The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna

The Wedding Gift
Published: October 7, 2011
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books

It is a spine-electrifying supernatural tale where a huge Southern States mansion contains one of the most terrifying, violent and indeed psychopathic ghosts to haunt any town. It is also a murder mystery - why did Robina Willets apparently kill all five of her young children, and her husband, before stabbing herself to death? And, if you are in the camp of believing that 'justice .... just is not', then this will have you frothing at the mouth with righteous social fury. Add to that the vision of two exceptionally beautiful girls lying on a landing stage in the middle of a secluded lake, sleeping naked in the sun .... .... and then see if you can find any consecutive ten minutes in this book when you don't at least snicker at the heroine Leeann's sly, caustic, sometimes-knowing sometimes 'too stupid to live' commentary.


‘The Wedding Gift’ is set in the small town of Dalton, Oklahoma. It tells the story of 17 years old, Leanne, who is the ‘prettiest girl in town’ and she is darn proud of it! She begins dating George Willets Jr. of Willets Petroleum. The Willets family is the richest family in town and Leanne’s family the Worthier’s are, well let’s just said they are on the opposite side of the track as the Willets. This could be a really good thing considering the Willets are labeled as a ‘terrible family’.

So when George asks Leanne to marry him, to his mother’s horror, Leanne accepts, not because she loves him. No that was never the reason that she was with him to begin with if she’s honest about it. However she did always imagine herself marrying a rich man and becoming rich and important. George makes her that as well as giving her all the materialistic things she could want. Including his big wedding gift to her a mansion that belonged to his aunt and uncle.

Only the story behind that mansion isn’t so happily ever after. His Aunt Robina murdered all of her five children then her husband Roger and then herself. After that massacre everyone swore the house was haunted and no one have every lived in that house again. However who was Leanne to turn down a free mansion. So she gets over her initial fear and moves into the mansion. Then Robina’s ghost starts visiting Leanne, in a lot of different places and things become a lot more complicated.

                Ok so first let me begin by saying I loved the plot and background story of Robina and Roger. As well as all the secrets of the Willets family that begins to unravel as the story progresses.

With that said I had a few problems with the book. The language in this book was terrible. It took southern language to a new low. Part of my family is from the south and I can assure you none of them talk like that. I am sure some southerners would find it insulting even. It made the characters, especially Leanne sound about as smart as a box of rocks. I’m sorry to say this because I really liked the plot of this story and there is a lot of talent and good writing in this book just not in this portrayed southern dialogue. Even though I never considered Oklahoma southern, but then again I don’t know too much about Dalton, Oklahoma.

The other thing that bothered me was how very vain Leanne is and how very little regard she has for anyone else’s feeling or lives for that matter. In her eyes it’s always about her, and she loves hearing people call her by her title, ‘the prettiest girl in town’. She even marries a man she doesn’t love and gets mad when she is referred to as a ‘gold digger’! Well I would hate to be the one to inform her that she is! Hello, she doesn’t love George and is only with him for the things he can give her. If that’s not gold digging, I don’t know what is.

Overall Leanne’s character put a damper on the story for me. I did like the history and the ghost story aspect of it though. There was talent in the writing and I didn’t have to force myself through it. Overall I give it three stars and I would read another book by her to see what other stories she is capable of. She has peaked my interest.

*The Book Blogging Beauties received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley & Bell Bridge Books. All opinions are that of the reviewer. We are dedicated to providing our HONEST opinion about books etc. We were not compensated for this review.

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