If you saw the movie Beaches with Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey and you think this book might possibly the same story then you’re partly right. There are enough similarities to ensure you can see where they got the ideas for the movie from but there are also major departures. Normally I have issues with some of these changes but in this case I’m struggling to find anything wrong.
The basic storyline of two young girls meeting on the beach, becoming pen pals, best friends and then one of them looking after the other while she dies is still there. CC Bloom is still an entertainer and goes on to become one of the best in the business. Bert (short for Roberta) is still very gorgeous and gets a fatal disease. There are many other similarities throughout but there are also places where they deviate and I have no problem with any of it.
In the book Bert is a housewife who has to look after her husband who doesn’t care, in the movie she is a lawyer. The daughter is an accidental pregnancy in the book but I don’t remember this detail from the movie. In the book Bert has ovarian cancer but in the movie she has a disorder which is fatal, called Viral Cardiomyopathy, I haven’t done any research on it.
There are so many changes and I don’t mind any of them, they have the essential parts of the book and the changes just accentuate them. I’ve cried my way through the movie every time I’ve seen it and cried my way through the book. I loved the book and am now torn between taking it to the op shop so I don’t read it and cry again or putting it on my shelf so I can read it and cry again. I’m going to have to find the movie so I can check out the similarities and the differences. I do think they got the casting absolutely right for the two main parts with both their young selves and their older selves, each actor is just perfect. When I first saw it I thought the movie was written for Bette Midler but with the book written three years before the movie was released that’s highly unlikely, unless the author had Midler in mind during the writing.