The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh- A Review

I have to admit, of late I’ve been in a weird book lull. It happens every few weeks and we always push through, but it takes a special book to get us back into the reading zone. Laura McHugh’s “The Weight of Blood,” was a much needed jolt to the system after several blah books.

18209468Set in the Ozark Mountains, The Weight of Blood follows the teenaged Lucy Dane during one long high-school summer as she seeks answers about the disappearance of her mother and the murder of a classmate. The landscape upon which the story unfolds is beautifully rich and atmospheric, and the characters fit into the backdrop seamlessly. McHugh also treats the reader to chapter-long snippets told from varying perspectives, which nicely contribute to the plot’s crescendo and eventual resolution.

The blurb for this book, which comes out in March 2014, recommends this book for fans of Gillian Flynn, and I have to agree with their suggestion (NB: Publishers, please please please please stop labeling books as the next “Gone Girl”). “The Weight of Blood” is by no means a feel good, Jodi Piccoult-esque novel; it is dark and the content is heavy in places. Violence is an underlying theme, and it subtly finds its way into the lives of almost every character.

A solid read for a cold, snowy weekend, I definitely think it’s better for fall/winter than summer, “The Weight of Blood” is a well-written (yet somewhat bleak) book that does not disappoint.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Availability: Pre-order on, releases March 11th 2014

xo The Book Bird

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review by the publisher.

4 thoughts on “The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh- A Review

  1. I’m not a big fan of the bleak but your review of the novel is on point–crisp and pithy, giving the reader everything he or she needs to make a decision. I’m working on pithiness when I write reviews for books that I’ve read.

    PS: It’s good to free your mind from a blah book with a novel that totally brings it.

    James Fant

  2. Goodreads blurb also compares this book to Daniel Woodrell, who also writes books set in the Ozarks. I loved his book Winter’s Bone and so that is the comparison that makes me want to read the book and also that your review makes it seem like Weight of Blood may have some common traits with Winter’s Bone. I haven’t read Gone Girl and don’t plan to (someone compared Flynn’s book to Tana French’s In the Woods which I didn’t like, and I’ve kind of written it off since then.)

    • Hi Christy! Thanks for stopping by the blog! I haven’t read Winter’s Bone but it sounds like they have a lot in common. I’ve read both Gone Girl and In the Woods and I’m surprised that someone would say the two are similar. While I love Tana French, I would rank Gone Girl higher on my list of favorites than In the Woods, definitely worth checking out at a library/borrowing from a friend 🙂

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