living in

Living In: Tuck Everlasting

by Maxwell Tielman

I first read Natalie Babbit’s 1975 classic, Tuck Everlasting, when I was in sixth grade. I’m not sure if it was because of my youth or because of Babbit’s powerful story (probably a combination of the two), but I found the short novel especially affecting—and it remains one of my favorites to this day. The story, set during the turn of the twentieth century, centers around a young aristocratic girl, Winnie Foster, and the mysteriously immortal family she stumbles upon in the woods behind her home. The tale, which is equal parts romance, adventure, and philosophical allegory asks powerful questions about love, life, and mortality. As Winnie gets to know the Tuck family, she comes to realize that their blessing is also, in a way, a curse.

When Disney released a motion picture adaptation of the book in 2002, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. The story had previously be adapted for the screen in the 1980s, but that original version left much to be desired. In this updated interpretation, Winnie Foster is played by a doe-eyed Alexis Bledel and the immortal Tucks are brought to life by actors Sissy Spacek, William Hurt, Scott Bairstow, and Jonathan Jackson (of Nashville fame). Although the film could have easily become disposable preteen fodder in today’s Twilight world, director Jay Russell (My Dog Skip) deftly tackles the story’s complex subject matter while creating an ethereal aura that is both true to the book and incredibly beautiful. —Max

1. Band of Outsiders Lace Dress | 2. Amish Straw Hat | 3. Mountain Valley Spring Water | 4. Rattan Market Pack | 5. Lace Up Ankle Boots | 6. Felci Fern Bunch | 7. Wood Ball Music Box | 8. Akiko Croquet Set

1. Old Town Canoe | 2. Yellow Bowtie | 3. Handmade Copper Flask | 4. Love Potion | 5. Patina Oil Lamps | 6. Beeswax Taper Candles | 7. Lemongrass Eucalyptus Soap | 8. Tin Recipe Box | 9. Antique Victorian Rocking Chair

Film: Tuck Everlasting

Year: 2002

Director: Jay Russell

Starring: Alexis Bledel, Jonathan Jackson, Sissy Spacek, William Hurt, Ben Kingsley, Victor Garber

Art Direction: Ray Kluga

Production Design: Tony Burrough

Set Decoration: Catherine Davis

Costume Design: Carol Ramsey


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  • I grew up in Harford County, MD, where much of the movie was filmed. The last photo in your post where they’re standing on the rocks is the King and Queen Seat in Rocks State Park – a spot I visited many times growing up! It makes me happy to see this movie highlighted in your post, and I love the collections that you put together!

  • Who wants… to live…. for-ever? Who dares… to love… FOR-EVER?? When love must die! wow-Oh-ooo!

    (with apologies to Freddy Mercury)

  • Have never seen it! Unfortunately thanks to Gilmore Girls I can’t stand Alexis Bledel (poor girl has never done anything to me but I loathed the character of Rory, and Lorelei too) otherwise I’m pretty intrigued by the premise of the film.
    Really want the rocking chair…
    PS Etherial should be ethereal.

  • Awwww I forgot about this movie. I want that canoe, I would totally have that in my Brooklyn apartment, maybe hang it from the ceiling. Just kidding, but seriously it’s awesome. I may actually buy those boots though, for real.

    As an aside, I saw Alexis Bledel in person at a party once and she was so ethereally beautiful.

  • I loved this book and the newest movie interpretation! Your inclusion of the music box makes me happy :). I think I’m going to have to watch the film again now.

  • Thank you for this. We have school holidays upon us here in Australia and winter is slowly creeping in…have purchased this for my daughter to read, rugged up under a blanket on the sofa.

  • this is my favorite book from elementary school. while i’m an admitted twilight lover, tuck will always be my favorite immortal character :) have been looking for oil lamps for an upcoming event- will check these out!

  • I just watched this the other day! I absolutely love the woodsy aesthetics of the whole film. I remember reading the text in the fourth grade and I don’t think I fully understood how good the message of the story is. I’m so glad Babbit creates a more complex character in Winnie in having her choose mortality.

  • I grew up in Harford county too! The waterfall was my go to summer swim spot and everyone knows the view at the King and Queen seat at Rocks State Park can’t be beat. I love that this movie showcases the beauty of where I grew up, whenever I get homesick I can just watch the movie :)

  • oh my, the Mozart Music Box is wonderful and will make a lovely gift for my brother the maestro. thank you :)

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