Friday, January 27, 2012
The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna
Leann wasn't good enough for her upper-crust in-laws, so they gave her the mansion none of them wanted. Years ago, something or someone in the house killed Leann's brother. Will its violent secrets kill her next?
I was excited at the prospect of a great ghost story in The Wedding Gift, but when I began reading, I also found a wonderful and humorous story about Leann Worthier, her family, and the very wealthy Willets family she was about to marry into... not to mention the horrible monster-in-law she was going to be “blessed” with.
The way the author wrote the people of Dalton, Oklahoma, their sayings, and their dialect was not only riveting, but also downright, “knee-slapping” funny as they would say. Now, some readers may have been offended due to the characters' manner of speech. Oklahoma may not be the “South,” and I most certainly do not talk like that, but.... if I’m being an honest southern girl, I admit I do know and may or may not be distantly (closely) related to people who do. I very much enjoyed the hilarity that ensued and the conversations between these Oklahomans.
I love the unique way the story begins with the newspaper headlines. What a great way to catch the reader up on the history of the town and its resident’s back-stories!
While Leeann’s vanity might have been off-putting to some, I thought it was hilarious and loved that she “couldn’t help being aware that she was the prettiest girl ever born in Dalton.” I mean, she was crowned Corn Princess, after all! Leeann and her best friend Jessie had some of the best and most comedic interactions, yet their fierce protectiveness over one another, as well as their extreme loyalty to each other, was quite poignant.
My only issue was that I thought this book wasn’t as frightening as a story involving a haunted mansion would imply. Well, as Leeann’s momma Elma would say, “What a difference a day makes,” because when I continued my reading of The Wedding Gift the next day, it did not disappoint in the scary department. Once the engaging background of the characters had been told, Ms. McKenna got down to the nitty-gritty and had me jumping at every noise I heard, not to mention sleeping with the light on.
It turns out that there is something even scarier in Oklahoma than that of a murderous, vengeance-seeking spirit.... but you’ll have to read the book to find out what that is.
The ending of the story is perfection, and I highly recommend The Wedding Gift to all my reading buddies who enjoy a little ‘scare’ in their books. I look forward to reading more of Kathleen Mckenna’s work.
A copy of this book was provided by Netgalley for review.