About Heather Gudenkauf
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.
About The Weight of Silence
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
I loved the book the weight of silence. it only took 2 days to read. thats how much it took me in.
I loved this book — I couldn’t put it down! I usually don’t read suspense novels but when the people at Borders all told me how FANTASTIC it was I thought what the heck! It was an amazing read one that I couldn’t put down. My family wondered if they would ever have a hot meal again!!! Keep writing you have a masterful way with description, I felt as if I was there.
I just finished reading The Weight of Silence what a well crafted and masterfully written novel; I thoroughly enjoyed every page! I can’t wait for your next novel – keep up the great work.
"Lorrie" Carmichael says
The title and cover caught my eye and imagination immediately. Typically I read books, even interesting books, seven or eight pages at a time which usually ends up taking weeks. However, I read your book in two sittings. I love how you had the characters speak in the first person, which made it feel as though I were watching a play. Writing Calle in the third person was a perfect contrast. Questions for Discussion are appropriate even if one does not belong to a book club. I can’t wait for your next book. Please give your family, including “Maxine” a hug for me to say “thanks for sharing” you and your gift of writing.
Retired Speech-Language Therapist
Currently Band Leader/Manager
Elizabeth "Kaulitz" says
I’m only 17 and a seior in high school. I was looking through one of my moms magazines one day and saw an advertisement for the book. The title and the cover was the one thing that caught my eye and right away I wanted to go to the book store and look for it. I found it in the new releases (thank god i found it) and immediately began to read it when I got home. The Introduction to the book from Antonia definately pulled me in. It was a great way to start it. I read through the book faster than any other book…even Twilight! I loved how all the chapters were from different perspectives and gave you hints all the way through. It was jaw dropping at the end when the book finally revealed what silenced Calli for so long. This book was absolutely amazing and i’m looking foward to doing my english term paper on it. Keep writing and can’t wait for the next to come 😀
Kelly Jennings says
I purchased this book on Friday night. I started it on Saturday afternoon and finished it Sunday morning – I just couldn’t put it down! I read it all night until I just fell asleep! The Weight of Silence was one of the best books that I have read in a long time! I came to this website tonight to see what other books I could find by the same person! I can’t wait to go buy one!
Great book, I love the way each chapert was from a different perspecitve! GREAT BOOK!
i purchased this book and i really enjoy it…it amazing and i would reccommend it to anyone! i like the book so much i want to know if there is a movie about it? Is there a “The Weight of Silence” movie?
i loved the book my mom worked in a bookstore when it came out and she read it the night it came out and told me that i should and i read it for a assignment for school and loved it i cant wait for more
i really loved this book…the cover and title drew me in. after reading the book i did a project with the book and after seeing that the author was from Wagner, South Dakota i was thrilled. I live a couple of towns away from Wagner, so you can tell as to why i would be thrilled becaus the author of one of my favorite books actually lives close to me. the suspense of the novel drew me in to where i could not put the book down and i read it in one night. i will be looking forward to more books, and i really agree their should be a movie. Great Book!!!
This is the best book I have ever read in my entire life. I would not call myself an “avid” reader per se, but I do enjoy reading. THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE cover caught my attention in the store and I bought it. I tend to mostly read biographies. I loved the way this book is written, as each person “speaks.” I read the book cover to cover, as many of the other folks did, in just 2 days (the first time ever in my life for that, also). There were a few times during my reading that I had to put the book down and walk away, redirect myself to do something else for a bit, as it was so incredibly intense, I felt like I was THERE, in the middle of the story, the action, the heartbreak. I will never forget the story of this book for the rest of my life…sadly, so many lives are lived out just like this book every day, but those stories go untold. Again, by far, the most profoundly moving book I have ever read…I was actually sad, a lost feeling, I just stood there staring into space after I read the last page, wanting for more….your talent is extraordinary, Heather. Keep writing…I look forward to your next novel!
I just finished reading the Weight of Silence- it took me one plane ride from Italy! I’m only 13, but lloved every minute of the book. My favourite part was the flash-backs to the past, because it really helped me understand the relationships between the charachters, especiall Deputy Sergeant Louis and Antonia!
Allthough some of the topics that were touched on in the book weren’t exactly suitable for my age, such as alcholicism and some of the language, this book is now one of my favourites that I think is very good for the teenage market.
I thought this book was simply amazing. The thought of two 7 year olds going missing and the whole situation is just incredible with all the thoughts of using your imagination to create the scene in your head. The weight of silence is undoubtly my favorite book.
Keep up your amazing work!
I finished reading this book only last night. I think that it is a fantastic book with an enormous capacity to captivate us to wonder more and more about the story. The most sincere congratulations to Heather, who created an impressive history and a lesson of life completly fabulous.