The Rules of Magic
Find your magicFor the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

The Rules of Magic Details

TitleThe Rules of Magic
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 10th, 2017
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Rating
GenreFiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Historical, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Witches

The Rules of Magic Review

  • Elyse
    January 1, 1970
    It's FANTASTIC!!!!! "The Rules of Magic", is such a wonderful world to visit. Most people avoided the Owens family believing any entanglement with them would taint not only their present but their future as well. It was said that some family members could place a single horse hair into a pan of water and turn it into a snake. Yikes... that might scare me away from them too! Ha! But -- oh how I loved this family who came from a long line of witches as far back as the year 1620 when Maria Owens wa It's FANTASTIC!!!!! "The Rules of Magic", is such a wonderful world to visit. Most people avoided the Owens family believing any entanglement with them would taint not only their present but their future as well. It was said that some family members could place a single horse hair into a pan of water and turn it into a snake. Yikes... that might scare me away from them too! Ha! But -- oh how I loved this family who came from a long line of witches as far back as the year 1620 when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for falling in love .... with the wrong man. The siblings- Franny, Jet, and Vincent are colorful fascinating distinct characters each with special powers - gifts- personality- temperament and charm. Aunt Isabelle is a standout, too. They made me laugh. They made me cry.From Manhattan to Massachusetts to California--the storytelling is irresistible - filled with magic and imagery -many scents throughout: wildflowers, herbs, eucalyptus, peppermint, trees, patchouli, chocolate, bittersweet scent of almonds, curries, coffee, even bacon.... etc. etc. Flowers were everywhere at "The Summer of Love" gathering in San Francisco.You'll even visit the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967..... The grateful dead, Janis Joplin, the who, Jimi Hendrix, and Otis Redding: Music Love Peace Page after page.... are delightful surprises... gorgeous prose!!! I devoured this book....taking away wisdom-which brought me back to the 'magic' of our everyday lives. ----- but... I miss these folks, their stories and their rules, already! Thank You Netgalley, Simon & Schuster, and Alice Hoffman
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  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    If you don't read this book because you don't believe in witches or in magic, you would truly be missing out on a wonderful story that is about so much more. If you don't read this book because you haven't read Practical Magic, the book to which this is a prequel, you'd be missing out . I haven't read Practical Magic (although I intend to now), but yet I loved so much about this book . It is not just a story of spells and potions and special powers. It is a story of family, of love, a story that If you don't read this book because you don't believe in witches or in magic, you would truly be missing out on a wonderful story that is about so much more. If you don't read this book because you haven't read Practical Magic, the book to which this is a prequel, you'd be missing out . I haven't read Practical Magic (although I intend to now), but yet I loved so much about this book . It is not just a story of spells and potions and special powers. It is a story of family, of love, a story that reflects so much about the times in the 1960's. There IS real magic in this story, though. It was the spell that Alice Hoffman's writing cast over me that made me accept who these characters are in spite of not really believing in witches. Not just accepting them but caring about them and hoping that they will make it through their tragedies, their fate and wishing for them to be happy. I couldn't help but be drawn into this story of these three siblings, Franny, Jet and Vincent Owens who are told the rules they must live by in order to avoid the family curse, which goes back to 1620's in Massachusetts when their ancestor, Maria Owens is "charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. " The most important rule - do not fall in love . Well, of course they do and this becomes a story of the heart. I loved everything about it - the writing, the characters, the places. As I said I have not read Practical Magic, but I will definitely read it because I don't want to let go of this family. Alice Hoffman is a treasure, such a versatile and prolific author, writing of past and present, such very different stories in so many novels. This is just the fourth novel of hers that I have read and I feel lucky to have so many others yet to read.I received an advanced copy of this book from Simon & Schuster through Edelweiss and NetGalley.
