This outstanding children’s novel was an object lesson for me in not judging a book by its cover. Not just the cover, actually, but by a whole web of preconceptions and unreasonably unpleasant connotations. For example, I’d only heard of the associated movie, so I immediately thought of the book as a lame spin-off, which idea the cheesy movie-poster-style book cover rather supported. Also, I thought the movie had something to do with Shakespeare (“Tuck” reminded me of “Puck,” ok?), which made me think of Shakespeare in Love which I disliked quite a bit, though I can’t remember exactly why. The book cover reminded me of The Notebook, which I haven’t actually seen, but hate violently for some reason. Soooo, the only thing going for this book at the start was Mom’s somewhat self-conscious recommendation (I have been known to shred without mercy, on occasion, so I’m glad she was brave enough to suggest I read this book at all).
All of that to explain just how amazing Tuck Everlasting had to be in order to overcome my considerable bias. It is unique, deep, touching, clever and well-written from the first sentence to the last. Despite its shortness, there is a mythic quality to the story and its archetypal characters. In fact, it was so good that I hold out little hope for the movie, which will probably be awful compared to the book. Definitely awful. Possibly even horrid.