Spoiler Alert – “Wait ’til Helen Comes” by Mary Downing Hahn being discussed. Spoilers likely.
I picked up “Wait ’til Helen Comes” with a little bit of apprehension. Would it be as I remembered? Would by childhood favorite fade in fondness in my adulthood? Could it possibly be as good as I remembered?
My old friend did not disappoint. I’m 43% of the way through, and this book is every bit as magical as I remember. It’s as if I’ve been transported to my 12-year-old self. I’ve been able to let my imagination go, and relive the enjoyment that I got out of this book as a kid. I didn’t know if I had it in me; I’m excited to see that I do.
I see a lot of myself in the main character, Molly. I can see why I felt drawn to her as a 12-year old. She loves to read and write, just as I did. She’s the oldest sibling, just like me. And just like me, she feels tormented by her younger siblings; particularly by her youngest sister. At age 12, I definitely thought that my 7-year-old sister existed solely to aggravate me, much as Molly feels about Heather. I believed whole-heartedly in ghosts at age 12, so this book appealed to me on just about every level.
There have been a couple of references that I’m not sure a typical 12-year old would be able relate to. I’m trying to transport myself back to age 12 and remember if I knew who Emily Dickinson and Andrew Wyeth were, but I just can’t remember. A minor “compliant”, but something that made me wonder as I was reading.
I’ve been pretty amazed at how the finer plot details have come back to me as I’ve been reading. I remembered the basic plot points, of course, but as I’m reading, I find myself saying “Oh yeah! I remember that!” It’s a cool feeling; kind of like going to a 10-year high school reunion and reliving all of your favorite memories with friends you haven’t seen in years.