The Weight of Lies
In this gripping, atmospheric family drama, a young woman investigates the forty­-year­-old murder that inspired her mother’s bestselling novel, and uncovers devastating truths—and dangerous lies.Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir.Digging into the past—and her mother’s cult classic—draws Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia, and an unusual woman said to be the inspiration for the book. At first island life seems idyllic, but as Meg starts to ask tough questions, disturbing revelations come to light…including some about her mother.Soon Meg’s search leads her to question the facts of a decades-old murder. She’s warned to leave it alone, but as the lies pile up, Meg knows she’s getting close to finding a murderer. When her own life is threatened, Meg realizes the darkness found in her mother’s book is nothing compared to the chilling truth that lurks off the page.

The Weight of Lies Details

TitleThe Weight of Lies
Author
FormatKindle Edition
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 6th, 2017
PublisherLake Union Publishing
Number of pages382 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Suspense

The Weight of Lies Review

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    November 8, 2016
    Now available for request on NetGalley!Oh, excuse me. I was busy staring at that gorgeous cover. I've actually been eyeballing that cover ever since we posted the reveal on this blog a few months back; it's what initially drew me into wanting to read the book. This is most certainly a book you can judge by the cover because it's brilliant! Be prepared for a gushing, swooning, fangirling review of the most exciting sense. This was a very structured, complex book, so I'm going to break it down bel Now available for request on NetGalley!Oh, excuse me. I was busy staring at that gorgeous cover. I've actually been eyeballing that cover ever since we posted the reveal on this blog a few months back; it's what initially drew me into wanting to read the book. This is most certainly a book you can judge by the cover because it's brilliant! Be prepared for a gushing, swooning, fangirling review of the most exciting sense. This was a very structured, complex book, so I'm going to break it down below for you, spoiler free of course. If you choose not to read the full review, just note that this book comes highly recommended from me and is in the running for one of my top reads of 2017!First let's touch on the plot. Yes, I know, I hardly ever discuss the plot points of the stories I review, but this one needs a small discussion to prepare the reader for what they are in for, a large dose of exciting and unique storytelling. If you read the blurb above then you realize that the main plot involves protagonist Meg, daughter to mega superstar and horror writer Frances Ashley (think fame level of Stephen King but hyped up a bit more). Bonus points as our main character is a person of color and issues of racism/sexism are incorporated into the plot, so this is no sugar coated "white person saves the day" ordeal. *hand clap* The main plot in it's most basic sense involves Meg trying to uncover secrets about her mother and the book she wrote in relation to real life crimes that occurred at the "real life" hotel that is a setting in her book. Still with me? Great. Next comes the alternating chapters; these are excerpts from Frances Ashley's book titled Kitten and correspond with the main plot chapters in a way that you'll pick up on as you read the book. While we're on the subject of Kitten, I must say that I found myself so intrigued in this inception like book-within-a-book ordeal that I feel a companion novel of the entire Kitten story would be something I'd devour in an instant. Yes, most of the mystery is revealed in The Weight of Lies: A Novel, but I think it would be a mind blowing read even knowing what I already know about the book. To sum it up, these two components, along with a handful of blog posts from fan sites, are what comprise TWOL. I know it sounds confusing, but I promise as you read it makes complete sense and flows well.This was a wonderfully diverse book that touched on a good bit of tough issues that are comprised in a fictional account, yet examples of real world problems we currently face. Much of the story focuses on various Native American tribes and the atrocities that were committed against them and what was stolen from them. I absolutely love how Emily has written a story that slaps you in the face with reality; here you will not find hand holding and you must check your white privilege at the door, yet on the flip side there is also not a sense of white shaming here. This was simply a story stating how things are without apology and I find it encouraging. It is always refreshing for me to read about the struggles faced by people of different backgrounds and races than my own; I think it's important to be consistently reminded that, while I didn't have a say in my DNA, I can choose to use my voice to make other's heard.The thing that stood out most to me in regards to the plot is it's simultaneous complexity and compulsiveness. There are quite literally no words I have to describe what I just read; I simply want to hand a book to all fans of psychological suspense and say "Read this so we can talk about it and use all the words I can't in my spoiler free review". I've not read a book anywhere close to this before; it has the creepy vibe and unique formatting of Night Film, the in depth characterization of a Gillian Flynn novel, all while somehow seeming more intelligent than either of those with a flare of it's own pizazz. You caught me, I've been waiting to use the word pizazz for months now in a review. My point is, this book gives you the satiety of a book that is layered with robust characters and a growing sense of dread all while having the quick pace and laid back air of a book that isn't pretentious or pompous. I flew through the pages, and when I wasn't reading the book I was thinking about it, donning my detective cap and trying to solve multiple