On November 4, Netflix released Enola Holmes 2, a highly anticipated sequel to the beloved Enola Holmes, starring Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill. Based on the novel Enola Holmes and the Case of the Left-Handed Lady, the second in the series, it follows Enola as she attempts to strike out on her own and start her own detective agency.
When I watched the first trailer for this movie, my first thought was, “So it’s going to be very different from the book.” That didn’t damper my excitement, because it still looked like a good time. And sure enough, I adored the film. But my suspicion was confirmed…while both the book and film are excellent, there are several significant differences.
Her Relationship with Sherlock
Because Sherlock wants Enola to go to finishing school and become a proper lady, she spends most of the first book and movie running from him. In the movie, this conflict is resolved at the end of the first installment, so in the second, they are able to work together on their respective cases. At the end of the first book, however, Enola is still hiding from Sherlock, and she continues to hide from him in the second book. Sherlock makes a few scattered appearances, but Enola is always in disguise and trying to outsmart him.
Enola’s Detective Agency
In the novel, Enola does open her own agency to rival Sherlock’s. However, she doesn’t attach her own name to it. Since she’s still hiding from her brothers, she always wears the disguise of “Ivy Meshel” and instead of posing as the detective, she poses as the secretary. She creates a fictional male detective, Dr. Ragostosin, to avoid the sexist stigmas of the time.
There are pros and cons to both interpretations. I appreciate how the film elevates Enola as a feminist icon who breaks cultural norms. However, the book emphasizes Enola’s cleverness by showing how she works her way around the conventions of her society.
Tewksbury (or Tewky, as she calls him in the book) doesn’t make an appearance in the novel. Since he is two years younger than Enola in the book series, he isn’t a romantic interest for her, so he disappears after Book 1. In the film, however, he plays a major role in both the solving of the mystery and Enola’s own personal journey. Personally, I was happy he made an appearance, because I loved him in the first movie and he is even better in this one.
Her Mother’s Role
Enola’s mother never makes a single appearance in the novels. While her disappearance triggers the events of the first story, Enola never finds her mother. In the first movie, their paths do cross, and she plays a small, but important, role in the second movie as well.
The Case Itself
The case Enola solves in the book and the case she solves in the movie have very little in common. Both involve the disappearance of a young lady, but in the movie, it is a working class girl, and in the book, it is a young noblewoman.
Featured Image Courtesy of Netflix