In the Oklahoma town of Dalton there is a touch of the supernatural going on and Leeann Worthier is right in the middle of it. A mansion aptly named Willets House appears to be haunted by murderess Robina Willets. It was reported Robina murdered her husband Rodger and her five children before taking her own life. Not the usual murder scene. Why would a mother kill her children and husband? This tragedy certainly lives amongst the gossip grapevine and, so it seems, still within the house.
Leeann Worthier lives up to her name and thinks she is worthy of a marriage to George Willets, Robina’s nephew. George comes from a very wealthy family and Leeann sees a bright future for herself, the brightness being caused by expensive jewels of course. Little Miss Worthier is 17; George is in his mid-20s. The teenager definitely shows itself throughout this book, just the basis for marrying George is enough to demonstrate Leeann might not think things through in the correct fashion. Speaking of fashion, Leeann is the prettiest girl in town, in fact she is the Corn Queen and throughout this book you will be reminded of this frequently, a very proud achievement obviously.
The Wedding Gift is told through Leeann’s writing and therefore we get to see inside her head, and boy does it seem spacey in there sometimes. Leeann comes across as quite self-absorbed, at times frustrating to the point I felt like I could slap her. We must remember she is only 17 though and has lived through her brother’s accidental death, which is related to Willets house, and she has also had to endure her horrible mother-in-law, both of which buy Leeann some compassion from me. Lucky for Leeann she has a great friend in Jessie, who appears to have some smarts about her, and the two of them set to investigate the murders at Willets House further.
The Wedding Gift is quite funny at times, I found myself giggling and must say this was quite refreshing. I feel like the humour lightened the mood of the book in just the right way. I never forgot about the darker circumstances which the story was born from but Kathleen McKenna has created The Wedding Gift in such a way that although there is the spookiness of haunting, there are also the sprinklings of humour.
The Wedding Gift is Kathleen McKenna’s third novel. Not having read any of McKenna’s work previously I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but now I can say next time I read some of her work I will expect an interesting story, with amusing characters and of course some humour – I can say McKenna delivered all of this in The Wedding Gift. A different twist on a ghost story, The Wedding Gift is an entertaining read full of entertaining characters.
Many thanks to Tim Roux from Night Publishing for providing me with a copy of The Wedding Gift. Thank you, Tim!
Click here to read the blurb for The Wedding Gift.