mysteries at once. I may have contemplated using our basement as one of those crime scene rooms at the police station with all the pictures on the wall and red yarn. Mr. Humphrey said no. :( I think I've rambled long enough, but my main point is READ THE DANG BOOK! I know, it doesn't come out for a few months, but pre-order it! This is one that is worth purchasing, trust me. I can't sing praises highly enough for this novel; I truly loved Carpenter's Burying the Honeysuckle Girls last year and was so pleased to have found that her books just get better (if that's possible) with each one she writes. My brain can't comprehend how she kept everything straight to formulate the structure for this book, but let's just say I'm glad it was her and not me. I truly didn't have the ending figured out and was very pleased with the entire plot, beginning to end. Well done and I'm so excited to read more reviews on this one as it's let loose into the wild!*Many thanks to Emily for my early copy; it was a delight and a privilege to read it so early and I can't wait to see what your brilliant brain dreams up next! <3
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  • Meredith
    May 4, 2017
    The Weight of Lies is a gripping mystery/suspense about a wronged daughter determined to investigate the truth behind her mother’s “success.” Meg Ashley, daughter of famous horror novelist Frances Ashley, has a tumultuous relationship with her mother. While her mother is happy to play up their relationship for the camera, their relationship behind closed doors is close to nonexistent.After three years of not speaking,Meg returns home and gets lured into a revenge plot: She can sell the story o The Weight of Lies is a gripping mystery/suspense about a wronged daughter determined to investigate the truth behind her mother’s “success.” Meg Ashley, daughter of famous horror novelist Frances Ashley, has a tumultuous relationship with her mother. While her mother is happy to play up their relationship for the camera, their relationship behind closed doors is close to nonexistent.After three years of not speaking,Meg returns home and gets lured into a revenge plot: She can sell the story of her troubled childhood,make lots of money, and rid herself of her mother in her life for good. In order to make this book as appealing as possible, Meg sets off to the coastal Georgia islands to investigate the child, now woman, who served as inspiration for her mother’s famous horror novel, Kitten.On Bonny island, Meg finally feels like she has found a home. She feels an instant connection with Doro, the inspiration for Kitten and Bonny island. As Meg finds herself growing closer to Doro, the truth behind her mother’s lies slowly start to come to light and Meg realizes that all is not all that she thought it to be. Meg’s life is put in danger, and she must decide whether or not to trust Frances.There’s a lot going on in The Weight of Lies . In addition to the mother/daughter drama and the mystery behind Kitten, there’s also romance, and a lot of Native American mythology. At times, there’s almost too much going on. However, I couldn’t put this book down!! The creepy atmosphere of Bonny Island adds a layer of creepiness. I loved trying to solve the mystery behind Kitten. The ending is jam packed and wrapped up a little too neatly. Overall, I would definitely recommend.I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Amy
    May 22, 2017
    All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.comI found another gem of a book that y’all need to add to your summer reading lists ASAP! This was such a compelling read, I simply devoured it and it could be the ultimate definition of a page turner. It has a totally unique and fascinating premise, characters that ranged from the relatable to the odd and scary, and a stunning atmosphere that was creepy and gorgeous at the same time. Don’t forget a crazy, multilayered mystery that goes back for All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.comI found another gem of a book that y’all need to add to your summer reading lists ASAP! This was such a compelling read, I simply devoured it and it could be the ultimate definition of a page turner. It has a totally unique and fascinating premise, characters that ranged from the relatable to the odd and scary, and a stunning atmosphere that was creepy and gorgeous at the same time. Don’t forget a crazy, multilayered mystery that goes back forty years and a hint of romance, what more could you want?!This was a book within a book, what I like to call bookception, don’t be hesitant and assume it’s confusing because it’s not at all. Meg is the daughter of a super famous author best known for her cult classic, Kitten. It’s a classic seventies horror novel (think Carrie) and has a huge fan base. The formatting was genius and really gripped me, in between each chapter from Meg in present day you get excerpts from Kitten as well. I loved the kitschy vibe of these sections and if Mrs. Carpenter could go ahead and make Kitten a full length novel that would be great! The similarities between Kitten and what was actually happening in Meg’s life were eerie and awesome. The atmosphere had me completely absorbed, Meg travels to the hotel Kitten was based on and it’s now a ramshackle pit with only a handful of people working there. It was simultaneously spooky and beautiful and I fell right down the rabbit hole alongside Meg as she tried to untangle a massive web of lies her mother wove. Doro is the hotels owner and part of the inspiration behind the book and was such a complex and interesting character as well. This was a total binge read despite the complicated structure, it made me turn the pages faster as I grew desperate to know not only what Meg would uncover but also how Kitten ended. I’m blown away by how flawlessly Carpenter plotted this, it’s truly impressive. There is a lot of diversity here as the island has ties to Native American history which was a totally appreciated addition by me. I think it’s safe to say that Carpenter is the queen of Souther Gothic fiction, this book was a marvel.
