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Extended Audio Sample The Weight of Silence Audiobook, by Heather Gudenkauf Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.83 out of 53.83 out of 53.83 out of 53.83 out of 53.83 out of 5 3.83 (40 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Heather Gudenkauf Narrator: James Colby, Eliza Foss, Cassandra Morris, Andy Paris, Thérèse Plummer, Tony Ward Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2009 ISBN: 9781449805371
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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 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. Brilliantly illuminating such characters as a drunken wife-beater and a vengeful professor, a mesmerizing performance by a full cast of narrators keeps listeners in rapt attention right through the stunning conclusion.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is the kind of compelling, can’t-put-it-down audiobook that will have listeners driving around the block a few extra times just to find out what happens next…The cast renders each character believable and expertly ratchets up the suspense. The pacing is exactly right, and the different narrations flow into each other seamlessly and naturally.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Selected for the August 2009 Indie Next List
  • A 2010 Barry Award Nominee for Best Paperback Original
  • A 2010 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best First Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monkey | 2/11/2014

    " enjoyable read- not super notworthy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jes | 2/4/2014

    " I really love the way that Heather Gudenkauf writes. The two books I have read by her are absolutely gorgeous and have such a simple flow, which makes her books so easy to read and to follow. I loved Callie and Ben, their sibling relationship melted my heart and knowing that Ben would do anything to protect his little sister was lovely to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 1/25/2014

    " You can't say this is an enjoyable story, but it is a page turner. I could not put it down. It's the story of two 7 year old girls who are abducted during the night. A gripping story that follows the anguished families through this horrific ordeal. Well written, I was hooked and could not wait to see what happened next and how it would end. Would recommend. Would give 4.5 stars if I could. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessie Mae | 1/19/2014

    " So good. A must read' "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cyndie LaPlume | 1/18/2014

    " Couldn't put it down. Never expected the ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 1/18/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. I had trouble putting it down at times. It's sad that so many women really do stay in those situations. The author did a great job tying up all the loose ends. Would definitely recommend this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin R | 1/18/2014

    " Engaging story of two little girls who get lost in the woods. plenty o twists and turns to keep you guessing, and a sweet ending that wasn't too syrupy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cynthia | 1/16/2014

    " I love this book. I read it in 2 days. Definitely keeps you wanting to know more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslee | 1/16/2014

    " A quick read that was pretty predictable. The author's character development was a strength, her creativity a weakness. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary Cook | 1/8/2014

    " While I like the one person style of writing, I found this book slow to progress. I can't say I will give Heather's other books a read after the disappointment of this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily Lapan | 12/14/2013

    " Was an amazing book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zai | 12/13/2013

    " Not just a suspensful story about two girls gone missing, but so much more... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Kline | 12/7/2013

    " Very interesting story. I really liked how it was told from the perspective of the 5 main characters. It was a little slow at first but then I couldn't put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn Y | 12/3/2013

    " I really love the short, fast, suspenseful chapters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 10/12/2013

    " I simply could not put this one down. Captivating characters with real-life flaws and a compelling storyline. I'll be checking out her other books for sure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Penny Little | 8/28/2013

    " I liked the characters and the way that each chapter was seen through the eyes of different characters, written in the first person, apart from Calli, a 7 year old selective mute who's chapters are written in the third person. Reminded me of Jodi Picoult's style of writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kruimel | 5/4/2013

    " Heather Gudenkauf heeft nog een boek geschreven naast deze en 'voor mijn zusje' en die ga ik waarschijnlijk ook lezen. Ik hou wel van de stijl. Een verhaal verteld vanuit verschillende perspectieven. Laagje voor laagje een verhaal ontrafelen. Zeer genietbaar leesvoer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leahjoypro | 11/27/2012

    " This was an easy and engaging book to read on vacation, but I wasn't overly impressed with the somewhat predictable plot and conclusion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Season | 7/22/2012

    " Good story, but I found it very depressing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katelitwin | 3/6/2012

    " I am hooked on the author and her writing style. Fast paced and kept me wanting more, to really know what happened and why Finished this one in less than 24 hours. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 3/6/2012

    " LOVED IT!! LOVE her writting style. couldn't put it down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 1/23/2012

    " Each chapter is from a different persons point of view, which I like. Just found myself skimming a bit where stories overlapped. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darlene ysaguirre | 12/4/2011

    " This Book Is Amazing Pulls You In From The Vet begining and i could hardly but it down ...defintely a page turner the characters were so believable..i felt pulled in from the start =) AMazing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly Bull | 10/22/2011

