Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn is told from 12 year old Molly’s point of view. Molly’s 7 year old step-sister Heather is a very troubled little girl who lost her mother in a fire four years before the book begins. The blended family moves to a converted church complete with a graveyard. Heather finds a small gravestone marking the grave of a 7 year old child identified only as H. E. H. (which happen to be Heather’s initials, too). Molly soon discovers that Heather has made friends with Helen, the ghost of this child. Helen’s ghost is miserable and mean and wants Heather to die so they can be together. Molly realizes she needs to save Heather from Helen, but Heather doesn’t want to be saved.
I read Wait Till Helen Comes the first time in the mid-1980s. I was uncharacteristically drawn to the book (I usually don’t like anything the least bit scary) because I was only slightly older than Heather and we shared a first name and middle initial and also lived in the same state. I loved the book as a child and read it over and over. It had been a long time since I read it, though it must have made an impression since I always remembered it, and I was happy to discover I still enjoyed it after all these years. It is just creepy enough to be a good ghost story, but it’s not too scary. I wholeheartedly recommend Wait Till Helen Comes!
5 (out of 5) Stars
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