Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt: Winnie Foster meets the Tucks, a family accidentally made immortal by a strange spring in the forest. I’m always interested in stories about immortality. Many of the common motifs involve the ability to be killed (Highlander, vampires) or stipulate that the immortality is only as long as the individual is rejuvenated with some sort of elixir of life. Here, the Tucks not only don’t age or get sick, they cannot be killed. Drinking from the spring is completely irreversible, and they will be around until the end of time. Which is a pretty scary prospect, if you think about it, and the dilemma is handled well here. The ending is bittersweet and satisfying. Now I want to go find a toad of my own.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

  1. I haven’t read the book, but it sounds like I should. I watched the movie one night then made my friends (who had fallen asleep during our first watching) watch it with me the following night because I was so utterly confused by the ending. I don’t even remember many specifics, but I remember asking my friends questions and getting no satisfactory answers. We were all stumped. Maybe the book does a better job at explaining the parts that were confuzzling me. Oh, I know, here was a question: why did they repeatedly/regularly return to the area if they didn’t need to keep drinking from the spring in order to keep their immortality?

    • In the book the spring is used as a convenient meeting spot for the brothers, that’s all. The younger brother drinks from it because, despite being immortal, they still feel hungry and thirsty like regular people. (This is my explanation; it is not said explicitly in the book.) No one else drinks from it or visits it.

  2. I’ve owned this book for a long time now; had planned to read it to my kids. They are getting a little old but, maybe I will dig it out and read it. Thanks for reminding me of it.

  3. I have always loved this book and its emphasis on the importance of life’s choices. I was sorry that Disney turned it into a teen romance. The book is SO much better than the movie.

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