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  • Sarah Joint
    May 30, 2017
    When I started this story, I didn't like the main character. It's due to the skill of the writer that she can make a character I have nothing in common with and initially found irritating into someone who was likeable and relatable. I was getting the "poor little rich girl" vibe at first. She claims to be estranged from her mother, but lives off her money and continues to enjoy a cushy lifestyle. She wouldn't have that without Frances Ashley... famous author and celebrity. Skilled in weaving a t When I started this story, I didn't like the main character. It's due to the skill of the writer that she can make a character I have nothing in common with and initially found irritating into someone who was likeable and relatable. I was getting the "poor little rich girl" vibe at first. She claims to be estranged from her mother, but lives off her money and continues to enjoy a cushy lifestyle. She wouldn't have that without Frances Ashley... famous author and celebrity. Skilled in weaving a tale, Frances lacks that mothering instinct and Meg has always felt it. Their relationship has been tremulous to say the least, and after a final blow-out, they haven't spoken in years. Until Meg receives her usual invitation to her mother's birthday party. Planning to ignore it, an added note gives her pause: Edgar, her mother's agent and the only person Meg considers family, isn't well. She rushes to be by his side and see her mother, but Frances isn't there. Spurned by her mother yet again, this is the straw that breaks the camel's back. She accepts a proposal to write her version of Mommie Dearest, a tell-all about her famous mother and her various issues. That won't be all of the book, however. Her mother's most famous book, Kitten, is nearing it's 40th anniversary. Still popular, it boasts many devoted fans. Rumors have swirled about the story of murder being based on truth for years, which has effected the lives of those thought to be characters in the book in major ways. The truth about Kitten and Frances Ashley is sure to be a bestseller... and with the help of others exposed by Frances, Meg is going to write it. Meg heads to an island where the former hotel Kitten takes place at sits, slowly crumbling. Closed to guests, only a few staff members and the owner is left behind. She's determined to get to the bottom of the story behind the book that made her mother a celebrity, but there may be people out there unwilling to let those secrets see the light of day. Some light romance, mostly suspense and family drama. Very enjoyable. If you figure out this book before the last third or so, I commend you because I had no idea where it was going. I found it extremely hard to put down. If it weren't for some niggles I had with the ending, it would be a five star read for me. As it is, it's a 4.5. My thanks to Net Galley and Lake Union Publishing for granting my wish to read an ARC of this novel! My opinion is honest and unbiased.
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  • Susan Peterson
    February 5, 2017
    The Weight of Lies is a spell-binding, heart-pounding story about a young woman who, after deciding to write a tell-all book about her famous mother, becomes embroiled in dark secrets, lies, and murder…Megan Ashley has lived a privileged life, the daughter of best-selling novelist Frances Ashley; but Meg has spent years being neglected and rejected by her mother. Digging into her mother’s past takes Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia, the setting for her mother’s most famous novel, Kitten, about the m The Weight of Lies is a spell-binding, heart-pounding story about a young woman who, after deciding to write a tell-all book about her famous mother, becomes embroiled in dark secrets, lies, and murder…Megan Ashley has lived a privileged life, the daughter of best-selling novelist Frances Ashley; but Meg has spent years being neglected and rejected by her mother. Digging into her mother’s past takes Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia, the setting for her mother’s most famous novel, Kitten, about the murder of a young girl; an island with a sordid history, and still home to Dorothy, who is the inspiration for the main character in the book. As Meg digs deeper into her mother’s past, she finds herself in danger, never knowing who to trust, who to believe, and who she should fear. The story takes us on a journey full of twists and turns, as Meg unravels the truth. A cast of characters so vivid, so dark, that even readers will be shocked when the truth is finally revealed! Intertwined with the story are scenes from the book, Kitten; as life imitates art, or is art imitating life?? This book is a whirlwind of emotions; at the heart is a story about a young woman seeking and searching for a mother’s love; and the chilling, dark reality of devastating truths. A truly riveting, compelling book. One of my favorite passages is this: "None of the good in life was purely so. None was untainted. It was all a mix. Dark and light." I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Chris Negron
    February 11, 2017
    Megan Ashley has never read Frances Ashley’s blockbuster novel KITTEN, but her entire life has nonetheless been affected by the fame it delivered to her mother’s feet. Largely neglected by globetrotting Frances, shuffled from nanny to nanny and sent away to far off schools, adult Meg is estranged from her mother when this clever mystery begins. When an opportunity to finally become truly independent by writing a book of her own is presented, Meg ends up on Bonny Island, Georgia, the original set Megan Ashley has never read Frances Ashley’s blockbuster novel KITTEN, but her entire life has nonetheless been affected by the fame it delivered to her mother’s feet. Largely neglected by globetrotting Frances, shuffled from nanny to nanny and sent away to far off schools, adult Meg is estranged from her mother when this clever mystery begins. When an opportunity to finally become truly independent by writing a book of her own is presented, Meg ends up on Bonny Island, Georgia, the original setting for her mother’s novel and a place where untold secrets seem to linger.THE WEIGHT OF LIES alternates between Meg’s time on the island and brilliantly focused, short excerpts from her mother’s original novel. Just when you think you might be able to put it down, even for a moment, one of those flashy, tension-filled KITTEN excerpts pulls you though into the next Meg chapter, and before you know it you’re still reading.Theories abound as the mystery deepens and unravels. The cast of suspicious characters make you worry for Meg. You feel the palpable suspense that comes with the dim awareness that danger lurks just around the corner for her, but you’re never sure what form it will take or who will be behind it. Filled with compelling writing delivered at a brisk pace, this novel will keep you guessing until the very end. Five stars.I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Deborah Blanchard
    March 17, 2017
