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Inkspot Fancy

Comics and fantasy and sci-fi, oh my!

Currently reading

The House on the Borderland
William Hope Hodgson
Dust and Light: A Sanctuary Novel
Carol Berg
The Dead
Jen Hickman, Robert James Maddox
Deadlands: Dead Man's Hand
David Gallaher, Jeff Mariotte, Jimmy Palmiotti
Ghost Hunt 2
Shiho Inada, Fuyumi Ono
Devil Survivor 1
Satoru Matsuba

Helen comes back

Wait Till Helen Comes - Mary Downing Hahn

I've read a lot basically my whole life. Some books stick with you for a while. Some stick with you for years. And some, some stick with you forever.


I think Wait Till Helen Comes will be one of my "forever" books. This, along with The Dollhouse Murders and Behind the Attic Wall, are stories I not only remember in vague strokes despite first reading them in the late 80s, but I remember specifically. I remember the events, the plot, the characters. I remember the way it made me feel to read it. I remember how it helped me learn I like scary stories.


Wait Till Helen Comes is a story about a blended family - Dave and Heather on one side after Heather's mother died in a house fire and Molly, Michael and their mother on the other. The whole family is moving to a small town in Maryland, which upsets the kids.


But once they get there, Heather - a little girl who's always been difficult to get along with - finds something in the small, old cemetery on the property. She calls this force Helen, and decides she and Helen are friends, but when Molly catches glimpses of them talking, she gets the terrible feeling that whatever Helen is, it's no good for anyone.


There were things in this story that really scared me as a kid, but honestly, most of it still holds up as an adult. Maybe not the fear so much, but the stress and loneliness that Molly feels, trying to take care of Heather despite the little girl pushing her away and getting her in trouble. The combined fear and wonder of the promises Helen makes. And some very adult fears about acceptance and guilt and loss that resonate very differently but no less deeply as an adult.


Really, if you don't find reading MG to be beneath you and like a story with a little edge of creepiness, read this. It's a truly wonderful book and it's easy to see why it remains in print.