    " Really liked the twists in this... A little predictable at some points, but love seeing strength in families and children! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 8/24/2011

    " Interesting plot concept, and certainly a page turner, but a little disappointing in the end. Too many coincidences that lead up to the events of that day which made the whole story not come together for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angie Marshall | 8/23/2011

    " I really liked this book, good character development and suspense that kept building. I still think about this story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candi | 5/23/2011

    " Similar to Jodi Picoult with each chapter told from a different main characters view point. Interesting book that I couldn't put down. Sweet, mute Callie is my favorite! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tricha | 5/22/2011

    " This is a fantastic book! I loved how each chapter was written in the voice of a different character. It made you see all view points of the story and kept you guessing at the same time. I would highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys a book that can make you think! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Penny | 5/17/2011

    " I liked the characters and the way that each chapter was seen through the eyes of different characters, written in the first person, apart from Calli, a 7 year old selective mute who's chapters are written in the third person. Reminded me of Jodi Picoult's style of writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheri | 5/16/2011

    " She was NOT a good mother! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evi | 5/15/2011

    " Another great read by Heather Gudenkauf. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancygoodman | 5/14/2011

    " "In her debut novel, Heather Gudenkauf masterfully explores the intricate dynamics of famlies, and the power that silence and secrets hold on them..."-Ann Hood, author of the novel The Knitting Circle and the memoir Comfort:A Journey through Grief "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leahjoypro | 5/11/2011

    " This was an easy and engaging book to read on vacation, but I wasn't overly impressed with the somewhat predictable plot and conclusion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenda | 5/10/2011

    " This was a book that kept my interest from begining to end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 5/9/2011

    " This book was a very fast read...I think I read it in two days I couldn't put it down! I enjoyed it so much I picked up her second book and read that in a couple of days as well. I don't know what else to say...it kept me guessing right until the end, suspense and drama all wrapped up into one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicola | 5/9/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book, the relationship between Callie and her older brother Ben was lovely and really held my interest. I liked the short chapters, the book was written very much like a Jodi Picoult book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Kay | 5/3/2011

    " Two little girls go missing in the woods. One is a selective mute who has not spoken for 4 years. The story is told from the viewpoints of many relevant people, including the deputy sheriff, a mother & a brother of one child, the father of the other, as well as Calli herself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/3/2011

    " I love short chapters, but this book seemed a little slow to me and confusing at the start..lots of why questions, why couldn't the girl who knew the woods so well find her way home....why couldn't they find her... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tasha | 5/2/2011

    " This was an ok book. I would probably go with 3 1\2 stars really. It is a quick, easy read..I felt it kind of got "wordy" in spots. I do like the first person narration in each chapter. It was definitely her first novel, but I will try her out again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 June | 5/1/2011

    " Really good, written like Jodi Picoult "

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About the Author
Author Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf is the critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence, These Things Hidden, One Breath Away and Little Mercies. She lives in Iowa with her husband and children.

About the Narrators

James Colby was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, as James Leo Colby in 1961. He is an actor and published narrator known for his readings of Fight Club, Best Friends Forever, and Fenway Fever.

Eliza Foss is an actress who has appeared in numerous theaters in New York City and around the country. She has narrated over thirty books and short stories, been featured in AudioFile magazine, and won five AudioFile Earphones Awards for her narrations.

Cassandra Morris has received critical acclaim for her voice-over work from Publishers Weekly and AudioFile magazine. To date, she has narrated over one hundred audiobooks, earned seven Earphones Awards, and twice been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. Her voice has also been heard on television in commercial campaigns for Samsung, Silk Soy Milk, and numerous Nickelodeon and Disney products. She is the voice of many cartoon characters, including Leo and Luna in Yu-Gi-Oh, Carrie in Barbie: A Fairy Secret, Nathan in Pokémon, and Lola in Angelo Rules.

Andy Paris is an actor and writer. A member of the Tectonic Theater Project, he and others wrote The Laramie Project, which was nominated for an Emmy in 2002, and in which he played Stephen Belber. He has also appeared in Law & Order.

Thérèse Plummer is an actor, award-winning voice-over artist, and counselor. She is a four-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award for audio narration. She has appeared in a variety of television and film roles, and, as counselor for adolescents, she spent five years using drama therapy techniques in individual and group settings.

Tony Ward is the narrator of numerous audio books, including titles by Joanne Fluke, Will Allison, and John Connolly.