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    How much did I love this book? I cannot even count the ways.Franny, Bridget (Jet), and Vincent Owens are siblings growing up in New York City in the late 1950s and early 1960s, raised by no-nonsense parents who discourage their children from exploring their uniqueness. Their mother Susanna knows that her children are different—headstrong Franny can talk to birds, beautiful Jet can read people's thoughts, and charismatic Vincent has been charming people to him since birth, and he uses that to hi How much did I love this book? I cannot even count the ways.Franny, Bridget (Jet), and Vincent Owens are siblings growing up in New York City in the late 1950s and early 1960s, raised by no-nonsense parents who discourage their children from exploring their uniqueness. Their mother Susanna knows that her children are different—headstrong Franny can talk to birds, beautiful Jet can read people's thoughts, and charismatic Vincent has been charming people to him since birth, and he uses that to his advantage.Susanna has many rules she demands her children follow—no walking in the moonlight, no books about magic, no candles, no crows, and most importantly, never fall in love. The Owens family has been cursed since 1620, when their ancestor, Maria Owens, who was accused of witchcraft after loving the wrong man, predicted ruin for anyone in her lineage that dared fall in love. Many bore the scars of that curse, including Susanna herself.While the children know they are different, at first only Vincent wants to understand what they really are. But after spending the summer at their feisty Aunt Isabelle's house, they are urged to embrace their heritage and their differences, rather than hide who they are and what they can do. Living in the small Massachusetts town where everyone looks askance at the Owens family, believing the rumors of witchcraft and evil to be true, they learn to have pride in who they are, to be bold and unafraid of those who disapprove.It is in Massachusetts where each of the children come face to face with understanding the curse that plagues their family, and they try to test its limits. As they grow into adulthood, they must wrestle with the dilemma of embracing their identity and keeping love at bay, or risking it all for the magic and fire that love can bring? And what will that risk entail?The Rules of Magic is utterly compelling, exquisitely told, and really just so fantastic. It's a story of family, identity, self-discovery, embracing your fears, love, loss, and, of course, magic. These characters are so affecting and fascinating, and I could have read a book about each of them. Alice Hoffman is once again at the top of her storytelling form with this book, which has so many beautiful, memorable, touching moments which I'd rather let unfold for you than tell you about.While this book is a prequel to Hoffman's fantastic Practical Magic, don't worry if you've never read it or, like me, don't really remember it. (It was published in 1995, so don't feel bad.) You absolutely can read this one without any knowledge of the Owens family and enjoy it immensely. And if you've never read Alice Hoffman before, you're in for a treat.I'm so sad this is over!!NetGalley and Simon & Schuster provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available! See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
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  • PorshaJo
    January 1, 1970
    Rating 4.5 (Release date 10-10-17)Magical! Enough said, end review. Seriously, I loved this book. I got an email one day asking if I was wanted to read this new book by Alice Hoffman. I didn't even think, I just replied YES!The Rules of Magic is the 'prequel' to Hoffman's huge selling book and movie, Practical Magic. Even though this is a prequel, I will say this.....You DO NOT have to read Practical Magic before reading this one. In Practical Magic, the main characters had two aunts that took c Rating 4.5 (Release date 10-10-17)Magical! Enough said, end review. Seriously, I loved this book. I got an email one day asking if I was wanted to read this new book by Alice Hoffman. I didn't even think, I just replied YES!The Rules of Magic is the 'prequel' to Hoffman's huge selling book and movie, Practical Magic. Even though this is a prequel, I will say this.....You DO NOT have to read Practical Magic before reading this one. In Practical Magic, the main characters had two aunts that took care of them for a bit. They were really not in the book that much. Fleeting in and out a few times. In the Rules of Magic, you learn about the lives of those aunts, starting when they were children.The Rules of Magic is the story of Franny, Jet, and their brother Vincent. They know they are different from others, but not sure why. They know their mother rules them and keeps things from them, but they are not sure why. She urges no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic, again, they are not told why. What they do know, is that they can never fall in love. Oh there are so many quirky, interesting characters in this one. I loved hearing about their aunt and so many others. I also loved hearing about NYC (always a favorite for me) and the books they read (The Magus, Maria Owens diary, The Scarlet Letter, and more). You learn how they began to grow and grow into their magical abilities, starting with a summer visit to their aunt they knew nothing about. I loved the addition into the story the man John Hawthorne. John Hawthorne is a real person, known for his early and vocal role as one of the leading judges in the Salem witch trials. John and his loathing for witches and magic is weaved beautifully into this story.If you love magical realism, this is the perfect read for you. If you like to hear about witches and spells, this is for you. And if you love reading Alice Hoffman, then you must simply pick this one up. I do have to say, this is my favorite book of hers that I have read to date (though I do have more of hers to read). I like how she seems to have a common theme across her books, the color red, characters with red hair, birds (mainly black birds/crows), and of course, love.Finally, I did get an advance copy of this via NetGalley. Thanks to NetGally, Simon & Schuster, and Alice Hoffman for this early release. This does not influence my review in any way. I just really enjoyed this one and now must get the print version for a future re-read.
