Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wait Till Helen Comes

by Mary Downing Hahn
September 6, 2011

Another short audiobook to listen to until I can get to another Pitt mystery or the third installment of the Lionboy series.

Wait Till Helen Comes is a ghost story for junior high aged readers (give or take a few grade levels).  This would make a good movie and, in fact, I was surprised to learn that it had never been a made for TV movie.  I can just imagine watching it on the Lifetime channel on a Saturday afternoon.  It will become a movie next year, however. Jennifer Love Hewitt is set to direct a movie for the big screen based on the novel.  I hope that it doesn't become a modern horror movie with more blood and suffering than real suspense.

Wait Till Helen Comes is about a blended family who moves into a charming house and old church which has been converted into an art studio.  Mom (Jean) has two children, Molly and Michael. Divorced from her first husband, she is now married to Dave who has one seven year old daughter, Heather.  Heather's mother (Dave's wife) died in a fire four years earlier and Heather is still dealing with the trauma of the loss.

When the family moves to the former St. Swithins, they discover a small graveyard on the property, along with an old abandoned house called Harper House.  In the graveyard, Heather discovers a long forgotten grave with the initials H.E.H.  Heather's initials just happen to also be H.E.H. and she is exactly the same age as whoever is buried in that grave.  It's easy to see where this is going.

The tension that has existed by bringing the two sets of children together in one household escalates as Heather begins talking to someone named Helen.  No one notices Heather's new "imaginary friend" except Molly.  And, it's only Molly that realizes that something more sinister is happening than pure imagination.

Heather constantly accuses Molly and Michael of being mean. Dave, of course, sides with his daughter.  Jean defends Molly and Michael, which begins to drive a wedge between her and Dave.  Molly can convince no one that it isn't step-sibling rivalry that is causing the bad feelings.  She's on her own to save Heather from the lure of the ghostly Helen.

The book is predictable, but fun. 

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