Title: The Weight of Blood
Author: Laura McHugh
Publication Year: 2014
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Date Started: Jan. 23, 2017
Date Finished: Jan. 27, 2017
Beverage of choice: Sweet tea with mint
After reading Arrowood by Laura McHugh last month, I was very excited to read her other work. The Weight of Blood was McHugh’s first novel, and was able to surprise me with a strikingly different story and pace than what I was expecting.
The Weight of Blood follows the story line of two young women, Lucy and Lila and is told from altering perspectives. Lila is a young orphan who travels to a small town in the Ozarks looking for work as she searches for what she wants out of life. Lucy, on the other hand, was born and raised in that same town, though is haunted by the mystery of her mother’s disappearance. Lucy’s mother, Lila (gasp!), was seen entering a cave with a gun when Lucy was a baby and never came back out. Each chapter fills in Lila’s story as Lucy searches for clues surrounding her friend’s disappearance and murder.
I really enjoyed this book. There were many twists and turns and the characters really came to life. I did struggle with the contrasting personalities that were exposed through both storylines, such as Lucy’s father. Each character was definitely better defined and developed within only one of the perspectives, which is regrettable. Nonetheless, this book kept my interest until the very end and presented a consistent and rapid pace from start to finish. I would think I had everyone’s fate figured out, just to be proven wrong time and again. I would, however, caution those that struggle reading about sexual assault.
When reading Arrowood, the setting and language in the book screams cold and miserable. The Weight of Blood is starkly different in that it takes place in the summer, and underlying everything is the feeling of hope. I think that is what I love both about having read the two books in rapid succession. They made me feel so different yet completely satisfied in both cases.
Overall, 4/5 moose