    This book will grab onto you from the first chapter and never let go. This is a book that I will remember for a long time. It is part Southern Gothic and part murder mystery. It will take you a ride that you will not soon forget. Emily Carpenter has a way of weaving a story that is full of complexities and drama. She knows how to pull you into that story and keep you there. There are some very strange characters and you just will never know who is telling the truth and who is weaving lies. Megan This book will grab onto you from the first chapter and never let go. This is a book that I will remember for a long time. It is part Southern Gothic and part murder mystery. It will take you a ride that you will not soon forget. Emily Carpenter has a way of weaving a story that is full of complexities and drama. She knows how to pull you into that story and keep you there. There are some very strange characters and you just will never know who is telling the truth and who is weaving lies. Megan's mother had written a book 40 years ago called "Kitten" that was about a psychopathic little girl. The book is about to launch its anniversary and this is when Meg is approached to write a tell all book about her childhood with her mother, Frances, the author of Kitten. This book of her mother's is what made Meg want to tell her story of a mother who was famous and never there for her child. She goes to Bonny Island, Georgia to do research for her book and to find out more about her mother's book. I can't say more, you will just have to read the book. This story is so well crafted and I was simply enthralled from beginning to end . The characters are complex and richly developed. I felt as if I were involved in this story as I was so immersed in this book. It is absolutely mind blowing! I felt so filled with the suspense of it all. My mind was scrambling to figure out what the truth was and I was hooked. I love a good mystery and this is one of the best that I have ever read. The further I got into the book , the more I just had to know what the truth was. You will never in a million years guess the truth. You will be biting your nails and screaming in your head. This book is amazing! I can not even express the way this book made me feel. It took me on a roller coaster ride that is filled with twists and turns. You have to order this book. It is so, so good. I could go on and on about it, but you have to read it for yourself to understand. Hang on for the ride of your life!! I give this a zillion stars!! Best mystery ever!! Make sure to read her first book, " Burying The Honeysuckle Girls" for another great read. Great author, great plot, great book!!!
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  • Susan Johnson
    May 20, 2017
    3.5 stars A girl, Meg Ashley, investigates her past and tries to discredit her mother, a famous author. The mother wrote a novel about a murder on an island in Georgia and somehow it got popular in the sense of "To Kill A Mockingbird". I found this premise a little shaky. Anyway, the mother and daughter have a terrible relationship. Ashley investigates the original murder and meets people who have been changed by their contact with the famous book. She also discovers more than she wanted to kn 3.5 stars A girl, Meg Ashley, investigates her past and tries to discredit her mother, a famous author. The mother wrote a novel about a murder on an island in Georgia and somehow it got popular in the sense of "To Kill A Mockingbird". I found this premise a little shaky. Anyway, the mother and daughter have a terrible relationship. Ashley investigates the original murder and meets people who have been changed by their contact with the famous book. She also discovers more than she wanted to know about her past.Thanks to Net Galley and Lake Union Publishing for allowing me the opportunity to review the book.
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  • Judy Collins
    May 21, 2017
    Review to follow.
  • Annie ~ The Misstery
    May 30, 2017
    SO GOOD! Review coming soon!
  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    April 27, 2017
    To be reviewed!4.5 stars
  • Manon
    May 16, 2017
    I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Megan, 24, hasn’t seen her mother, Frances, in three years, they haven’t even communicated. See, her mother, a famous writer, has psychologically abused her for her entire life, so Megan did everything she could to escape. Until she rushes back to New York when her mother invites her to her birthday and tells her that Edgar, who’s an “uncle figure” to Megan, isn’t well. When she gets there, she learns that her mother cancelled I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Megan, 24, hasn’t seen her mother, Frances, in three years, they haven’t even communicated. See, her mother, a famous writer, has psychologically abused her for her entire life, so Megan did everything she could to escape. Until she rushes back to New York when her mother invites her to her birthday and tells her that Edgar, who’s an “uncle figure” to Megan, isn’t well. When she gets there, she learns that her mother cancelled the party and fled to California to get married. She is then made an offer she can’t refuse. Asa, Frances’s agent, asks her to write a book about her childhood and everything her mother ever did to her, but not only that. He wants Megan to inquire about the behinds of Frances’s first and most famous book, “Kitten”. Frances got the inspiration for it when she was just 19 and came to live on a remote island in Georgia. The story she tells is very close to events that actually happened at that time. She talks about the little girl who got murdered and every people in the hotel too. Except the murderer in the book isn’t the same as the one the police agreed on and ever since the book came out that girl, who was eight at the time and portrayed as a dangerous psychopath, has been stigmatized and harassed.Asa tells Megan that she too should have her revenge and tell her side of the story.So Megan goes to the island where secrets are deeply buried and how can she know who to trust and who’s lying?I truly enjoyed this story. I got attached to Megan and came to hate everyone standing in her way. Megan was a complex and deeply interesting character. The setting of the book was horrible in the best way and the suspense had me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. I basically read this in two sittings and once I truly got into the story, I couldn’t put it down. However, I felt like the story took some time to get started.I liked that every chapter started with an extract from “Kitten” but I have to admit, I mostly skimmed those because I wanted to know what was happening in the current timeline.The reason this book didn’t get 5 stars is because I was really disappointed by the ending. (view spoiler)[I mean I was so mad at Asa and Frances, I can’t believe they were so easily forgiven. (hide spoiler)]Also, about the ending, I guess I felt like it could have had a longer epilogue where we could have truly seen the aftermath of everything….
