Tuesday, March 4, 2014
THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD: A NOVEL (2014)
The Weight of Blood: A Novel by Laura McHugh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the small Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, Missouri, outsiders are perceived with great distrust. The safety of everyday life seems to be maintained by ignoring the secrets everyone carries unshared.
The suspense begins with the first sentence: "That Cheri Stoddard was found at all was the thing that set people on edge, even more so than the condition of her body."
Lucy is appalled that no one questioned what had happened to her friend Cheri who was missing for a year before her body showed up. Feeling guilty that she too left questions unasked, Lucy begins to wonder what happened during that missing year.
Lucy's quest expands to include others who have disappeared in the past. One was her Mother.
Will her questions bring the answers she longs for or will the truth be more than she can stand?
Laura McHugh has a light touch with a gruesome subject. She knows just how far to go without alienating the reader. There is doubt and uncertainty about what might be true. Adding to the suspense the author weaves first person account's of Lucy's story in the present day with her mother's tale twenty years earlier.
As Lucy uncovers more and more secrets, other character's narratives are shared, until all the pieces are revealed. It's a complicated form but McHugh pulls it off brilliantly.
Partly a coming of age story, partly suspense, partly about what family and friendship means, Laurie McHugh writes a great story in a setting she knows and writes about beautifully.
Bottom Line: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title: The Weight of Blood: A Novel
Author: Laurie McHugh
Genre: Suspense, mystery
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
No. of Pages: 320 pages
Copyright: March 11, 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
DISCLOSURE: Invited by NetGalley to request and receive this title for an honest review.
Laura McHugh's debut novel will be published March 11, 2014. It is based on a true crime that took place in Missouri where she lives with her husband, children, and large furry dog. She is currently at work on her second novel.