Review: The Wedding Gift, by Kathleen McKenna

The Wedding Gift
The Wedding Gift
Kathleen McKenna
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Summary (from
17 year old Leeann Worthier is the perfect girl in town – or so she says. George Willets is the heir to a booming petroleum business. When they announce their engagement, George’s controlling mother is unimpressed, and Leeann absolutely refuses to live with her mother-in-law. So George gives his new wife a house as a wedding gift. Thirty years before, the same house hosted a grisly scene: George’s uncle and cousins were all slaughtered and his aunt Robina accused of both murder and suicide. The house is a gorgeous, well-maintained mansion, but has stood empty since the tragedy. It’s intimidating, but who is Leeann to turn down a free house? When the ghost of Robina begins to haunt Leeann, she realizes she’s made a huge mistake.

When people ask me to try their product, whether it’s a book or something else, I always have a moment of pause. After all my first instinct when someone says, “You should try out… you will like them :),” is to run in the other direction. It’s the same with books – I love to read, and I review a lot of books because publicists ask me, but when authors contact me directly I always worry that I won’t like the book, and then their feelings will be hurt.

Fortunately, I did NOT have this problem with The Wedding Gift, when the author asked me if I’d review it. In this novel Kathleen spins a story that is equal parts silly, sappy, and spooky, and she does it well. From observations about what really goes on behind the Piggly Wiggly (it’s a southern grocery store chain, I swear!) to when Leeann snubs a rude waitress in the funniest, most horrible way, to the interactions between Leeann and George, and Leeann and her parents, this book is wonderful. I read it in the bathtub (as I often do) and at one point I had to get up and confirm that the window behind me was secure, while at another I realized the water had gone cold and my feet were completely pruney.

The page for The Wedding Gift mentions that this novel is the first in a trilogy. I look forward to parts two and three, and many more of Ms. McKenna’s books.

Goes well with chicken fried steak and sweet tea.