This month, we dove into The Weight of Blood, debut novel from Missouri-native Laura McHugh. While the book won’t be on shelves until March 11, start planning your menu with the help of our Sip & Flip Party Menu. And feel free to save the date for your gathering just a few days after the book release—we guarantee, you and your club won’t be able to put it down. Here, we share a brief discussion guide that will still leave plenty of time for mingling—we all know that’s the best part!
Five Question Reading Guide
1. The novel alternates between narrators, giving us many of the characters’ perspectives but mostly going back and forth between Lila and Lucy. Did you find this multiple-voice narrative effective? Could the story have been told successfully in one voice?
2. How do you interpret the relationship between Crete and Carl? Carl consistently turns a blind eye toward Crete’s questionable behavior. Do you think this is a weakness of Carl’s character, or do you believe that Carl is rightly loyal to his brother? If you were Carl, how would you have handled your relationship with Crete?
3. Lucy carries around Cheri’s necklace throughout the novel, a broken blue butterfly, until she leaves it with the flowers in the cave. Discuss the significance of the necklace.
4. Discuss the book’s title, The Weight of Blood. Ultimately, what does the novel have to say about “blood,” and the meaning of family? Did your interpretation of the title evolve from the beginning to the end of the novel? If so, how?
5. At the end of the novel Lucy says that she is “done waiting for ghosts.” Do you think she will be able to walk away from her “ghosts” forever? Discuss whether or not you think it’s possible to truly put away the past.
Share with us! What’s your favorite set-in-the-South book?