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  • Holly
    May 31, 2017
    Review to come.
  • Debra
    May 17, 2017
    There are family secrets and then there are family secrets....Megan Ashley has grown up living a very privileged life. Her Mother is a best selling "Horror" writer - think the female version of Stephen King. There is a lot of angst in their relationship. In public, her Mother, the famous Frances Ashley, is loving and present. They appear to be a happy Mother-Daughter duo. In Private, there is a cold distance, manipulation, secrets, and isolation. Meg is not happy that she was constantly shipped There are family secrets and then there are family secrets....Megan Ashley has grown up living a very privileged life. Her Mother is a best selling "Horror" writer - think the female version of Stephen King. There is a lot of angst in their relationship. In public, her Mother, the famous Frances Ashley, is loving and present. They appear to be a happy Mother-Daughter duo. In Private, there is a cold distance, manipulation, secrets, and isolation. Meg is not happy that she was constantly shipped away to boarding schools while her Mother lived in the limelight of her own success. Success that Frances Ashley found after writing the Novel "Kitten" at the age of 19. A novel that has a cult like following. A novel which tells the story of the murder of a young girl, which happened years ago on Bonny Island, Georgia. Meg wants to start a new life and be independent from her famous Mother. The two women have not spoken in three years. Then one day, Meg receives an invitation to attend her Mother's Birthday party which is quickly followed by tragic news. Meg, sad and alone, is approached to write a tell all book about her Mother and the story behind her world famous book "Kitten". Meg goes to Bonny Island and soon meets the real life woman, Dorothy, who everyone believes is the inspiration behind the book "Kitten". She and Dorothy form a kinship and Meg feels like she is at home. She enjoys the people working at the once popular hotel. She begins to ask questions and delve into the murder of the young Native American girl. There are several suspects but who carried out the heinous crime? I like that we are faced with several suspects and theories as to who killed the girl. Will Meg ever get the answers she is looking for? As Meg gets closer to the truth, it appears that not everyone is as they seem. Almost everyone that Meg comes into contact with has his/her own secrets and agendas. Secrets they are willing to do anything to keep. Who can be trusted when the proverbial shit hits the fan? I enjoyed the novel within a novel in this book. It is not a unique idea but it worked to tell some back story. This book is full of lies, plot twists, secrets, family secrets, long buried anger, suspicion and doubt. Meg is a great and likable character. She is strong yet also flawed and with a much understood chip on her shoulder. All she ever wanted was a Mom but what she got was a celebrity in love with her own fame.This book is very atmospheric and the island itself feels like a character in this book. There is a plot twist I did not see coming - which I love. The ending had everything tied up nicely. Some may argue a little too nicely but it worked for me. I found this to be a solid mystery/thriller with a little romance thrown in. I received a copy of this book from the Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
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  • Dee
    May 26, 2017
    Review to follow
  • Paula DeBoard
    March 16, 2017
    My thanks to the author and Lake Union Publishing for an early peek at this book. Here's my take: READ IT. Filled with twists and turns and simply unputdownable, The Weight of Lies weaves deftly between past and present-day secrets. Carpenter’s spellbinding tale, part-mystery and part-Southern gothic thriller, will keep readers hooked until the final page.
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  • Kerry King
    February 7, 2017
    The pages just keep turning in this chilling tale of conflicted loyalties and tangled lies. I couldn't put it down! Growing up in the shadow of a celebrity author mother - especially a mother whose fans are so devoted they are known as "kitty cultists"- has it's downsides. Especially when said mother is a Mommy Dearest designation. Meg sets out on a journey of revenge, only to find herself caught up in a dangerous web of deceit where it's impossible to know who to trust and who might just be try The pages just keep turning in this chilling tale of conflicted loyalties and tangled lies. I couldn't put it down! Growing up in the shadow of a celebrity author mother - especially a mother whose fans are so devoted they are known as "kitty cultists"- has it's downsides. Especially when said mother is a Mommy Dearest designation. Meg sets out on a journey of revenge, only to find herself caught up in a dangerous web of deceit where it's impossible to know who to trust and who might just be trying to kill her.
