> Bless Their Hearts Mom: History Corner: The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
Thursday, April 3, 2014

History Corner: The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Random House Publishing, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

I put this book under History Corner, as it delves into the land of the Ozarks
and is based on a true life incident!

The Weight of Blood cover


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.


It's hard to believe this is McHugh's FIRST novel! It reads like it came from a veteran writer! The book presents us with a central issue and then brings in all sides of the stories to the reader, giving you a full sense of what exactly occurred and why. In many ways this is wonderful, but the constant change of narrator can be confusing and off-putting, making the book a bit of a slower read, if you have to go back and recheck something you read earlier. It is a gritty story, and some readers may be out off by the subject matter, but if you stay with it, it is a decent thriller.

About the Author:

Laura McHugh grew up in small towns in Iowa and southern Missouri. She holds degrees in English, computer science, and library & information science, and spent ten years working as a software developer. She started writing her first novel after being laid off while pregnant with her second child. Her short fiction has appeared in Confrontation and Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley. As a full-time mom, most of her time is spent doing laundry and playing My Little Pony, but she also likes to garden, sew, and watch zombie movies. McHugh lives in Columbia, Missouri, with her husband, two daughters, and dog.

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