Study Guide

Mrs. Winalski in Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

By Lish McBride

Mrs. Winalski

We've got to hand it to Sam's bizarre neighbor, Mrs. Winalski. When she lost her husband fairly early on in her marriage, she could have easily thrown in the towel and spent the rest of her life mourning his loss, but instead, she's spent that time living la vida loca.

Now an elderly woman, Mrs. W. drives a really fast car and participates in numerous activities, like karaoke and roller derby. "Mrs. Winalski did not screw around when it came to her free time," Sam observes. "She made me feel old" (4.8). And it's understandable why—when you've got an old lady for a neighbor who repeatedly "order[s] you to get laid" (4.12), well, we can see why you might feel like she's carpe-ing that diem a little bit more than you are.

But there's more to Mrs. W. than all the action she gets and her awesome karaoke skills. Underneath her wild-living exterior, she hides a pretty dynamite secret: She's actually a witch. As a matter of fact, she and Tia are pretty good friends, and they work together later in the book to remove Tia's part of Sam's binding, which means Mrs. W. also plays a pretty huge role in helping Sam defeat Douglas.