Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Witches of East End - Book vs TV Show

Witches of East End 
by Melissa De La Cruz
Beauchamp Family, book one

It’s the beginning of summer in North Hampton, and beautiful Freya Beauchamp is celebrating her engagement to wealthy Bran Gardiner, the heir to Fair Haven and Gardiners Island. But Freya is drawn to Bran’s gorgeous but unreliable brother Killian, and sparks fly when the two decide to play a dangerous game, following an ancient story of love, betrayal and tragedy that harks back to the days of Valhalla.

Witches of East End follows the Beauchamp family—the formidable matriarch Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid. Freya, a sexy bartender, has a potion to cure every kind of heartache, while Ingrid, the local librarian, solves complicated domestic problems with her ability to tie magical knots. Joanna is the witch to see when modern medicine has no more answers; her powers can wake the dead. Everything seems to be going smoothly until a young girl, Molly Lancaster, goes missing after taking one of Freya’s irresistible cocktails. As more of the town’s residents begin disappearing, everyone seems to have the same suspects in mind: the Beauchamp women.
(description from Melissa De La Cruz's website)

So, I've had this book for years and always told myself I would like it (why not? I love the idea and I love M. De La Cruz's Blue Bloods series) but I kept putting off reading it.  Thennnnnnn, they started advertising the show on Lifetime.  

OMG, what a wonderfully soap-opera-esque and addicting TV show! I started watching it for a lark and to support Melissa De La Cruz and I got totally hooked.  No lie, I waited with held breath each week for the next episode! I'm so sad that I have to wait months and months and months for it to come back... 

The spells, the family relationships, the...steamy romance.  *grins* This show's a winner with a great cast. As long as you know not to take it too seriously.  It's like Charmed used to be... a show that I desperately loved in its time, too.  

My favorite character, of course, is Ingrid, the librarian and eldest sister.  She not only is a LIBRARIAN, but she's smart and a lot tougher than expected at first glance.  She's fiercely loyal and loving and very sweet.  

I also love Joanna's strength, Wendy's determination and willingness to circumvent the usual rules, and Freya's quest to make those around her happy.  These women make up a core group of strong, interesting characters that greatly overshadow the men on the show... though they are rather pretty to look at... see?

Now, about halfway through the season, having been thoroughly hooked, I finally dug out the old ARC I had of the first book in the series and decided that I HAD to read it and compare it to the show.  

So, what's the verdict?  Honestly, I love the TV show. I really, really do. Can't wait til season 2! And yet...having read the book...I wish they'd stuck a little more closely to it. I'm waiting to see if they try to bring in some of the missing elements from the book to season two, but I doubt it.  While in the book, the witches are actually Norse gods and goddesses, on the TV show, they are just witches that have a connection to Asgard. In the book, the Beauchamps already secretly use magic in cool ways and know of their talents; in the tv show Freya and Ingrid have no idea they are witches initially.

Really both stories are great and very entertaining. I plan to read all the books and will definitely continue to watch the show. I'm just going to have to divorce them in my mind like I usually do when they turn books into movies.

Has anyone else read the books or seen the show? I'd love to know what you think!

Full disclosure: ARC received at BEA 2010.

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