Book-vs-Movie: Northern Lights, by Nora Roberts
Posted by The Obscured Vixen on September 21, 2011
Book published in 2004: 4 of 5 stars
Movie released in 2009: 4 of 5 stars
Nate Burke, a Baltimore police detective, blamed himself for the death of his partner in a shootout, and the resulting anger and grief sent him into a depression so dark and deep he thought he would never climb back out. Then Nate decides to accept the position of police chief in the small town of Lunacy, Alaska, and it seems as if life is giving him one more chance. Things are certainly different in Lunacy, and Nate begins to enjoy his encounters with the town’s colorful inhabitants, especially bush pilot Meg Galloway. The unexpected romance that slowly develops between Nate and Meg becomes quite complicated, however, when the body of Meg’s father, who disappeared in 1988, is found in an ice cave, and Nate has to try to keep his new love safe from a cold-blooded murderer who is willing to kill again to keep old secrets safely buried.
I read the book first, and it is actually one of my favorite Nora Roberts novels. I enjoyed the edgy dynamic between Nate and Meg, and love how strong both of the characters are. It was a refreshing “city boy moves to a small town” story. Nora Roberts writes with such detail about Lunacy, Alaska that it becomes a character in the book. The town was such a fun setting, and it was great reading about what life would be living living in a small town in Alaska.
I thought this movie was perfectly cast: LeAnn Rimes was excellent as Meg. She was just as independent and determined as the character in the book. Eddie Cibrian played an excellent Nate (doesn’t hurt that he’s pretty damn sexy without a shirt on!). He is believable as a man with a haunted past that wants to start a new chapter in his life. The charisma between the two actors is really what made this movie just as heartwarming as the novel. Meg’s pain over her father brought tears to my eyes; Nate’s uncomfortable feelings about being the new guy in town was quite humorous; and the sex scenes were hot!
The movie didn’t leave out much from the book; just condensed the timeline and details. The scene I loved most in the movie was the New Year’s kiss. It was so sweet and perfect with the northern lights glowing in the background. It gave me butterflies : )
A lot of the smaller crimes were left out to save time, which made sense for the movie. Mayor Hopp, played by Jayne Eastwood, was an absolutely fabulous character! I wished that she was included more in the movie, but the focus was on the relationship between Meg and Nate. The relationship between Meg and her mother was also portrayed really well on the film. Especially the scene when Meg tells her mother about her fathers death.
If you have not read this book, I definitely recommend it! It was suspenseful and romantic.
If you’ve read the book, watch the movie now! It was that good.
A definite recommend for both.