The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 12th 2010
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 had hosted a grisly scene: George's uncle and cousins had all been slaughtered, 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 ...
I so LOVED Kathleen's writing style. They way this story is told is through Leann starting a journal and telling us first hand about her life and all the things that have happened to her through her association with George Willets Junior and his family.
When the story starts Leann is a high school senior. She doesn't have a lick of sense but she is a local beauty. She comes from a poor family but they have made a decent life for themselves. Leann also has a best friend Jessie, who like Leann, is dumber than a box of rocks (these kind of phrases are all through out the book....lol). Did I also mention that Leann is engaged to marry George Willets Junior (whom by the way is 26 years old) when this story starts. One last juicy nugget at the start of this story is that Leann is also pregnant. I know right, what a way to start a book.
When Leann and George Junior marry it is understood that, as a wedding gift, they will be receiving Willets House for their very own. This house has been in the family for many years BUT it is also were a whole family was murdered, as well as, Leann's brother Charlie years later. George Junior's uncle Roger along with this five children are murdered supposedly by Roger's wife Robina (who is also the children's mother) before she kills herself. No one in Dalton, OK (where this story takes place) talk about what happened in that house nor do they discuss what really happened to Charlie Worthier (Leann's brother) and his best friend Donny Readle on that dark night. The only living survivor, Donny, NEVER talks about what happens but remains a close family friend to this day.
What you should also know is that Leann has LOVED Donny since she was about seven years old and her love for him has never died even though he marries someone else just as she has married another man. This added element is just another thorn in Leann's side to deal with along with the murderous ghost of Robina Willets. For all of Leann's faults I found her a very likable character. She may be misguided at times, but she truly doesn't mean anyone any harm with the things that she does.
This story was so compelling it had me hooked from the first sentence. The story was fantastic and it flowed beautifully. The mystery surrounding Robina was gripping and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering just what exactly happened in that house all those years ago and what part does Leann play in it today. I really and truly had a hard time putting this book down. On A scale from 1-10 I give The Wedding Gift a humongous 10. If you are looking for a great thrilling murder mystery, true love, a psychotic ghost, and an all around phenomenally told story than The Wedding Gift is the book for you. I encourage everyone adult 18+ to pick up a copy of this book and find out why Robina is on a murderous rampage.
Raquel a.k.a. Skyla