The Weight Of Blood: A Novel

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The Weight Of Blood: A Novel

by Laura Mchugh

Random House Publishing Group | March 11, 2014 | Hardcover

The Weight Of Blood: A Novel is rated 4.3846 out of 5 by 13.
For fans of Gillian Flynn, Scott Smith, and Daniel Woodrell comes a gripping, suspenseful novel about two mysterious disappearances a generation apart.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BOOKPAGE

 
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
 
“[An] expertly crafted thriller.”Entertainment Weekly, “The Must List”
 
“Haunting . . . [a] riveting debut.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Laura McHugh’s atmospheric debut . . . conjures a menacingly beautiful Ozark setting and a nest of poisonous family secrets reminiscent of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone.”—Vogue
 
“Fantastic . . . a mile-a-minute thriller.”The Dallas Morning News
 
“Gripping . . . 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. . . . Strongly recommended for readers who enjoy thrillers by authors such as Laura Lippman and Tana French.”—Library Journal (starred review)
 
“The sinister tone builds relentlessly.”—The Plain Dealer
 
“Rich in character and atmosphere . . . This is one you won’t want to miss.”—Karin Slaughter
 
“Daniel Woodrell better watch his back. . . . Weight of Blood is a tense, taut novel and a truly remarkable debut. . . . A suspenseful thrill ride that satisfies in all the right ways.”BookPage

