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The Weight of Blood Audiobook

The Weight of Blood: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

"[A] suspenseful novel, with a barn burner of a plot…. McHugh shows herself to be a compelling writer intimately familiar with rural poverty and small-town weirdness." (Booklist)

Publisher's Summary

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

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.

©2014 Laura McHugh (P)2014 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"In this clever, multilayered debut, McHugh deftly explores the past of an Ozark Mountain family… with plenty to hide and the ruthlessness to keep their secrets hidden…. This is an outstanding first novel, replete with suspense, crisp dialogue, and vivid Ozarks color and atmosphere." (Publishers Weekly)

"Debut novelist McHugh comes out swinging with this gripping tale set in the Ozarks of Missouri…. 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 in Henbane." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (884 )
5 star
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3.9 (785 )
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4.2 (788 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ida 08-09-15
    Ida 08-09-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Family Dynamics"
    Where does The Weight of Blood rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoy the coming of age stories where young people find out about their heritage or family secrets. This one is pretty typical of these types of stories with some variations or differences.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    It was interesting, but predictable. To say that it kept me on the edge of my seat would be an exaggeration. Initially, it was confusing to switch between the two main characters.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I enjoy hearing their audible interpretation of the characters.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction. Perhaps, some disgust, but not an extreme reaction.


    Any additional comments?

    Great listen while I was packing my house to move.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Schuster Highlands Ranch, CO USA 10-23-14
    Jeff Schuster Highlands Ranch, CO USA 10-23-14
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    "Not What I Expected"

    I had just listened to Sycamore Row by John Grisham and thought that this would be a similarly suspenseful novel. I was disappointed. At first I was confused between the two characters of Lila (mom) and Lucy (daughter). The author may have helped by picking two names that were not so similar. The story is being told with two different time frames in parallel. I was also disappointed with the ending although I cannot give it away. There was not one character that I felt was an actual hero in this story. They all just lacked a certain degree of backbone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane 07-16-14
    Diane 07-16-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "YA Novel with grown up pretensions"
    What disappointed you about The Weight of Blood?

    At first I was drawn into the story; however, it quickly developed into a YA novel with grownup crimes. The teenage romance was boring. I felt as if I was reading Nancy Drew discovers sex crimes. Also, I found it hard to detemine the time frame of the actions: when was Lila the victim; when is Lucy a teenager? The ending was very deus ex machina - a tornado which blows away all the loose ends. I would not recommend this to any of my reading group.


    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    The persistent little girl voice that seem to dominate all the characters.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I think the author has talent. However, this book was marketed as a mystery/thriller/gothic and I just got young adult / teenage angst.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MrsT 03-28-14
    MrsT 03-28-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is set in my neck of the woods"
    What did you love best about The Weight of Blood?

    I loved most that I grew up and still live in this area, recognizing and feeling a part of the places mentioned in this book


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author pulled me into the story, it was authentic for this area. Her descriptions were so well done I could see the characters, their faces, their mannerisms.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator was distinctive, easily understood, and spoke with the correct accents or in my way of thinking - no accent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I practically did. I listened until bedtime, forgoing TV and was back listening first thing in the morning.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope this author write more books, hopefully set in the same location. I can assure you I will buy and listen to them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim N Chicago, IL 03-24-14
    Jim N Chicago, IL 03-24-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Powerful Mystery"

    This well-narrated novel about a girl not only coming of age but coming to grips with the mystery of her lost mother's disappearance and the more recent death of a friend is alive with the local color of the Ozarks. The reader not only feels the weight of family ties alluded to in the novel's title but also the intimate connections the people who dwell in a small, rural community. Laura McHugh's debut is an excellent read and I won't be surprised if it's up for an Audie award at the end of the year. I'm glad I took a chance on this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elkay 03-15-14
    Elkay 03-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intriguing"

    This story is fascinating and suspenseful, and I enjoyed it, but the end left me feeling a little unsatisfied. The plot resolves about 3/4 of the way through, but it takes a while to realize, "Oh, that's it then." The last quarter feels like another major revelation should occur - instead, things simply wind down and the book ends.

    This is still a good read, with well-drawn characters, a compelling plot, and lovely writing. Happy I took a chance on this.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Tuscaloosa, AL, United States 03-18-14
    Linda Tuscaloosa, AL, United States 03-18-14 Member Since 2012

    Nurse, mom, loved to read....but now I love to listen. When I retire I hope to hear waves crashing in 1 ear and audible in the other!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just WOW......."

    I tried to come up with an eyecatching headline but this book has so much it wouldn't fit. First the story, intense and thrilling, it gave me palpitations. Second, the writing, beautiful, descriptive and melodic, I can picture every tree, clapboard on the old houses, gardens and dark areas that I won't give away. Lastly, the narration, primarily told by mother and daughter, I didn't realize this until midway through part one. I already love Sofia Willingham and the others did a great job too. This is the first book in a long time I wanted to relisten to immediately upon finishing it. I highly recommend.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anne RICHMOND, CA, United States 07-24-14
    anne RICHMOND, CA, United States 07-24-14 Member Since 2011

    Artist, publisher/editor

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    "Hoped for southern gothic got Nancy Drew instead"

    I listend to it all the way through so it kept me in my seat painting hours which is what I needed to accomplish but the description had me hoping for more of a Southern Gothic flavor with the Ozarks and the dark family history. The ingredients were all there: the characters, the setting, the backstories... but it's not in the writing. I didn't feel any sense of atmosphere or dread. I Wasn't looking for horror but I can't explain without sounding like a pretentious jerk. It just didn't feel as 'dark' as I was hoping for considering the selling points in the description and title.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Louisville, KY, United States 05-04-14
    Jennifer Louisville, KY, United States 05-04-14
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    "Enjoyble read!"
    Would you listen to The Weight of Blood again? Why?

    Yes! I finished QUICK because once I got about halfway through, I couldn't put it down!!!


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Long 12-30-16
    Lori Long 12-30-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A page turning mystery..."

    A good story with deeply embedded characters. The narrators (all of them) did a beautiful job of personalizing each character and the transition from one character to the next was perfectly timed. The story flowed quickly without getting bogged down and the writing style was easy to listen to. The only down side...the ending was a little abrupt. I wanted more flourish!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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