Enola Holmes Film – What Changed From The book?

The Enola Holmes film is not like the book in some ways, but it still keeps  viewer on their toes.

Image courtesy of Netflix

The Enola Holmes film is not like the book in some ways, but it still keeps viewer on their toes.

Audrey C. and Lily G.

Spoiler Alert!: This article contains spoilers from the book series and film “Enola Holmes.”  

Enola Holmes, the movie that some loved, while others didn’t, is based off of the original book series by Nancy Springer. Though the movie is based on the books, it isn’t an exact replica. While some were engrossed by the film, others simply found it gross and weren’t thrilled by the changes in the movie.

The main character in the film’s version is a 16-year-old girl who, on her sixteenth birthday, woke up to a surprising fate — her beloved mother, Eudoria Holmes was missing. Enola Holmes describes their relationship as inseparable. It was “just the two of [them],” Enola said. However, in the books, Enola is often alone. Even her name is “alone” spelled backwards, as Enola pointed out early in the film. 

In the books, Enola Holmes is introduced as a 14-year old. Curious, Enola Holmes follows a line of clues and travels away from home to find her mother. Along the way, she meets a marquess named Viscount Tewksbury, who is running away from his royal life to experience freedom. In the book series, Tewksbury is only 12 years old. Yet the film version added four years to Tewksbury’s age, making him sixteen, the identical age as Enola Holmes. In both versions, her two older brothers, the infamous detective Sherlock Holmes and the less famous Mycroft, had come home because of Mrs. Holmes’ disappearance.  While Sherlock sets off to find their mother, Mycroft’s goal is to make Enola a presentable young lady that would be acceptable in 19th century London. Enola, however, wants to pursue her own path, which is also part of the reason why she had left home.  

While each version is distinct in its own right, there are some similarities between the film and the series. In both, Enola Holmes’ older brother Mycroft Holmes is very imperious and wants to reign over Enola’s future. 

One significant difference in the movie appears when Enola Holmes was apprehended after her escape and was sent to a boarding school by Mycroft, leading to a huge chain of events resulting in Enola attempting to flee once again. In the book, Mycroft tried to get Enola to go to a boarding school, but she successfully avoided him and didn’t have to attend. Luckily, she manages to successfully stay undercover.

Another major event that was not included in the book involved a character named Edith, a jiu jitsu teacher and tea shop owner who was good friends with Eudoria. In the movie, Enola Holmes goes to Edith to find clues to search for her mother. Sherlock Holmes, also goes to Edith because all the clues he found in order to catch Enola and her mother had led to Edith. But, in the book, there is no such character named Edith. 

The book and film uniquely portray Enola Holmes’ personality. In the book, the narrator tells the feelings Enola has to the readers. Enola’s inquisitive nature is recognized through her dialogue and actions. To convey her personality in the movie, Enola would look at the camera as if addressing the audience and make expressions that would illustrate sarcasm or an emotion to express how she was feeling through her statements. Throughout the film, Enola would be seen winking, smiling, and even asking the audience questions directly. In the film and books, Enola Holmes is quick-witted, smart, charming and funny. Her personality is exactly what makers her, her.