Review: The Weight of Lies
For a “poor little rich girl” type character at the center of the story, I actually found Meg to be surprisingly likeable. She had made plenty of mistakes, and played the victim a lot, but there was an occasional down to earth vibe and enough self-awareness for me to want to root for her as she tried to dig up the dirt on her famous novelist mother.
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.
I had a hell of a great time listening to this story even when I didn’t entirely understand where the book was going, or what on earth was motivating each of these colorful but untrustworthy characters.
Any story where the reader is invited to contemplate the possibility of child killer, meaning a young child who kills another person, is a total fall down the rabbit hole for me. I’m always curious about what kind of mental issues have to be baked in for a child to be capable of something like that, and the fictional tale of “Kitten” threaded through the story in “The Weight of Lies” ratchets up the tension as you get pieces of the story side by side with the “current events” of the story.
I also have a terrible confession to make: There is a moment in the story when Meg laments the heartache she felt when she brought a problem to her mother and her mother seemingly brushed it aside because she needed to keep writing, to keep working on her latest project, and all I could think was, “I wish I had dedication like that!” My cat sneezes or something shiny attracts my attention and I am abandoning my writing so fast I leave actual cartoon puffs of air in my wake.
I recognize it’s not healthy to lust after the work ethic of a flawed, narcissistic character, I’m just saying every reader brings their own stuff to the reading experience.
Maybe some of my incredible enjoyment of the story came from the narrator of the book, Kate Orsini, who did a fantastic job of turning Meg into a real person and not just a character.
The longer I reflect on the bonkerballs twists and turns and reveals, I have to imagine that much of her performance is what made the book at 4.25 star story for me, as opposed if I had read it, where it might have been more of a 3.75 star story for all the WTF moments that dealt with racism, cultural appropriation, cultural guilt, strange illnesses, and family drama coming out of every corner.
Overall, I had a great time listening and would recommend the book to anyone who needs a fun distraction while they’re out walking, running errands, etc. It was compelling enough that I would just sit on my couch and listen sometimes, instead of reading the tactile books on hand.