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The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

The Weight of Blood

by Laura McHugh

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2285550,815 (3.87)18



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Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Gripping. The only word that truly does this novel justice. The characters grip to your moral fibers (either in a good or bad way), the plot grips to your inner compass of what's right and wrong, and you find yourself in a hard place, there is nothing to do but finish this book RIGHT NOW. McHugh dramatically and accurately describes the possibilities of what can happen in the dark places of the Ozarks (or any other sparsely located area in our country). Half way through this book you will find yourself clinging to your own children, because the way that McHugh describes a mother's love in this book obviously comes from experience. Lucy and Lila are character's that will stick with you through the test of time, weeks after reading this (the first time through, as I'm sure I'll pick it up again) I still find myself thinking about this novel (even while reading OTHER novels).
This book leaves the reader asking real questions, primarily, family or doing what's right? It's not nearly as easy as what you would think... ( )
  beckylynn | Jul 13, 2014 |
The Weight of Blood weaves two narratives, that of Lucy in the present day, and her mother Lila about 18 years in the past. Lila went missing shortly after Lucy was born and while there is plenty of rumor to go around in their small Missouri town, no one seems to know what really happened. When a friend of Lucy is found murdered under mysterious circumstances, Lucy begins to investigate and turns up clues to both the present and past that reveal unsettling revelations about her family.

The pace of this book really picks up at about page 100 and that's when I couldn't put it down. The constant switching of narratives leaves lots of cliffhangers (like in Game of Thrones) that make you hurry up and read the next chapter to get to what you really want to read which is the storyline you're on. Lila's narrative lets you as the reader know much about the past that Lucy is unaware of in the present - which leads to some interesting frustration when secondary characters don't tell her the whole truth. It helps to build the tension as the book goes forward.

A huge theme in the book is the evil done by those who look the other way and allow bad things to happen when they could intervene. The "weight" of blood has to do with the compromises most of the characters make in their pattern of loyalties to family and town. And of course since there are several deaths, the weight of that blood has a role on the characters that caused them or covered them up. While the ending doesn't resolve as neatly as some other books, I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good suspense in a small town, with main characters that you root for along the way amidst the sleaze that surrounds them. ( )
  ChristineParker | Jul 1, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed this book from this new author. The story is told from two points of view, one from the present day protagonist, and the other from the her mother in the past. It seems I've read several of these types of books recently and I like the way the reader gets to know what happened in the past (with the two different points of view). This book does not disappoint. Kept me on the edge of my seat to see what was going to happen next. Characters were well developed and the protagonists were likable. This is an author I will definitely follow and will look forward to her next book!! ( )
  Detrick | Jun 19, 2014 |
The Weight of Blood
Laura McHugh
March 2014
4 Stars
*I received this uncorrected galley from netgalley*
Sixteen year old Lucy Dane has always felt like an outsider in the small mountain town of Henbane. Even though she was born there and that the Dane family has a history there the residents have never fully accepted her because her mother had been a stranger. When Lucy starts digging into her friend’s disappearance and death she discovers that the town and her own family have a lot of skeletons to be discovered. Lucy didn’t expect her investigation to also uncover secrets about her mother’s disappearance and how it would change the lives of her loved ones.
I was immediately drawn into the mystery of this story and didn’t want to stop reading. It could have easily been read in one sitting if I would have had the time to dedicate to it. The plot kept the pages turning quickly and kept me on my toes. The different character perspectives were a nice way to see the story unfold by keeping it from getting stale. As I have stated in other reviews, I love a good dysfunctional family and this novel provides one. I would have to agree with the comparison to Gillian Flynn when it comes to this novel, especially the family dynamic. My one complaint is the characters. I just didn’t feel like I was getting enough from them. Even though I was thoroughly invested in their story I wasn’t invested in them. Overall I really enjoyed it and have already recommended it and will keep doing so. I will also be checking out this author’s future work. ( )
  shayrp76 | Jun 16, 2014 |
A story of small town ways that can be lethal to outsiders and insiders alike. I wish a few parts of the story were more fleshed out (the cave, for instance), but overall a decent read. ( )
  limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (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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That Cheri Stoddard was found at all was the thing that set people on edge, even more so than the condition of her body.
You grow up feeling the weight of blood, of family. There’s no forsaking kin.
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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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