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    5 Crazy, Dazzling & Reckless Stars! "The Rules of Magic" is a Mystical, Whimsical, Fantastical and Heartbreaking Novel about the Owen family. Siblings, Franny, Jet and Vincent, who are given simple, yet strange rules by their mother Susanna: no walking in moonlight, no wearing black, no wearing red shoes, no cats or crows, no candles and no reading books about magic. Oh.. and the biggest rule? No falling in love. They are provided no explanation. None. They obey.. though they don't know why 5 Crazy, Dazzling & Reckless Stars! "The Rules of Magic" is a Mystical, Whimsical, Fantastical and Heartbreaking Novel about the Owen family. Siblings, Franny, Jet and Vincent, who are given simple, yet strange rules by their mother Susanna: no walking in moonlight, no wearing black, no wearing red shoes, no cats or crows, no candles and no reading books about magic. Oh.. and the biggest rule? No falling in love. They are provided no explanation. None. They obey.. though they don't know why - until they are summoned to visit their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts. Then they discover the truth. They are witches. And everything falls into place. Jet and Vincent take to it immediately and they study and practice. Franny tries ignores what she knows to be true until one day, she too has no choice but to embrace her true self. She is a witch, through and through. And her siblings need her. From their Aunt, and from books that they have been warned to stay away from, they learn spells; they learn the secrets of making soaps and how to make potions; and from each other they find strength. They find love; though it terrifies them - for they have been told of the curse on the Owens family. It is beautiful, exciting, haunting and terrifying. Yet Franny, Jet and Vincent are destined for it. In "The Rules of Magic" by Alice Hoffman, what you will learn, is that "There is no remedy for love, but to love more." We all strive for this, each and every one of us. This book's magical realism and utter whimsy made me want to dance in my kitchen, learn to fly, converse with animals and make potions, but alas, I had to settle for dancing in my kitchen. Thankfully, it was enough. Alice Hoffman does something amazing here, but then, doesn't she always? Her characters are beloved and endearing, yet tortured. The story grabs you from the get go, and not just because it's a Prequel to Hoffman's "Practical Magic" (which you don't need to have read in order to read this) and she just creates this feeling that sinks into your soul and soothes you completely. Yes. She does that. All I can say is that you must experience its magic for yourself. It worked for me. Thank you to NetGalley, Simon Schuster and Alice Hoffman for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I am externally grateful that I was given the opportunity to read and review this incredible book. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 8.13.17.*Will be Published on Amazon on 10.10.17.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    I'll tell you about the magic, and it'll free your soulBut it's like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and rollIf you believe in magic, come along with meWe'll dance until morning 'til there's just you and meAnd maybe, if the music is rightI'll meet you tomorrow, sort of late at nightAnd we'll go dancing, baby, then you'll seeHow the magic's in the music and the music's in meYeah, do you believe in magicYeah, believe in the magic of a young girl's soulBelieve in the magic of rock and rollBel I'll tell you about the magic, and it'll free your soulBut it's like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and rollIf you believe in magic, come along with meWe'll dance until morning 'til there's just you and meAnd maybe, if the music is rightI'll meet you tomorrow, sort of late at nightAnd we'll go dancing, baby, then you'll seeHow the magic's in the music and the music's in meYeah, do you believe in magicYeah, believe in the magic of a young girl's soulBelieve in the magic of rock and rollBelieve in the magic that can set you freeOhh, talking 'bout magic - Lyrics by John Sebastian ”There is no remedy for love but to love more. –Henry David Thoreau ”The Rules of Magic” is a prequel to Alice Hoffman’s “Practical Magic” , which I have not read, so I can’t compare the two, but this was just magical, and I still feel a bit under its spell, wishing for more.Cursed. For the Owens family, love has been something to avoid, a curse harkening back to 1620, when loving the wrong man sealed the fate of an entire family.More than three hundred years later, over six hundred solstices later, the Owens family is still avoided, eyed suspiciously by all who live there, where some members of the family still lived in Massachusetts. When she was younger, Susannah had left it all behind, gone to Paris and returned to live in New York City, where she sits on this morning June, 1960 opening an invitation for her eldest daughter, Franny, to visit her Aunt Isabelle. A tradition, once they’ve turned seventeen. Their father objects, but tradition wins, on the condition