Ok, first things first. The Wedding Gift sounds like a love story, it is anything but, well ok it is surrounding a relationship, marriage and so on and so on, but it is misleading if you are looking for a Nicholas Sparks happy love story.
The Wedding Gift is a post-murder/suicide ghost story, about a home given to a newly wed couple.
Second, on paper when you read the book synopsis this should be right up there with Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. The story is simple yet elegant, as elegant as a woman murdering her family and haunting their former residence can be.
The potential seems endless. Then the book is introduced in journal format, almost seems like it can’t lose.
…And then you meet Leann, the main character/protagonist/author.
The book’s failure revolve solely around the main character. You don’t need to love a character, but by god you should never despise a character this much. When you are rooting for the ghost to take out the hauntee then the author has made a mistake and taken much of the suspense out of the story.
Miz Leann makes the Kardashians look humble when it comes to her self-centered behavior and vanity. Even beginning to explain the levels of her self-love would look silly.
“To be strictly honest” is a term you will hear far too much. Honest, she says it at least 2 dozen times. I understand she is trying to put a real-life repetitive nature into the writing of the journal, but damn it was a phrase that just grew ridiculous to be strictly honest.
And speaking of the journal, while it was a great idea the execution was poor. I don’t blame the author, she is responsible for a story, the editors should have caught the missed tenses in the writing. There are several spots where the journal foreshadows events because they don’t recognize that if you are supposedly writing a journal you can’t know what happens tomorrow without actually writing it after tomorrow.
Now I can’t hate on the author for making Leann an idiot and I mean never heard of Rhode Island or diabetes idiocy. And thinking Emily Dickenson was someones friends name, is just asinine. (But yet Leann uses the words “masticate” and “caterwaul” as just any old verb.) Got to keep it consistent.
While the book had so much potential, it failed so miserably on so many fronts. The writing, the 45 slow middle chapters. That is 45 out of 50.
The book is not all that bad, Leann’s BFF is hilarious and saves the book, but I would not encourage reading the book just for her, in fact I would not encourage reading the book unless you want to meet the worst character you could ever imagine. Unreal.
I think the levels of my disgust grow from my anticipation for greatness from the book. Kathleen Mckenna wove a good story, the editors and proof readers really should have salvaged this disaster.
2 1/2 stars out of 5