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The Weight of Silence
by Heather Gudenkauf

PBR Review I thought the beginning of this book was a little weak and at times slow. However, once the story takes hold, it is a nicely written touching book that evokes a lot of emotion. Its told from the perspectives of each of the main characters, which allows insight into their thoughts; you end up loving some and hating others. A Few of the characters were one dimensional, but most were fully developed and complex. Although this is not your traditional who done it mystery, the author does a stellar job of creating tension, which makes the book hard to put down. The heart of the book is about family dynamics and unconditional love. It deals in a very real manner with marriage and abusive relationships. The story sparks empathy towards women who are paralyzed and unable to see their way out of bad situations and it stirs up strong emotions and conflict as it tests the boundaries of what makes a good mother, father, friend or sibling. These and other topics such as selective mutism, the emotional toll of family secrets and alcoholism would provide lively discussions for book clubs. In summary I enjoyed this book and found it to be an engrossing, unusual read.Back.
Talking Points: Book clubs will find many excellent discussion points in this book. The story revolves around a child with selective mutism which will spark conversation on this topic as well as other childhood issues. Family dynamics and motherhood are also strong threads as well as the effects of alcoholism on parenting and a family. There is also a theme about the difficulties women face when dealing with abuse that makes for great discussion. This book will appeal to book clubs that enjoy a light read with emotional impact.
PBR Reader Comments:
This is a very good book. It is thought provoking because it deals with some very sensitive social issues and there is also a mystery element to the book which is excellent.
by-Michelle 2009/11/11, 05:50 PM

This book is for those who love a story that is thought provoking and driven by an emotional investment in the characters. Nicely paced and touches on some controversial family issues.
by-Lyn 2009/09/19, 07:16 PM

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