Practical Magic is one of my very favourite films. I have watched it so many times and never tire of the beauty of it, the sheer magic of it. Last Christmas I got the book and thought that I would love it just as much, if not more. With one thing and another going on I have only got round to reading it now…….and I have to say I was very disappointed with the book. The film is so much better in my opinion. The book is long and tedious and some points feel pretty pointless.
My daughter suggested I feel this way because I watched the film first, but I’m not so sure. I wonder if I would have felt the disappointment if I had read the book first. In the book Sally goes away to live, far away from the Aunts. The Aunts are barely in the book and Sally’s children are different too. Antonia is the eldest child and she is mean to Kylie, and they are teenagers in the book. Jillian has the same sassiness in the book as she does in the film, but Sally is made out to be even less of a witch. At the very end the cop comes along, rather than him being there sooner, this part feels rushed like Gary Hallet is an afterthought. Much is made of a relationship that Jillian has, which doesn’t make it to the film.
I much prefer the film to the book as the magick is centred around the Aunts and the house and the fact that Sally needs to accept her witchiness. Maria Owens is less of a wicked witch in the book, but both versions (book and film) of her are disappointing.
I am pleased I read the book, if only to quell my curiosity. I doubt I would recommend the book though. If you love Practical Magic I can’t see how you can prefer the book as you get lost in some of the more trivial parts and lose sight of where the story is heading.
A choice between book and film?