Published: March 2014
Page count: 302
"You Grow up feeling the weight of blood, family. There's no forsaking kin"
The weight of blood takes us deep into the Ozark community. Where everyone is related through blood, marriage or friendships that span generations.
"Most of the families who inhabit the small mountain towns have lived there for generations, and they are not always welcoming to outsiders. Blood bonds and loyalties weigh heavily, with the laws of kin held in highest regard. The culture is also rich with folk wisdom and home remedies and a deep knowledge of the land."
The weight of blood is narrated through multiple voices and spans generations like the people themselves. We hear mostly from Lila and then from her daughter Lucy. Both there stories are told from different times but both are effected by the men around them regardless of the passage of time.
Carol and Crete are brothers who have lived there entire lives in the small knit town. On the surface the seem as different as chalk and cheese but beneath they really are the same. Both are willing to turn a blind eye to unspeakable acts if it means keeping the others out of trouble.
“...my mom always telling me that a man with clean nails hides his dirt on the inside.”
For Lucy this means a lifetime of never knowing who her mother was or why she suddenly disappeared, why she always feels like an outsider and why everyone seems to know something she doesn't. She's tough though. She is determined to find out what happened to her friend Cheri and to her mother.
The story hops back and forth between the two women. I really grew to like Lila. As an orphan she had no choice but to deal with the hands dealt to her in life.
Lucy on the other hand, I found a little empty and soulless. As hell bent as she is on uncovering the towns secrets she doesn't seem too affected by it all when the truth is finally uncovered.
At times I felt the book got a little bogged down in it's own detail but the underlying sense of mystery was always there and kept me turning pages.
With The weight of Blood Laura McHugh brings a fresh voice to the grit lit genre.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