The book - Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (1995):While I've owned the movie for years, I didn't actually realize that it was an adaption of a book until I listened to Carrie and Diana's Practical Magic Fiction Kitchen Podcast last year! I added it to my ever-growing tbr list, and was happy to find out that it was on the book and a movie club roster for this year.
I was surprised to find out that the movie really only covers about a third of the book, and it's pulled from bits and pieces throughout. When Sally and Gillian are young, they go to live with their aunts after their parents die. Like the aunts, and the other Owens women going back over 200 years, the girls are looked at as outsiders...witchy outsiders (and how fitting that they live in Massachusetts).
Gillian runs away to get married as a teenager, while Sally stays home with the aunts. She eventually finds love and has two daughters, only to lost her beloved Michael in an accident that she knew was imminent. She sinks into a severe depression for a year, with only the aunts to raise this next generation of Owens girls during that time. With telephone coaxing from Gillian, she eventually snaps out of it and decides to leave the town that she grew up in.
She takes her daughters and starts fresh, raising them in a "normal" environment. All is going well until one day, years later, Gillian shows up at her door with the dead body of her boyfriend in the car. Sally reluctantly lets Gillian stay and helps her bury the body in the yard. This is the end to any sense of normalcy that Sally had created.
Okay, there is soooo much more to the story, and all three generations of Owens women that are currently living. The aunts don't play as bit a role in the book as they do in the movie, and they are written as much older and reclusive than they are in the film, but they do make an important and welcome appearance in the conclusion of the book.
The air is as dense as chocolate cake, the good kind, made without flour.
The movie - Practical Magic (1998):Every once in a while, I feel the urge to rewatch the movie. I created these Midnight Margaritas (with a side of remembrance) a few years ago as part of recipes inspired by Practical Magic with the Food 'n Flix club.
The movie is pulled from the book, but we're given much youngers aunts, and the story unfolds over a much shorter period of time. Sally's girls are young throughout the film, and Sally never moves away. The body is buried in the aunts yard, and I think there's a lot more obvious magic (maybe because it was packed into such a shorter time frame).
The movie doesn't take us as far into the lives of Gillian or Kylie and Antonia (Sally's daughters) as the book does, so we miss a lot of their depth. But hey, there's a lot more obvious and fun magical things to make up for it.
Here's an instance where I love both the book and the movie—and that's a rare thing for me.
In this house we have chocolate cake for breakfast...
The Flourless Chocolate Cake:Food plays a pretty big part in both the book and the movie...but especially the book. I like that the movie focused more on herbs and plants and creating spells, and kind of missed that when I sat down to read it. But something that was mentioned in both was chocolate cake.
In the movie, they ate chocolate cake for breakfast in the aunts' house. In the book, chocolate cake...the dense, flourless variety...was used to describe how thick the air was around Gillian when the aunts stepped back into her life after so many years. Somehow, I just couldn't resist making a chocolate cake to represent both versions of this story.
The challenge:I'm so glad that Kimberly chose this Practical Magic combo to kick off a new year of the (Vampires, Witches, and Zombies - oh my!) Book and a Movie Challenge over at Coffee and Casseroles. I hope you'll drop by to read her thoughts and check out her Blood on the Moon Salad this month, as well.
In April, we'll be discussing an Anne Rice combination - The Vampire Lestat (book) and Queen of the Damned (movie). If you'd like to read, watch, and discuss with us, just post your thoughts and a recipe inspired by it, if you wish, on Sunday, April 30!