Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

An employee at Borders recommended this book. I told my book club about it and we decided to read it.

This is a story about a little girl who doesn't speak. She's a selective mute. She can speak, but she won't. She and her friend disappear one morning and the novel is about the family and law officers attempt to figure out what happened and find the children.

It's been a while since I read this, so I don't remember the exact details. I remember that the story held my interest. I didn't find it boring. But I also remember that the storyline seemed to get a little absurd. There were several villains in this story, and one seemed to appear near the end and wasn't really tied to the rest of the story. I don't want to give away spoilers, but I thought it seemed a bit odd.

What mostly stands out to me though is the mother in the story. There are few things that annoy me more than the sympathetic treatment of a neglectful mother. The mother in this story is portrayed as so pretty and so innocent and so abused and weak. All the men want her, even if just to make sure the other men can't have her. She made me so angry, and I don't think that was the author's intention. As I was reading this though, I felt like the mother was largely to blame because she should have gathered her children and gotten the hell out of the abusive situation in which they lived. She had family and friends who would have helped her, but she instead chose to be dependent on a man who beat her.

It was an okay book. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. I didn't like the characters very much. I even found the little girl annoying. Maybe it's just my general dislike of small town, rural life and their different value system that annoyed me. I'm a city girl and I like reading about people in cities.

No comments: