Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman

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Do I prefer the movie over the book?  Or do I prefer the book over the movie?practicalbook

That is the question that I was asking myself when I was finally able to get my hands on this pretty piece of work.  I have always been a fan of the movie since it first came out.  I only take the movie out during fall time (to me, it is a seasonal movie).  It is just one of those treasures that you do not want to grow tired of, and you cherish it when you do watch it when you are in the mood.

I have the physical book and I have it on audio book.  I used my time of commuting to listen to it as sometimes that is my only time of concentration.  While I would listen to it, I cannot believe on how different it is to the movie. Completely different.

In the movie, Francis is Stockard Channing (with dark hair) and Jet was Dianne Weist (red hair).  Sally and Gillian were played by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, and of course the little ones Kylie and Antonia, with Kylie the older child.  You had Jimmy and Gary.  In the book, you had the same characters, but they are different completely and slightly, if that makes sense.

The aunts are much older in the books, Sally is more uptight, and Gillian is
(Photo Credit: Deborah Feingold)

more of a downer.  Antonia is older while Kylie is younger.  Jimmy was kind of the same (he has a very dark side in the book, darker than the movie), and Gary is still a cop.

Sally and Gillian live in a small town in New York (not in Massachusetts),  and it goes over years of them going through turmoil with girls turning into teenagers, and Gillian finding herself, while Sally is fighting with whatever is eating at her (metaphorically).

There are more details to the book that I do not want to spoil for anyone.  I just want to say that if you want more, you will have to read it (or listen).  It is definitely one of those that pulls you in and you cannot get out until you get answers.  There are many twists and turns, and happy endings.

So, back to my question: Do I prefer one over the other?  No.  Why?  Because they are both different in their own way, and they are both beautifully done, and both are special.  If you love the movie, you will love the book.

P.S.  You cannot read Alice Hoffman’s new book Rules of Magic without reading Practical Magic.  It is a prequel to the Practical Magic, and there some things that you learn about the Aunts that makes you wonder while reading Practical magic.

So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and read a copy of Practical Magic, and think about the differences, and you will love it just as much as me.