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.
This is without a doubt a parent's worst nightmare. Having a child disappear and being totally helpless as to what you can do. Heather Gudenkauf, author of The Weight of Silence, captures the raw emotions from several people's perspective. I started reading this book late in the evening - after my children were tucked snug in their beds. I didn't put it down until I was done at 1 in the morning. I just couldn't stop reading - I wanted to know what happened next. By the time I was finished I felt a mirage of feelings - numb, yet pleased, sad but at the same time satisifed. I know what a weird combination, huh...and you may not understand it, until you read the book. I went to bed soon after, but not before I checked the doors (twice) and kissed both my babies.
This is a story about families, love, tragedy, and hope. I highly recommend reading this amazing debut book. I feel it will make you appreciate what you have and hold onto everything a little bit closer.
Thank you MotherTalk for giving me the opportunity to read such a touching book.