"Practical Magic" is one of my all time favorite feel-good movies. I love it because it is lighthearted and fun while at the same smart and well-acted and magical. And I have watched it more times than I care to admit.
I don't love it just because it is about witches and magic or because Nichole Kidman is one of my favorite actresses. I love it because it really is a wonderful movie.
Sally is sympathetic and brave. Gillian is compellingly flawed. The aunts are adoptable. The house, which is not (sadly) a real house, is to die for. To me, the whole movie is absolutely enchanting from start to finish. (And they play "Crystal" which is one my favorite Stevie Nicks song at the end.)
And so - having liked the movie so much for so long - it's really kind of surprising that I didn't get around to reading the book (actually listening to the audiobook) until just last month. But I have to say that I'm glad that I finally gave it change.
"Practical Magic" the book, is not like the movie, in many ways which is not unusual of course in books that are later made into movies. The book isn't comedic - though it is funny at times - and it isn't really all that lighthearted. It isn't enormously fast moving either. In fact, there is a lot backstory, a fair amount of description, and not as much dialogue (or action) as you might expect.
The book does something, however, that the movie does not. It leads us into the minds and hearts of all of the characters - delicately, carefully and very insightfully.
In the book we get the full story on why Sally is afraid to love. We learn why she became her sister's partner in crime. We understand exactly how Gillian allowed herself to end up in such a predicament. We get a look at the aunts that we do NOT get in the movie.
And we find ourselves caring about all of this in a way we probably did not when we watched the movie.
I was actually a little surprised how invested I became in the characters considering that I already knew exactly how the book would turn out. Or close :)
So if you loved the movie (or even if you somehow did not) consider given the book a read (or listen)!