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9.53 × 6.32 × 1.11 in

Published: March 11, 2014

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0812995201

ISBN - 13: 9780812995206

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Weight of Blood. Liked this book.
Date published: 2014-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating The Weight of Blood starts off from the start very intriguing and continues that way until the end of the story. I couldn't put it down, just kept wanting to read more and more. Interesting way the story develops as you read what happens through the flipping back and forth of a mother and daughters' stories and what happened to them. I loved that it wasn't overly complicated so I could just sit back and read without feeling like I needed to take a break from reading it. That allowed me to enjoy MY time reading. Thank you.
Date published: 2014-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great 1st book Stayed up all night because I couldn't put it down. Good character development but sad and depressing parts as well. Fast paced book that flips between mother and daughter at two different times.
Date published: 2014-10-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from page turner This is a really well written book and definitely a great turn-pager summer read. The story flows well between the two main characters.
Date published: 2014-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! I received this book as a gift and wow what a great read! Picked it up, and didn't want to put it down. It's an easy read that keeps you wrapped in the characters. It's gripping and captivating. The book goes back and forth, from character to character through the chapters, showing their point of view. Great read, well written. Fantastic debut.
Date published: 2014-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A solid debut This book did have me reading right from the start and I did not want to put it down. That said, in many ways you could piece things together fairly easily and predict parts and endings but in other cases, you were a bit shocked at what was happening. It is a very fast and simple read that I had done within a weekend. It would have been helpful if that book included time dates along with just names as I was at first slightly confused as to who was who at what point but that was quickly rectified. It is not going to be a forever favourite but definitely a worthwhile read that I had for this summer that I will suggest others would enjoy for a quick read that keeps you wanting to find out what will happen.
Date published: 2014-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Weight of Blood is Heavy! Great debut novel. Very gritty, dark and suspenseful. I picked it up because of all the reviews and comparisons to GIllian Flynn and Daniel Woodrell and it did not disappoint. This book really speaks to the bond of family (ergo the title) and how far we will go to protect them. I love how the novel went back and forth from Lucy's point of view and then her mom's (Lila's). And then, randomly, there would be a chapter told from another character's POV just to drive home certain little aspects of the story. The Ozark community is a fascinating landscape in in exclusivity and it's protection of it's people.
Date published: 2014-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling I came across this book at the Coles bookstore, and reading the dust jacket it seemed really intriguing. After Heather names it as one of her "guaranteed reads" I bought it, and I was not disappointed. This is the first novel from this author and she definitely has a winner. The story is a coming of age mystery with old secrets and lies, all told mostly by the 2 main characters. The author has a very superb way of telling a tale and weaving the reader into the plot deeper and deeper. This a very good book with current themes and I would definitely read her next novel.
Date published: 2014-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Emotion Gripping Novel I don`t usually read fiction or write reviews- which makes this book so much more special. From the first page, it is an earth shattering, beautifully written story about Lucy and her endeavor to do the right thing- even when the results could be dire to herself and those around her. This book makes you sit at the edge of your seat, guessing what happens next, with the most eloquent linguistics to describe the tale. Told in the perspective of Lucy and her mother Lila, as well as other characters, you truly come to believe you are one of them. Amazing novel. Cannot wait until Laura McHugh publishes a next novel.
Date published: 2014-06-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Weight of Blood The Weight of Blood is a good book with compelling characters that make you feel for them. It is worth a read.
Date published: 2014-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Weight of Blood....great story! I really enjoyed this book. It took me to a different time and place and was so easy to read. The story takes place in the Ozark mountains and the people became very real to me. I could picture them as characters in a movie. The story is about a mother and daughter torn apart by unfortunate situations in the mothers life. It revolves around the daughter's search for her mother and why she left. There are many local characters in this book that bring the whole whole story to life. I definitely recommend it!
Date published: 2014-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Debut Novel!! MY REVIEW: Random House Publishing Group|March 11, 2014|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-8129-9520-6 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 body, 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 one we love. Lucy, Lila, Crete, Carl, Daniel and Birdie are six of the main characters that you won't soon forget. This book had me pulled in from the first page right through until the last. For a debut novel it was an exceptional read and one I'll be highly recommending. I couldn't put it down and it didn't want it to end. I wish the author had continued on for a few more chapters at the end as there were a few items I would have liked to see resolved but I suppose I can make up my own version of how those things resolved themselves. Excellent read!!!
Date published: 2014-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great debut Laura McHugh is garnering lots of attention with her debut novel, The Weight of Blood. (And it's all good!) Seventeen year old Lucy Dane was born in the Ozark mountain town of Henbane, but has never been fully accepted by the community. Although her father is a native son, her mother Lila was an outsider, with rumours and suspicions constantly being whispered about her. Lucy doesn't remember her - she disappeared when she was a toddler. Other people have disappeared from Henbane as well - including a friend of Lucy. Lucy wants answers - about her mother and her friend. And so she begins nosing about.....perhaps not the wisest choice in a town full of secrets - and secret keepers. As a reader, we know much more. In part one, McHugh cuts the narrative between Lucy's present day search for answers and Lila's arrival and life in Henbane. Although a generation apart, Lila and Lucy's stories seem to mirror each other. Other voices are introduced in the next two parts, bring a different perspective and shedding further light on both the past and present. McHugh does a great job in setting the tone of the novel. Details and descriptions of everyday life, the locale, the customs and the mood of the town and its inhabitants are richly drawn. I had vivid pictures of Lucy and Lila sitting on the same front porch. Of the two main characters, I found myself most drawn to Lila, perhaps because I wanted things to be better for her. Lucy makes some rash choices that had me thinking 'oh no!' more than once. But, I did want her to find answers. Both for herself and me. I had a fairly clear idea of where things were going to end, but the journey there was a very good read. Tension filled and a page turner. A few of the supporting cast of characters were a wee bit cliched. But, the reader has no trouble discerning who is 'good' and who is 'bad'. Or do they? For the lines are blurred in The Weight of Blood. Where does loyalty lie? "You grow up feeling the weight of blood, of family. There's no forsaking kin." I thought McHugh's choice of the name Henbane for the town was somewhat revealing.. Henbane is 'a coarse and poisonous plant of the nightshade family, with sticky hairy leaves and an unpleasant smell.' The case of Lucy's missing friend is based on a horrifying true event. I reviewed a book last month that fell into a newly (to me) coined genre - grit lit. The Weight of Blood has a distinctly Southern Gothic feel to it, but I would also tag it as grit lit. Dark, dangerous and grittily atmospheric. The Weight of Blood is an excellent debut and has marked McHugh as an author I'll be watching. Her second novel Arrowood is in the works.
Date published: 2014-04-07

