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The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
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The Weight of Blood

by Laura McHugh

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Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
I read about this book on Kirkus Reviews and thought it might be worthwhile to read it. I was interested in the setting - the hollers within the Ozarks. The book was formulaic and predictable I thought. The book flips back and forth in time, although not always seamlessly. We have 16 year old Lucy who is present day and all of her friends and family, and her mother Lila after she arrived in the town of Henbane at the age of 18. The connecting thread between the two times is the mysterious disappearance of two different girls - one in Lila's time and one in Lucy's. Lucy has been traumatized by the disappearance of her friend Cheri, who was considered slow-minded by the folks in Henbane. When her dismembered body was found placed in a tree in Henbane a few weeks later, the small community is reeling from the shock and terror. The more Lucy digs to try to find out what happened to Cherie, the more secrets and lies she discovers. Lucy's mother disappeared when Lucy was just a baby, and no one in the town has any idea where she went or what happened to her. Lucy's findings while trying to find out what happened to Cherie lead her to believe that her mother's strange disappearance 14 years before is somehow connected. I found the book didn't really build up tension and I was guessing what was going to happen in the next chapter most of the way through. I don't feel that I can recommend this book. ( )
  Romonko | Apr 15, 2015 |
The Dane family's roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn't keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy's few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls--the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn't protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri's necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri's death could be linked to her mother's disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. Publisher's summary

The audiobook version of THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD was suspenseful--no skipping ahead pages--and the narrator, while maintaining a limited range (no one spoke quickly or in a high or low voice, managed the characters with subtle vocal differences; the slow drawl was almost mesmerizing.

Having said that, I feel that THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD is less mystery and more coming of age novel. Lucy is at a point in her life when she would naturally question authority, family rules and the status quo. That her mother disappeared when Lucy was a child raises the stakes in this character driven debut novel.

Will be looking for the next one from Laura McHugh.

7 out of 10 Recommended to readers of mystery and family saga tales. ( )
  julie10reads | Mar 4, 2015 |
The Weight of Blood is an impressive debut novel by Laura Mc Hugh. The story is stitched together through multiple points of view. Lucy Dane was an infant when her mother disappeared without warning, Longing to know what happened to her mother and who killed her childhood best friend, Cheri ,Lucy begins to ask questions that may have disturbing answers. This book had a right plot, good pacing and plenty of suspense. The ending felt hurried but I am still rating four stars because of how well written the book was. ( )
  68papyrus | Mar 2, 2015 |
A woman gets snookered into traveling to a dead end Ozarks town from a dead-end life in Iowa when she ages out of foster care. She lands in a famly that has some dark secrets and between two brothers whose loyalty requires shutting your eyes really tight and chanting LALALA. After she disappears, here young daughter grows up in this setting, gradually realizing how things are not what they seem. Claustrophbic.
  bfister | Feb 23, 2015 |
The Weight of Blood is an interesting novel told through multiple voices, which enhanced the deep storytelling. This novel was one I got on a whim from Netgalley and wound up loving. The characters were easy to listen to and the plot was quickly engaging. The mysterious disappearance of two women from the same town, but years apart, drew me in as something I needed to solve. As family ties became evident, the story grew even more page turning. It was interesting and sickening at the same time. While reading I felt twinges of hate, disgust, fear, and guilt. The fact that this book was able to pull those emotions to the surface but not be repulsive is commendable. This book is well written and well worth reading! ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
With her riveting debut, "The Weight of Blood," Laura McHugh makes a strong bid at cementing a new tradition of regional crime fiction while keeping tourism low in the Ozarks........McHugh has crafted a sharp, haunting tale of blood in the Ozarks, as substantial as it is pleasurable to read.

 
McHugh cleverly tells the story in several first-person voices, mostly that of Lucy and her mother. The reader will know early on who the primary villain is, and may wonder at Lucy’s naiveté in not figuring it out sooner. But as in real life but oh-so-rarely in fiction, the villain here may not be 100 percent villainous, nor are the good guys necessarily 100 percent blame-free.

The plot will keep readers of The Weight of Blood reading far past their bedtimes, but it’s McHugh’s shadings and subtleties of character that’ll have them looking at their own families with new eyes and looking for her next book with eager ones.
 
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For Brent, Harper, and Piper
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That Cheri Stoddard was found at all was the thing that set people on edge, even more so than the condition of her body.
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You grow up feeling the weight of blood, of family. There’s no forsaking kin.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812995201, Hardcover)

For fans of Gillian Flynn, Scott Smith, and Daniel Woodrell comes a gripping, suspenseful novel about two mysterious disappearances a generation apart.
 
The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane’s mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see. Lucy’s family has deep roots in the Ozarks, part of a community that is fiercely protective of its own. Yet despite her close ties to the land, and despite her family’s influence, Lucy—darkly beautiful as her mother was—is always thought of by those around her as her mother’s daughter. When Cheri disappears, Lucy is haunted by the two lost girls—the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t save—and sets out with the help of a local boy, Daniel, to uncover the mystery behind Cheri’s death.
 
What Lucy discovers is a secret that pervades the secluded Missouri hills, and beyond that horrific revelation is a more personal one concerning what happened to her mother more than a decade earlier.
 
The Weight of Blood is an urgent look at the dark side of a bucolic landscape beyond the arm of the law, where a person can easily disappear without a trace. Laura McHugh proves herself a masterly storyteller who has created a harsh and tangled terrain as alive and unforgettable as the characters who inhabit it. Her mesmerizing debut is a compelling exploration of the meaning of family: the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths to which we will go to protect the ones we love.
 
Praise for The Weight of Blood
 
“A fantastic novel, rich in character and atmosphere . . . This is one you won’t want to miss.”—Karin Slaughter, author of Unseen
 
“Laura McHugh’s vivid and enthralling The Weight of Blood centers on a mother and daughter in a seemingly benign yet deeply horrifying small town. It kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the last.”—Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers
 
The Weight of Blood pulled me in and wouldn’t let go. What starts as Lucy’s coming-of-age story becomes a chilling tale about the price of secrets. As the menace deepens, so does the tension. Laura McHugh has written a terrific novel.”—Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award–winning author of The Shadow Tracer
 
“Once I picked up Laura McHugh’s The Weight of Blood, I couldn’t put it down. I kept turning pages long into the night, bewitched by the enchanting Ozark landscape and the haunting murder mystery at its heart. The Weight of Blood is the kind of novel that leaves the reader breathless and wanting more.”—Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot
 
“In this riveting debut, Laura McHugh weaves together the stories of two women, separated by a generation, who each reveal pieces of a story that gains momentum and power as its shape becomes clear. This novel will keep you up all night.”—Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train
 
“An elegant time bomb of a novel, a coming-of age story that holds you captive from the first sentence and doesn’t let go of you after the last.”—Tracy Guzeman, author of The Gravity of Birds

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 02 Nov 2013 02:15:15 -0400)

"The Dane family's roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn't keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy's few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls--the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn't protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri's necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri's death could be linked to her mother's disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie"--… (more)

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