Monday, September 13, 2010

Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn

Molly and Michael have had a lot of chances recently. Their mother just remarried a new man, and they have a new stepsister, Heather. Heather seems to hate them, and their stepfather doesn't think they can do anything right. Then their parents decided to move them out of the city and into a renovated old church in a rural area. There's a graveyard behind the church, and an abandoned falling-down building, and Molly thinks the whole area is really spooky. But that's nothing compared to how Heather is acting. Is she just an unhappy child, or is there something else going on?

Ghosts are creepy, and child ghosts are even scarier. Part of what made this book so scary to me was that no one was believing Molly and everyone was blaming her for things that she didn't do, even though there really was a supernatural culprit. I had a similar reaction to The Dollhouse Murders. Maybe this is why I had a childhood fear of being sent to jail for something that I didn't do (that, and watching Murder She Wrote, Matlock, and lots of other murder mystery shows). And I've never been a parent, so I don't really know a lot about parenting, but the parents in this book seem a little off. Their children aren't getting along, they're unhappy at moving to a new place, and the parents...avoid it all by locking themselves away for their own work. It doesn't seem like the best idea to me. Maybe the father would have noticed that his daughter was practically possessed by an evil spirit if he'd just spent some time with her.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
The Dollhouse Murders by Betsy Ren Wright
All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn
The Steps by Rachel Cohn


  1. Oh yeah, when I reviewed this on my blog, I included a list of how terrible the parents were in this book. Really bad parenting in this one.

  2. It is really bad parenting! I'm not someone who thinks that your life should revolve around your kids, but if you decide to become a parent, then you should be expected to actually parent! Sigh.

    Right now I'm alternating between old school Mary Downing Hahn and her new books.

  3. Nice review--I've always meant to read it, ever since I saw it on Nikki's blog. Agree with the bad parenting assessment!