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  • Katy Shelton
    February 15, 2017
    History has repeated itself and the result is Emily Carpenter’s second gripping and surprising novel. Much like her debut Burying the Honeysuckle Girls, Lake Union, 2016, The Weight of Lies is a fascinating story filled with twisted characters and intense action set against a deliciously dark backdrop. There is a reason Meg Ashley hasn’t spoken to her mother in three years. Aside from the “Mommie Dearest” method of parenting Meg suffered growing up, there’s that pesky bestselling horror novel Ki History has repeated itself and the result is Emily Carpenter’s second gripping and surprising novel. Much like her debut Burying the Honeysuckle Girls, Lake Union, 2016, The Weight of Lies is a fascinating story filled with twisted characters and intense action set against a deliciously dark backdrop. There is a reason Meg Ashley hasn’t spoken to her mother in three years. Aside from the “Mommie Dearest” method of parenting Meg suffered growing up, there’s that pesky bestselling horror novel Kitten her mother wrote forty years ago that has controlled their entire lives. Faced with an enticing offer to write a tell-all exposing the disturbing truth about her mother, Meg is inspired to find out more about the murder on which the book is based. Whipping through her quest for the truth with an angry urgency, Meg’s enlightening and confusing uncovering of facts leads her deep into a disturbing past she never could have imagined. The intensity with which Carpenter writes propels the reader forward at breakneck speed and left me reading long after I should have called it a night. A present day version of Mommie Dearest meets The Bad Seed, The Weight of Lies invokes feelings of intrigue mixed with dread throughout this unpredictable adventure of a story. Carpenter’s beautiful prose aligns with her compelling plot and the result is nothing short of chilling. I received a free copy of The Weight of Lies from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Barbara White
    February 21, 2017
    Written against the stunning backdrop of a small island off the Georgia coast with wild horses and venomous snakes, THE WEIGHT OF LIES is a delicious mixture of southern gothic, disturbing family relationships, deceit, and murder. It's a page-turner, and from the beginning you're rooting for the young heroine, Meg Ashley, and constantly questioning the other characters' motivations. Like Meg, you don't know who to trust. This would be a fantastic book club read. So much to discuss!
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  • M.J. Pullen
    February 16, 2017
    In my opinion, this sophomore novel by Emily Carpenter is (dare I say it?) EVEN BETTER than Burying the Honeysuckle Girls. It has all the Southern gothic and suspense elements of BTHG, with the addition of a wonderfully atmospheric, chillingly creepy coastal Georgia island; a swoon-worthy male lead to die for (ahem); and a mother-daughter relationship as colossally screwed-up as you'd hope after reading BTHS. Meg Ashley has been running away from her mother's bestselling novel KITTEN her whole l In my opinion, this sophomore novel by Emily Carpenter is (dare I say it?) EVEN BETTER than Burying the Honeysuckle Girls. It has all the Southern gothic and suspense elements of BTHG, with the addition of a wonderfully atmospheric, chillingly creepy coastal Georgia island; a swoon-worthy male lead to die for (ahem); and a mother-daughter relationship as colossally screwed-up as you'd hope after reading BTHS. Meg Ashley has been running away from her mother's bestselling novel KITTEN her whole life, and then (as we do), she finds herself running headlong toward everything she's been spending her life avoiding. She uncovers secrets from both the real and supposedly fictional past, and puts herself in no small amount of danger in the process. I seriously had trouble putting it down. I loved the interplay between the action of Meg's story and the excerpts from KITTEN, and the way the suspense of both stories builds to a slow, satisfying, creepy boil before making you a teeny bit afraid to sleep with the lights off. (No? Just me?)If you're looking for solid suspense with a colorful Southern backdrop and characters you can practically reach out and touch, Carpenter is your girl. Now, off to buy a nightlight...I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Erin B
    April 28, 2017
    I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and am pleased to share my personal feelings on it here!4.5 stars "None of the good in life was purely so. None was untainted. It was all a mix." Megan Ashley is the daughter of Frances Ashley, a multimillionaire, best-selling author whose mothering skills fall somewhere between Mommy, Dearest and Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. "She makes everything hers, doesn't she?" Offered a deal she cannot refuse, coupled with several stra I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and am pleased to share my personal feelings on it here!4.5 stars "None of the good in life was purely so. None was untainted. It was all a mix." Megan Ashley is the daughter of Frances Ashley, a multimillionaire, best-selling author whose mothering skills fall somewhere between Mommy, Dearest and Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. "She makes everything hers, doesn't she?" Offered a deal she cannot refuse, coupled with several straws that would break any camel's back in her troubled relationship with her mother, Meg sets off for the Gothic Georgian mansion where her mother's bestselling horror paperback, Kitten, is set. There she uncovers the layers (on layers on layers) of secrets and lies upon which Kitten was loosely (not so loosely?) based.Far from just a whodunit, this book explores issues of parental instinct, the appropriation of Native American culture, even natural (and not so natural) selection when it comes to managing a herd of wild horses! Above all, though, this is a story about a daughter searching out her identity by combing through the past that built her life, and discovering that she may just get to make of her future whatever she wants. "'Well, we all choose who we are, ultimately. Don't you agree?' I upended my whiskey, then set the empty tumbler on the table beside us.... 'No. We are who we are and we either choose to face it or live in denial.'" I've got one thought that might be a bit spoilery, so I'll hide it below.Overall, I recommend this book. Get it when it comes out June 6, 2017!(view spoiler)[I didn't loooooooove the portrayal of Native Americans. While for the most part they were portrayed as the rightful "owners," "rulers," or otherwise occupants of the American continent(s), the history of the island's native people was boiled down into some weird and repeated anecdotes about them massacring and slicing into bits all the Catholic missionaries who had come there. I'm not saying that's not a factual thing that may have indeed happened across North and South Americas, but why not spend a touch more time on other things in the indigenous population's long and amazing history? Their accomplishments, more depth about their culture? Why repeat the priests'-heads-on-pikes issue?And don't think I missed the fact that Koa was essentially scalped. Nope. Didn't miss that one. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Mainlinebooker
    May 24, 2017
    Prepare for a gem of a book. Astonishing in its character portrayal and story line, I was truly amazed at the author's ability to juggle the complexity of the book's structure, but also a number of different narratives without making it obtuse or overwhelming. Meg Ashley has a very turbulent and fraught relationship with her famous author mother, Frances Ashley. When Frances was in her late teens she wrote a best selling novel, Kitten, which turned into a cult classic about the murder of a young Prepare for a gem of a book. Astonishing in its character portrayal and story line, I was truly amazed at the author's ability to juggle the complexity of the book's structure, but also a number of different narratives without making it obtuse or overwhelming. Meg Ashley has a very turbulent and fraught relationship with her famous author mother, Frances Ashley. When Frances was in her late teens she wrote a best selling novel, Kitten, which turned into a cult classic about the murder of a young girl. The murder took place on Bonny Island, Georgia where Meg returns to unearth secrets that the followers of Kitten had unearthed. Here she plans to write a scathing novel about her mother as she tries to unearth secrets of the past. The book is separated by chapters of the mother's book which correspond to Meg's discovery of new secrets and lies. However, this review does not even do it justice. I was swept away trying to figure out the tangled web Carpenter wove. Just when I thought I had things figured out, another layer was uncovered bringing the complexity of the story to new heights. There is so much more to this mystery than a simple tale; this could be the winner of the summer.
