Milena Benini's Reviews > The Wedding Gift

The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna
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's review
Dec 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery, spec-fic
Read in December, 2011

A highly enjoyable read, with a perfectly voiced narrator.

The story of a pretty working class girl who marries the prince in the shape of the son of the richest family in their small town seems like one of those overly-familiar tales that simply cannot be made fresh -- but Kathleen McKenna manages to do it, and to do it well. Combining a quasi-Sotuhern-Gothic ghost story with mystery set in an abandoned mansion also sounds like something that has been done to death, but McKenna works the strands of her narrative so deftly that even the old twists seem new instead of grating.

But the best element of the book is the narrator's voice. Leann, "the prettiest girl ever born in Dalton, Oklahoma", takes us through the story with such authenticity that you can practically hear her drawl while reading. First person narration is not always easy to pull off, but McKenna does it with such flair that it becomes impossible to imagine The Wedding Gift told in any other way.

Although the ending may seem a little too happy for some (particularly the Epilogue), this is a beautifully written and very satisfactory mystery/ghost story that manages to balance all of its elements in just the right way.

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