The sweet earth opened out its wide four corners to her like the petals of a flower ready to be picked, and it shimmered with light and possibility till she was dizzy with it.
~ Tuck Everlasting (Book)
Let me just dive right into the confessions:
- I watched and loved the movie many times over before I picked up the book.
- I adored both the movie and the book.
- I really don't mind that they were different from each other.
- In fact, I love them both for being their own brilliant works.
I just finished reading Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt for the very first time the other night. It's an enchanting and strange little tale about a 10-year-old girl who speaks for so many growing-up hearts with her conflicting desires to explore the world and never leave the familiarity of home. It's also, of course, about the Tucks - an endearing family with a desire to belong...to Winnie, to the world, to life.
There's an innocence about the story that makes the profound questions and observations all the more powerful for the contrast.
The movie version shares many similarities in plot and distinct elements. But it's also an altogether different story experience. Miles is a heartbroken man "looking for wars to fight." Romance is a much more imminent possibility for teenage Winnie. And the Tuck family is more of a sober (but still entirely lovable) mystery.
You won't find answers about everlasting life in either version, at least in a direct fashion (although I believe the movie offers a beautiful hint), but you can find thought-provoking questions, as well as memorable words and portrayals of deep love and wise living.
Some of my favorite lines from each to ponder...
Do not fear death. Fear the unlived life.
She had done it because - in spite of everything, she loved them. This of all things her family understood, and afterward they drew together staunchly around her.
Wake up with the dawn.
You can't pick out the pieces you like and leave the rest. Being part of the whole thing, that's the blessing.
I feel quite happy to have finally enjoyed the book! And I've started watching the movie again, because this story world...? It charms me and begs me to linger in a moment where time's wheel pauses and offers much-needed perspective on life, "shimmer[ing] with light and possibility."
Have you read or watched Tuck Everlasting? What struck you most about the story?
If you've experienced both, were you OK with the movie being different from the book? Do you prefer one version over the other?