Friday, July 17, 2009

Retro Friday Review: Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Dawning Hawn

For this edition of Retro Friday I decided to go with a spooky story, Wait Till Helen Comes. This was another one of my favorite books from elementary/middle school. It was first published in 1987 (I can’t believe I would have been 7 at the time!). I’m not into scary stories normally, but for some reason I always loved this one. I read it quite a few times and ended up reading quite a few of Hawn’s other books because I enjoyed this one so much.

When Heather was four her house caught on fire and her mother died searching for her. Three years later she is moving with her dad and new family to an old converted church in the country. Heather hates her new step-sister and step-brother and is mean to them and always trying to get them in trouble. Once they move to their new home, Heather becomes friends with Helen, a ghost girl who drowned many years before and is now buried in a nearby cemetery. The problem is Helen wants to drown Heather so she won’t have to be all alone anymore.

Molly notices that Heather has become obsessed with the cemetery and with a particular headstone where the deceased had the same initials and was the same age as Heather. As Heather’s behavior goes from bad to worse, Molly grows more concerned about Heather and decides to keep close tabs on her young step-sister to try and figure out what is going on. Although Molly hates Heather and things she is a spoiled brat she must chose whether or not to save her from Helen.

Molly decides she must save Heather and luckily gets to her in time and is able to stop Helen from harming her. They seek safety in an abandoned house and eventually make it home. Through their experiences Molly is able to find out some disturbing information about both Heather and Helen, and is able to help Heather come to peach with her past.

This was a great ghost story, but also a great story that not everyone it what they seem. You never really know what has happened in someones past to cause them to act they way they do. By showing kindess and helping Heather, Molly was able to better understand her and hopefully they end up having a strong, loving relationship.

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