Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 3/6/2006

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5x8
Page Count : 536
ISBN : 9781420892512

About the Book

            Meeting under hilarious circumstances in Oakland, California, in the fall of 1942, Ruby, newly uprooted from Ohio, and Lena, a native Californian, knew they would be best friends forever.  Although their backgrounds were quite different, they found they shared many similarities.

            It was a hectic time, World War II was in it’s tenth month and already the pinch of shortages and rationing were being felt.  Where they lived, the San Francisco Bay Area, was one of the busiest ports of embarkation on the West Coast, supplying the Pacific Theater of war.

            Unburdened by their innocence, the girls at fourteen, could only moon over the courageous servicemen seen everywhere.  To them, they were all so dreamy, sentimental and heroic.

            During the war years it became a way of life to knit, collect scrap metal and other essential items for the war effort.  But for Ruby and Lena, they still had high school; a place for chance meetings in classes and at  school dances, checking out the cute boys.

            With wide-eyed wonder, and definitely influenced by what they saw at the movies, mostly believing it was all true, Ruby and Lena could hardly wait to grow up.

            Lena, who felt her life was too sheltered, was drawn to the excitement of Ruby’s zany family, but wary of their warped dog, Butch.  As for Ruby, it was Lena’s willingness to accept and enjoy Ruby’s own unpredictability, no matter where it took them.

            For each of the girls, taking those awkward zigzag steps towards maturity had a great many pitfalls, but oh, so much laughter!          

About the Author

            Moving from Ohio in 1942, to California during World War II, was quite an experience for any young impressionable person.  Finding and making new friends is always daunting, but finding an exceptional friend was such good fortune.  Being able to write this part truth, part fiction novel, “Slightly Ajar,” was a great deal of fun.

            Starting late in life, Helen moved from writing stories in rhyme for her great-granddaughter Zoey, to her first book, “The Captive Committee.” 

About the Author, cont’d.


Feeling a lot more confident, two more books followed, “Tea Leaves,” and “The Ladies of the Trees.”

            Still married for fifty-four years to Wil, her high school sweetheart, they had two children; a daughter Peggy, a son Kelly, three grandchildren; Tiffany, Nick and Amanda, and of course Zoey, all of whom have inspired her along the way.

            Along with their Cairn Terrier, “Katie Lu,” the Wilcox’s live in Clayton, California.