|I received an advance copy of The Weight of Blood for review purposes by Random House and 20sb.net and was compensated for my review. However, all opinions are mine.|
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.
By the first page I was hooked. McHugh does a great job setting the town for the city of Henbane-a town filled with secrets, superstitions, and unwelcoming citizens. I know how it is to have a friend that couldn't be there for, so I understood Lucy's guilt and pain when Cheri's body was discovered. Lucy also uncovers some very dark secrets about the townspeople-and even her own family- that really shocked me. There are a lot of shocking revelations in this story that I would have never expected to happen in such a small town.
The story is told in multiple point of views. The two main narrators are Lucy, the voice of the present, and her mother Lila, the voice of the past. I liked this setup, because I was able to get the full story of what happened to the women in Henbane, helping fill any gaps that may have come up. Later in the third part of the book, more characters take over the narrative. Although each is introduced when they take over the narrative, it was hard to figure out whether or not they were speaking from the past or the present. I felt as if some of the conclusions that the characters had where made out of the blue. The ending didn't satisfy me as I thought it would either. It wrapped a bit too quickly, and I feel as if I was not given a reliable explanation to what really happened to Lila.
All in all, I give this book a 4/5. The story was great, and it makes me think twice before trusting my neighbors. However, it was the ending to the story that really didn't satisfy me. This is a great debut by Laura McHugh and I can't wait to see what she gives us next. You can grab your copy of the Weight of Blood when it hits bookstores across the nation March 11th. Until then, learn more about the book and author by checking out The Weight of Blood website or visiting McHugh's Facebook page.
In celebration of The Weight of Blood's release, Random House will be sending one lucky reader a free copy of the book in a giveaway. This giveaway is only open to readers in the US (sorry guys!) All you have to do is enter the giveaway below through Rafflecopter. Good luck!