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  • Daniela Teixeira
    April 29, 2017
    I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Maybe I’m a bit out of practice with mystery novels. Maybe this book is really, really good.What I know is that I was at 85% of it and I had NO IDEA how it would end. I always know. This time I didn’t. Which is great.At NetGalley, the book was described as General Fiction, and from the synopsis I kind of expected it to focus just on the mother-daughter drama. In the beginning it does reads like a drama. Then it fli I received an ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Maybe I’m a bit out of practice with mystery novels. Maybe this book is really, really good.What I know is that I was at 85% of it and I had NO IDEA how it would end. I always know. This time I didn’t. Which is great.At NetGalley, the book was described as General Fiction, and from the synopsis I kind of expected it to focus just on the mother-daughter drama. In the beginning it does reads like a drama. Then it flirts with romance (by the way, thanks Emily Carpenter for not pursuing any of the opportunities you had of making this book one of those cheap newsstand romance novels of my teen years. This was really classy), and becomes full on mystery, with a little bit of terror for good measure, then it revisits all of the above at the end.This book is very well written, very well thought out and a very gripping read. The twists kept me reading way past my bedtime and it was hard to drop the book when I had to. With long books like this (paperback edition is 380 pages long), I tend to get tired and give it a rest for a week or so. Not the case here. If I didn’t have a busy life, I would have finished this in a day and a half, so curious I was to know the end.Miss Carpenter won a reader for life. Here’s to many new books after this!
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  • Barbara Sissel
    March 24, 2017
    Atmospheric and highly suspenseful, THE WEIGHT OF LIES, qualifies as a gripping page-turner of a mystery. It is an ingenious book within a book, where the border between real and imagined time becomes blurred in a way that will keep you turning the pages. But there is so much more to this novel in the way the story develops through a cast of very human, wonderfully drawn and nuanced characters who grapple with difficult issues of racial bias and family relationships that have been broken by lies Atmospheric and highly suspenseful, THE WEIGHT OF LIES, qualifies as a gripping page-turner of a mystery. It is an ingenious book within a book, where the border between real and imagined time becomes blurred in a way that will keep you turning the pages. But there is so much more to this novel in the way the story develops through a cast of very human, wonderfully drawn and nuanced characters who grapple with difficult issues of racial bias and family relationships that have been broken by lies and betrayal. What begins as a journey of revenge ends in a far different arena and in a way so unexpected, you’ll never see it coming.
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  • Wendi Lee
    May 23, 2017
    Wow! This is a psychological thriller that had me guessing until the very end! Megan's the daughter of Frances, a very famous writer who wrote a classic horror novel. Megan has been living off her trust fund and avoiding said mother, who is at turns neglectful and overwrought. When Megan is given the opportunity to go to the remote island where Frances got her inspiration for the book, she jumps at the chance. She wants to take revenge and untangle herself from the shadows of Frances' fame. Ambl Wow! This is a psychological thriller that had me guessing until the very end! Megan's the daughter of Frances, a very famous writer who wrote a classic horror novel. Megan has been living off her trust fund and avoiding said mother, who is at turns neglectful and overwrought. When Megan is given the opportunity to go to the remote island where Frances got her inspiration for the book, she jumps at the chance. She wants to take revenge and untangle herself from the shadows of Frances' fame. Ambletern is at first idllyic, and Doro (the once little girl Frances modeled her villainess after) seems friendly and accommodating. But Megan soon realizes that she's being lied to. Who can she trust? And who committed the real life murder? Interspersed between Megan's journey to Ambletern are snippets from Frances' horror novel, which gives us clues about what Frances experienced/saw while there. Even with these clues, however, I kept changing my mind about who Megan should trust. At one point or another, almost everyone at Ambletern seemed suspicious! Both Megan's angst toward her mother, and her attempts to do something worthwhile with her life, endeared her to me. I know, angst usually isn't an endearing quality. But the weary tension between Megan and Frances felt very real to me. I understood where Megan was coming from. Tangled up in the mystery (both real and in Frances' book) is Ambletern and its relationship to the Native American community living there. We get a good, toxic taste of both cultural appropriation and obsession. This could have been problematic, but I feel it was handled very well. And can I say again how much I loved the book within a book? I almost wish I could read Frances' novel in its entirety!
