Monday, November 26, 2018

Book or Movie? "The Second Sister"/"Christmas Everlasting"

A whole passel of Hallmark's Christmas movies this year are based on books. I'm not really willing to spend money to read the books, so as of now, it looks like I'll only be doing "Book or Movie" posts for two of them: Christmas Everlasting and A Shoe Addict's Christmas ... because those are the two I could get from my local library.

The first of the two, Christmas Everlasting, aired on Hallmark Channel Saturday night, so here we go!

The Second Sister is a novel by Marie Bostwick, and it was adapted into the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Christmas Everlasting starring Tatyana Ali, Dennis Haysbert, and Dondre Whitfield.

Years of long workdays and little sleep as a political campaigner are about to pay off now that Lucy Toomey's boss is entering the White House. But when her estranged older sister, Alice, unexpectedly dies, Lucy is drawn back to Nilson's Bay, her small, close-knit, Wisconsin hometown. 
An accident in her teens left Alice mentally impaired, and she was content to stay in Nilson's Bay. Lucy, meanwhile, got out and never looked back. But now, to meet the terms of Alice's eccentric will, Lucy has taken up temporary residence in her sister's cottage--and begins to see the town, and Alice's life, anew. Alice's diverse group of friends appears to have little in common besides an interest in quilting. Yet deep affection for Alice united them and soon Lucy, too, is brought into the fold as they share problems and stories. And as she finds warmth and support in this new circle, Lucy begins to understand this will be her sister's enduring gift--a chance to move beyond her difficult past, and find what she has long been missing. . .
The Second Sister is a heartwarming book about Lucy figuring out who she really is and what she really wants, and that's largely done as she reacquaints herself with Nilson's Bay, gets to know Alice's friends, and comes to terms with the accident that caused Alice's mental impairment.

This is a really good read, and I'll be looking for more from Marie Boswtick.

Christmas Everlasting is, as Hallmark says in the promo, a holiday adaptation of The Second Sister. The Second Sister is set at Christmas, so I don't know what that's all about ...

Lucy gets the best Christmas news ever when she learns she’s made partner at her law firm. However, when her sister with special needs, Alice, passes away, Lucy must return home to learn the terms of her sister’s eccentric will.
As I suspected, all of the more edgy/potentially objectionable content from the book was removed from the movie. Also, lots of little details are different (such as the nature of Alice's accident), but the feeling is the same. It's still a story about Lucy finding her way home again and connecting in a way she hadn't imagined.

I do have to say that Lucy is much more sympathetic in the movie—as I read the novel, Lucy grew on me, but she made some choices that made Alice's friends' dislike of her very understandable. In the movie, Lucy's choices during Alice's life were different, so there wasn't as much of that "Lucy abandoned Alice" vibe as was present in the book.

Since I read the book before watching the movie, I had a pretty good idea of what was coming, but I still cried as Lucy discovered the identity of Maeve and again as the FOA (Friends of Alice) became the FOL (Friends of Lucy). For whatever reason, I emotionally engaged with the movie much more than with the book.

Hallmark Hall of Fame productions are generally a level up in quality from regular Hallmark movies, and that's the case here. The acting—especially from Dennis Haysbert and Tatyana Ali—is top notch, and it just seems like a little more money was spent on the production.

So ...

Book or Movie?

I have to go with my emotional connection and say movie, just by a bit. (Book: 4 stars; Movie: 4-1/2 stars.)

Read my review of the book.
Buy the book.

Did you watch Christmas Everlasting? What did you think?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...