The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis

SOME PEOPLE WON’T LET A LITTLE MATTER LIKE DEATH STAND IN THEIR WAY

A terrible tragedy leaves Hattie Hastings widowed and heartbroken.
But her late husband isn’t about to take his demise lying down.

Torn between delight and frustration, Hattie struggles to convince friends and family of her ghostly predicament.
Then there’s also the small matter of best friend Cat’s ex-husband trying to worm his way back into her life. And Hattie’s mum is battling her own demons …

 

 

A little about Audrey first:

Appenzell, Switzerland

Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.

It wasn’t until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an on-line Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Parts Two and Three will see the light of day in early/mid-2018, after which she might have a wee lie down …

Karen Meyer’s Review: 3.5-Stars

Hattie was still madly in love with her husband Gary who she has a son named Johnny with. When Gary is killed while emptying the trash, Hattie is in a state of shock. But she is really shocked when Gary comes back in the form of a ghost.

This book just went on and on with way too much detail. I finally got into it a little bit when he met Marty, the 8-year-old who died from leukemia and needed to speak to his parents. There was no protagonist to keep the book interesting. I really never found a well-defined storyline that let me want to turn the page.

I did enjoy the author’s use of words I grew up hearing my mom use and that I use now. Words like Flabbergasted and Discombobulated for instance. It did end well with Hattie falling in love, Gary going to his higher realm, Marty’s parents having a baby and Marty getting to stay with Gary.

Elkin Hardcoves’ Review: 4.9-Stars

If you read the title of this post and thought ‘another horror book
involving ghosts,’ then put the cognition in the mental recycler.
If you read the title of this and thought ‘another romance
involving ghosts,’ then you’d be kind of close, but still no cigar.
If you thought ‘the first in a trilogy,’ then you’d be correct.
Also if you thought ‘I’ve already read this one,’ then this review
might not be really that helpful.

The cast:
• We have, not surprisingly, Hattie Hastings — Mother to Jonnie, wife
of Gary, daughter to Rachel, sister to Jack. I don’t know if we should
call her a prototypical working-class English woman – – if such a
thing exists – – still she’s a most entertaining voice, both in
speech and internal dialogue to listen to, and I got the feeling that
despite the cultural differences, I might even know her.

• Rachel, Hattie’s Mum, is equally fun to listen to: she is sharp,
witty, has a few gentleman friends, yet she also has a softer side,
but just seems to never entirely let her guard down. Her love for
both of her children shows and made her so engaging to me.

• Jack is very intelligent and refined, and while he loves his sister,
he seems to have some difficulties related to her recently deceased
husband. Not major issues just that their personalities seemed to
clash a little.

• Cat is Hattie’s best friend. She’s had bad experiences with
relationships and finally, things might just be looking up for her.
Well, if her controlling and scheming ex-husband doesn’t ruin
everything.

• Jonnie, Hattie’s Son is well, a bit annoying at times. He’s your
classic twenty-year-old, who doesn’t really know what he wants to do
with himself. He is a uni drop out to follow his writing dream.

• Gary, husband, father, ex-long-trolley driver — he’s as laid back as
they come, but he has a heart as big as England. He dies in the first
chapter to a drunk driver.

Yeah, the first chapter, surprise, right.

I mean the blurb tells us that he’s going to kick the bucket, but my
expectations where it was going to be more in the middle, not in
chapter one. It’s a great decision, as it turns focus away from the
death aspect and concentrates the focus on his coming back, which is
where in a book like this, the focus belongs. What makes this kind of
more interesting is the fact that neither Gary nor Hattie believes in
an afterlife. For them death is final, so at first Hattie isn’t sure
if she really believes her husband is back. After she’s convinced
there is a brief period where she tries to convince others, which
doesn’t work out as planned.

There’s a great middle chunk to the book which involves Hattie
listening to the ghost of Gary and doing what he tells her. This is a
little strange for a number of reasons. Number one, Gary is dead, and
only his ghost remains. Number 2, well…how would you feel if you
listened to a ghost?

Gary meets a young boy in The Present – the place where he finds
himself residing after he passes. He begs Gary to pass on a message to
his parents which is something that Hattie needs to do. Will she
travel for miles to put his parents at ease? Should she really trust
something that a ghost is telling her?

I think this part of the book has been really well written. (Well, it
all has, but I particularly liked this bit!) We see Hattie’s concerns
as she weighs up the pros and cons of this action. Is it the right
thing to do or will people begin to think she’s going crazy? We can
feel what Hattie is feeling which then leads us as readers to ponder
the question, “What would I do?”

Hattie’s relief and sense of accomplishment over helping others
achieve closure is quite palpable, and rightfully so, as it leads the
reader to understanding how this act of closure is important for her
and Gary.

The amount of times I smiled and laughed throughout the book was just
too many to count. Audrey’s language, character creation and storyline is simply faultless. However, what I really wanted to know was
how all this was going to end!

I give the Haunting of Hattie Hastings 4.9 stars out of five

Please feel free to share your review in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis

Add yours

  1. 5 Stars

    Hattie Hastings lived a happy middle class life with Gary, her husband for over 20 years and her twenty-year-old son Johnny. Until the night Gary was killed by a hit and run driver as he was putting the garage bin out to the curb. Shattered by grief and suffering from the accompanying depression, her future was looking rather bleak. That is until Gary returns to haunt his former home.

    Multiple plots and well developed characters, a sprinkling of humour, romance, a bit of mystery and surprising twists make this a delight to read. Some readers may find the British expressions unfamiliar but taken in context I am sure they will get the drift. Some strong language and innuendo make this a book for adults although there is no erotic content. Good pacing and a lively plot will keep a reader engaged while Gary discovers what the mission is that he must complete before going to his eternal rest.

    All in all I enjoyed reading this amusing and entertaining book.

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