The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Weight of Blood: A Novel by Laura McHugh

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHughPublisher:  Spiegel & Grau
Expected Release Date:  March 11, 2014
Pages:  320

Book Description:  For fans of Gillian Flynn and Daniel Woodrell, a dark, gripping debut novel of literary suspense about two mysterious disappearances, a generation apart, and the meaning of family-the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

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.

Wanda's Thoughts:  A story told in alternating chapters, The Weight of Blood takes place in Henbane, a small town in the Ozarks. The usage of the vernacular makes the story realistic and there are various scenes in the book that I found to be deeply moving. The author manages to weave many elements into the storyline that is filled with deception, lies, and dark family secrets. 

And the story unfolds with a mystery, human trafficking, loss, betrayal, and so much more. Unfortunately, this was not my genre - it took a lot of willpower for me to keep reading. The storyline takes a lot of concentration with the multi-layered storyline. It felt disjointed, with so many characters, that at times I was confused. I was rather disappointed with the weak ending - not a satisfying conclusion, with a few loose ends still dangling. Although the book has some good qualities, it just wasn't for me, and not one I'd enthusiastically recommend. 3 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Laura McHughThe Author -  Facebook author page: Laura McHugh

Laura McHugh's debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD, will be published March 11th, 2014. 

McHugh lives in Missouri with her husband, children, and large furry dog. She is currently at work on her second novel.