Enola Holmes saw the youngest Holmes investigating the disappearance of her mother, which had a very unsatisfying solution in the book and the movie.
The trigger of the events of Enola Holmes is the disappearance of Eudoria Holmes, which is resolved at the end of the book the movie is based on, but it’s a very disappointing solution. Sherlock Holmes is one of the most popular characters in literature, and as such, he has been adapted to all types of media for over a hundred years. The Great Detective has one of the biggest fandoms in entertainment, and many artists have borrowed Sherlock Holmes and other characters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books to make their own stories, with some adding to and expanding the detective’s mysterious backstory.
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Such is the case of Nancy Springer and her young adult fiction series The Enola Holmes Mysteries, which gave Sherlock and Mycroft a younger sister: Enola. The Holmes sister is 20 years younger than Sherlock but hadn’t seen her brothers since she was very little, as they left their family home after various arguments and disagreements with their mother. As a result, Enola grew up with her mother, who on her 14th birthday (16th in the movie) suddenly disappeared. Springer’s vision of the Holmes family was adapted to film in the movie simply titled Enola Holmes, which adapted the first book in the series, The Case of the Missing Marquess, but made some big changes to it, especially regarding their mother, Eudoria.
Enola Holmes follows the basic premise of the book, with Eudoria also disappearing without leaving any messages – or, at least, that’s what everyone thought, as she did leave a secret message for Enola to decipher. This pushed Enola to run away from home (and Mycroft, who wanted to send her to a school for young ladies) and investigate her mother’s disappearance on her own, but she came across another case in the process: the disappearance of Lord Tewkesbury. Still, Enola uncovered some of Eudoria’s secrets, such as being part of a secret society with some truly dangerous plans, but she didn’t get a proper answer to all her questions. Eudoria showed up at the end of Enola Holmes, which was a very different ending to the one in the book.
In The Case of the Missing Marquess, Eudoria doesn’t show up again, but they do keep in touch through coded messages posted in newspapers. It’s through these that Enola learns why her mother left: she went away with the Romani to live a free, wandering life, far away from the pressures and restrictions of Victorian life. Eudoria doesn’t appear in any of the following books, but she keeps sending her coded messages of encouragement, and in the final book, The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye, the Holmes siblings finally reconcile thanks to one of their mother’s messages. In Enola Holmes, Eudoria didn’t leave to join the Romani, and simply told Enola that she left “for her”, as she “couldn’t bear to have that world be her future”, but her reasons and the point of her bombing plan were left unknown.
In both cases, the answer to Eudoria’s disappearance is quite unsatisfying, though the one in Enola Holmes could be justified if the movie gets a sequel, as her real reasons and more could be explored and properly solved in another movie. As for the books, unless Nancy Springer wants to give a better ending to Eudoria Holmes, readers are stuck with her simply running away and leaving her daughter because she wanted to go through new experiences.
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