– More About This Product –

The Weight Of Blood: A Novel

by Laura Mchugh

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9.53 × 6.32 × 1.11 in

Published: March 11, 2014

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0812995201

ISBN - 13: 9780812995206

Read from the Book

Chapter 1 Lucy That Cheri Stoddard was found at all was the thing that set people on edge, even more so than the condition of her body. One Saturday in March, fog crept through the river valley and froze overnight. The morning sun crackled over a ghostly landscape across the road from my uncle’s general store, the burr oaks that leaned out over the banks of the North Fork River crystallized with a thick crust of hoarfrost. The tree nearest the road was dead, half-hollow, and it leaned farther than the rest, balanced at a precarious angle above the water. A trio of vultures roosted in the branches, according to Buddy Snell, a photographer for the Ozark County Record. Buddy snapped pictures of the tree, the stark contrast of black birds on white branches, for lack of anything better to print on the front page of the paper. It was eerie, he said. Haunting, almost. He moved closer, kneeling at the water’s edge to get a more interesting angle, and that was when he spied the long brown braid drifting in the shallows, barely visible among the stones. Then he saw Cheri’s head, snagged on a piece of driftwood: her freckled face, abbreviated nose, eyes spaced too wide to be pretty. Stuffed into the hollow of the tree were the rest of Cheri’s pieces, her skin etched with burns and amateur tattoos. Her flesh was unmarked when she disappeared, and I wondered if those new scars could explain what had happened to her, if they formed a cryptic map of the time she&rsqu
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From the Publisher

For fans of Gillian Flynn, Scott Smith, and Daniel Woodrell comes a gripping, suspenseful novel about two mysterious disappearances a generation apart.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BOOKPAGE

 
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
 
“[An] expertly crafted thriller.”—Entertainment Weekly, “The Must List”
 
“Haunting . . . [a] riveting debut.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Laura McHugh’s atmospheric debut . . . conjures a menacingly beautiful Ozark setting and a nest of poisonous family secrets reminiscent of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone.”—Vogue
 
“Fantastic . . . a mile-a-minute thriller.”—The Dallas Morning News
 
“Gripping . . . 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. . . . Strongly recommended for readers who enjoy thrillers by authors such as Laura Lippman and Tana French.”—Library Journal (starred review)
 
“The sinister tone builds relentlessly.”—The Plain Dealer
 
“Rich in character and atmosphere . . . This is one you won’t want to miss.”—Karin Slaughter
 
“Daniel Woodrell better watch his back. . . . Weight of Blood is a tense, taut novel and a truly remarkable debut. . . . A suspenseful thrill ride that satisfies in all the right ways.”—BookPage

About the Author

Laura McHugh lives in Columbia, Missouri, with her husband and children. The Weight of Blood is her first novel.

Editorial Reviews

“[An] expertly crafted thriller.” — Entertainment Weekly, “The Must List” “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. . . . [A] powerful sense of place is the anchor of The Weight of Blood . The well-drawn townspeople and oppressive, dread-soaked atmosphere sprout from the soil of Henbane. . . . The prose is strong, with evocative paint strokes in all the right places. McHugh is an artful, efficient writer who tells her story in vicious blows. . . . McHugh has crafted a sharp, haunting tale of blood in the Ozarks, as substantial as it is pleasurable to read.” — Los Angeles Times “Laura McHugh’s atmospheric debut, The Weight of Blood . . . conjures a menacingly beautiful Ozark setting and a nest of poisonous family secrets reminiscent of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone .” — Vogue “Fantastic . . . a mile-a-minute thriller.” — The Dallas Morning News “Gripping . . . 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. . . . Strongly recommended for readers who enjoy thrillers by authors such as Laura Lippman and Tana French.” —Library Journal (starred review) “The sinister tone builds relentlessl
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