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  • Linda Zagon
    May 25, 2017
    My Review of "The Weight of Lies" by Emily CarpenterFirst I would like to thank Lake Union Publishing, NetGalley and Emily Carpenter for an ARC (Advanced Reading Edition) of "The Weight of Lies" by Emily Carpenter for my honest review.The genres of this novel are General Fiction,(Adult) Women's Fiction, Mystery and Thriller. The timeline of this story is told in the present with references to the past. Most of this story takes place on Bonny Island, Georgia.I like the way that Emily Carpenter f My Review of "The Weight of Lies" by Emily CarpenterFirst I would like to thank Lake Union Publishing, NetGalley and Emily Carpenter for an ARC (Advanced Reading Edition) of "The Weight of Lies" by Emily Carpenter for my honest review.The genres of this novel are General Fiction,(Adult) Women's Fiction, Mystery and Thriller. The timeline of this story is told in the present with references to the past. Most of this story takes place on Bonny Island, Georgia.I like the way that Emily Carpenter fits all these genres in the novel. I also appreciate the unique and intriguing way that she tells the story.The characters are complex, complicated, quirky, peculiar, and at most times not likeable. There is betrayal, secrets and lies. I would consider most of the characters capable of doing something disturbing, and self serving. The motivations of some of the characters are questionable. Meg is the daughter of an author who has a book that has a cult following. This book will be 40 years old. The book reads like a mystery and thriller, and is supposed to be fiction. Meg goes to Bonny Island to write her own book of her life and her mother.Meg discovers secrets and lies and starts to belief that this might be a true crime novel,based on real murders on this island.There are twists, turns and surprises in this story. The ending is something that I didn't expect. I look forward to reading more books from Emily Carpenter.
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  • Carol Boyer
    April 4, 2017
    Emily Carpenter's second novel The Weight of Lies is a masterful creation of suspense, with unbelievable deception and dangerous lies that had my heart pounding. Megan Ashley, wants to solve the truth behind her mother's astounding murder mystery novel written 40 years ago. She is sought by an agent to tell her own side of the story in a memoir. Her relationship with her mother has been one of cold, hurtful, unforgiving events that are unfathomable. Her journey back to Boone Island, Georgia in s Emily Carpenter's second novel The Weight of Lies is a masterful creation of suspense, with unbelievable deception and dangerous lies that had my heart pounding. Megan Ashley, wants to solve the truth behind her mother's astounding murder mystery novel written 40 years ago. She is sought by an agent to tell her own side of the story in a memoir. Her relationship with her mother has been one of cold, hurtful, unforgiving events that are unfathomable. Her journey back to Boone Island, Georgia in search of answers, finds her meeting the folks who knew and followed her mothers novel, as Kitten cultists. Therein the mystery within the chapters from the novel Kitten deftly plays along with this novel in the present. Meg meets folks she hopes may have answers but instead finds herself surrounded with lies, and does not know who to trust. The story is written so brilliantly keeping one guessing about who was the murderer; it takes you on a roller coaster ride, holding your breath. The characters so well developed, scenes described so vividly, you feel like you are watching them in a movie. The build up to the ending holds you spellbound, the twists and turns so cleverly fast paced you just won't believe what happens. Thanks to the author, I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It was one I highly recommend.
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  • Stephanie
    May 31, 2017
    Here is a book to add to your summer reading list STAT! This story follows a gal named Megan who has a strained relationship with her mother Frances. Frances is a world-renowned author who has written the murder mystery "Kitten" and has little time for Meg. Meg is raised by the help, and away at boarding school. Lots of scandal surrounds her upbringing and she decides to write a tell-all about growing up with her mom and that is when crap hits the fan, without spilling the beans and giving away Here is a book to add to your summer reading list STAT! This story follows a gal named Megan who has a strained relationship with her mother Frances. Frances is a world-renowned author who has written the murder mystery "Kitten" and has little time for Meg. Meg is raised by the help, and away at boarding school. Lots of scandal surrounds her upbringing and she decides to write a tell-all about growing up with her mom and that is when crap hits the fan, without spilling the beans and giving away all the plot twists, I'll leave it at that. I had two working theories and one ended up being right. I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of a good mystery and a quick read. **I got this book for free from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest an unbiased review**
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  • Kerry
    March 27, 2017
    THE WEIGHT OF LIES is a spell-binding, page-turner of a mystery that kept me guessing until the end. Emily Carpenter brilliantly executes a chilling tale of deceit, webbed with as many clues and secrets as the lies her characters tell. I had no idea how the book would end—which is fantastic for a mystery—and when it did end, I was thoroughly surprised by the outcome. Well done!*I received and advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sandy
    May 1, 2017
    I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. I really enjoyed this book with a setting in the coastal area of Georgia. A mystery that kept me guessing until the end. A surprising twist keeps you in your toes to the very last page. Great read!
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