The Weight of Blood

The Weight of Blood

A Novel

eBook - 2014
Average Rating:
25
Rate this:
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. "McHugh's debut is as lush and evocative as its Ozark setting, with luminous prose and characters you can't help rooting for, even as the mystery surrounding them intensifies and the odds against them grow more and more harrowing. I couldn't put it down."--Carla Buckley, author of The Deepest Secret. "In this clever, multilayered debut, McHugh deftly explores the past of an Ozark Mountain family . . . with plenty to hide and the ruthlessness to keep their secrets hidden. . . . This is an outstanding first novel, replete with suspense, crisp dialogue, and vivid Ozarks color and atmosphere."--Publishers Weekly. "Debut novelist McHugh comes out swinging with this gripping tale set in the Ozarks of Missouri. . . . Her prose will not only keep readers turning the pages but also paints a real and believable portrait of the connections, alliances, and sacrifices that underpin rural, small-town life in Henbane."--Library Journal (starred review). From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, [2014]
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780812995213
081299521X
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Related Resources


Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

JCLHelenH Jun 12, 2017

In this twisted and disturbing portrait of a family with deep, dark secrets Lucy discovers a clue in the disappearance of her friend, and her long-dead mother after she starts working at the family store.

d
darladoodles
May 31, 2017

This book was a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the boonies and I could not put it down. Lucy had a loving mother who disappeared. Her doting father and uncle are not what they seem and she is determined to find out the truth, starting with the disappearance of her mentally challenged high school friend.

The book is aptly named as Lucy feels the weight of her loyalty to family as she begins to uncover details about her family that she was blissfully unaware of. McHugh has written the book from multiple POV so you can watch Lucy's mother Lila first encounter the Dane family as you watch Lucy do her investigation. I like this even more than Arrowood myself.

Highly recommended for Missouri folks especially!

athompson10 Dec 29, 2016

It was OK, a little predictable and at times read more like a YA novel. What does stand out is the author's love of the Ozarks landscape, and her realistic portrayal of poor girls without roots or family stability, and how limited their choices and opportunities are.

a
aprilhansen1234
Jul 31, 2016

pretty good but it had some type
of crude stuck to it on the pages

e
Eil_1
Jun 26, 2016

From start to finish, this was a compelling book. Lila's life cut down far too soon, and her daughter, Lucy, searching for the truth that would connect the tragedies in this Ozark community. Definitely worth reading.

Marlowe Jan 08, 2016

The Weight of Blood is a fitting title for a heavy family drama that spans generations and clans in the Ozark Mountains. Told from multiple perspectives, in both time and character, consequences are both being revealed and changing as the novel progresses. Slow but purposefully, and definitely worth a chance.

m
MichelleBees
Jan 27, 2015

i connected with the realistic setting of the ozarks. some of the characters' motivations could be more fully explored. but this was a quick read and would also be a good listen.

s
Septemberly
Jan 26, 2015

This was a disturbing book, and it felt surprisingly real. I don't have much experience with the area in which the book takes place, but the descriptions made Henbane believable.

I liked ALL the female characters. There was a little good and little bad/mystery in each one. The male characters seemed flat.

The angular storytelling (each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character) seemed disjointed at times. Several characters were strongly featured in a few chapters, but only one or two chapters were from their point of view.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Gone Girl. I enjoyed it more than that one, and I found this book to be an easier, more intriguing read.

g
gusmcrae
Jan 02, 2015

The novel is billed as a mix of Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" and Daniel Woodrell's "Winter's Bone." I'm not sure I would go so far as to say that myself. The novel is set in the Missouri Ozarks and there is some mystery. I don't think it as as tantalizing of a read as Flynn's novel (perhaps because it lacks the twists and turns of her dark storytelling) and it felt a bit like a cleaned up version of the backwoods world created by Woodrell.

But all-in-all, I think McHugh did a good job and has some great potential as a novelist. I look forward to her future books.

m
Microbes
Dec 10, 2014

I thought this book was very well-written, and I do hope she'll write more. I found the characters well described; some were appealing, and others, not.

Microbes

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at BPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top