  The abusive alcoholic father of the silent girl happens to be missing as well.  As parents and siblings search for the girls, the past become clearer as each person takes a turn narrating the story.  The reader gets to see the smaller everylife tragedies-married the wrong man, didn't stand up for her children, didn't ask the right questions, couldn't get past prejudices-that have led up to this larger tragic turn.

Though the suspense is lacking (in my opinion) due to an obvious assailant, I'm not sure the assault and the assailant were meant to be the most suspenseful storyline in the the book.  Rather, the outcome of the somewhat battered lives of those involved with the girls seems more important.  In the end, not everything is tied up with a pretty bow.  Much like real life, the ending is messier than that.  I enjoyed the book enough to pick up another book by the same author recently.  Which is saying something, because I'm not pregnant nor am I trying to pretend I'm not at the beach.

From Publishers Weekly

Gudenkauf's tightly plotted debut packs a lot of unsavory doings into a few unfortunate summer days in Willow Creek, Iowa. Seven-year-old Calli Clark hasn't spoken a word in the three years since a particularly nasty run-in with her violent, wife-beating father, Griff. During a bender, Griff suddenly decides to haul his mute daughter into the nearby forest, where they get lost. At the same time, Calli's best friend Petra goes missing, and a manhunt is launched, led by deputy sheriff Loras Louis, who still carries a torch for Calli's mother. Gudenkauf moves the story forward at a fast clip and is adept at building tension. There's a particular darkness to her heartland, rife as it is with predators and the walking wounded, and her unsentimental take on the milieu manages to find some hope without being maudlin. (Aug.)
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