Heather Gudenkauf was born in Wagner, South Dakota, the youngest of six children. At one month of age, her family returned to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota where her father was employed as a guidance counselor and her mother as a school nurse. At the age of three, her family moved to Iowa, where she grew up. Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing impairment (there were many evenings when Heather and her father made a trip to the bus barn to look around the school bus for her hearing aids that she often conveniently would forget on the seat beside her), Heather tended to use books as a retreat, would climb into the toy box that her father’s students from Rosebud made for the family with a pillow, blanket, and flashlight, close the lid, and escape the world around her. Heather became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.
Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent the last sixteen years working with students of all ages and is currently an Instructional Coach, an educator who provides curricular and professional development support to teachers. The Weight of Silence is her first novel.
Heather lives in Dubuque, Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Maxine. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running. She is currently working on her second novel.
Visit Heather Gudenkauf’s website HERE.
It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn’s shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.
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. Calli’s mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter’s voice.
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. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor.
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 worse 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
“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, NYT bestselling author of THE KEEPSAKE
You can read the first 19 pages of the book by clicking HERE and then clicking on “Preview the Book”.
Heather Gudenkauf’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, August 17th: Book, Line, and Sinker
Wednesday, August 19th: Virtual Wordsmith
Thursday, August 20th: Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?
Monday, August 24th: Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, August 26th: Bookstack
Friday, August 28th: Beth’s Book Review Blog
Monday, August 31st: Sophisticated Dorkiness
Tuesday, September 1st: The 3 R’s: Reading, ‘Riting, and Randomness
Thursday, September 3rd: Word Lily
Monday, September 7th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Tuesday, September 8th: Book-a-Rama
Thursday, September 10th: Write Meg