that her younger siblings, sister Jet, and brother Vincent, accompany Franny. Their lives are about to change, even as the country is poised on the cusp of a change most are unprepared for. They’ve known from the start that they are different from others, but their mother had kept them from exploring their abilities by establishing rules. Rules only go so far, especially for these exceptional children about to be immersed in a magical setting, filled with flourishing gardens and magical herbs and familiars. Still, there is one rule they all know, whatever you do, do not fall in love. Love is perilous. Family is everything, and the theme of family is at the heart of this novel about a family and the weight and heartache of secrets and loss, and the power of love to overcome, the inescapable feeling that they will never fit in, no matter how hard they try. The Stonewall Riots, Vietnam, The Summer of Love, the inaugural Monterey Pop Festival … these are in the past, but the events of that era infuse this story, grounding you solidly in a time that is felt and seen, if only through the eyes of the past.The characters are wonderful, charmingly quirky, sometimes peculiar, but never boring. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, occasionally humorous, and filled with the magic of love, in all its many forms. This reads as though it were conjured by magic, the words flowing freely, an enchanted labor of love.Recommended Pub Date: 10 Oct 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by Simon & Schuster
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    It has been many, many years since I read Practical Magic, or seen the movie. I do remember loving it, loving the sisters and the magic. So here the Owen sisters return, as young witches, parents still alive, and with the added twist of their younger brother Victor. Of course they soon notice how different they are, exploring their talents in various ways until a horrible tragedy threatens to derail everything.Loved it, this book was just what I needed after reading This Way for the Gas, Ladies It has been many, many years since I read Practical Magic, or seen the movie. I do remember loving it, loving the sisters and the magic. So here the Owen sisters return, as young witches, parents still alive, and with the added twist of their younger brother Victor. Of course they soon notice how different they are, exploring their talents in various ways until a horrible tragedy threatens to derail everything.Loved it, this book was just what I needed after reading This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen, something lighter, magical. Though there is plenty of sorrow here too, mixed with some delightful magic, quirky pets, and some new faces, some with magic, some without. Ultimately, if I had to pick a theme, besides magic for this book, it would be love. This book is full of love in all its permutations, messiness, wonder and heartbreak.Whether writing historicals, or contemporary, Hoffman has never failed to delight me with her characters, her word choices, and the ways she assembles her plots. There is some history in this one too as it takes place in the sixties, and the Vietnam war will play a big part for some of the charactersWonderful story about the power of love,what it forgives and how hard it is to forget, was actually teary eyed at the end. Have to wonder where this author will go next, she is so incredibly versatile.ARC from Edelweiss and Simon and Schuster.Release date: October 10th.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    Family is everything and the blood of witches runs deeply through it. Each person is so boldly crafted that their emotional pain reaches right to your heart; you cheer their will to be themselves and fight against the curse, even as the world around them tries repeatedly to rip them apart. It's moving and beautiful, but never sentimental. Their magic flows through and around it all, a blend of old world herbal remedies and bright powers mixed together so well that you never question its reality, Family is everything and the blood of witches runs deeply through it. Each person is so boldly crafted that their emotional pain reaches right to your heart; you cheer their will to be themselves and fight against the curse, even as the world around them tries repeatedly to rip them apart. It's moving and beautiful, but never sentimental. Their magic flows through and around it all, a blend of old world herbal remedies and bright powers mixed together so well that you never question its reality, rather you wish for it. As always, Hoffman's lyrical prose draws sharp pictures in your mind, whether it be the lush herbal gardens, crow familiars, or the crashing noise of New York. You inhabit their spaces with them and now i've put the book down, I miss them already. If anything, it is this writing style that led to my one criticism of the book, that the last section was too rushed. There is so much detail in this created world full of life and magic, that the final pages filled with mere snapshots seemed lesser and jarring. There was too much filler between this book and the next that needed to be included, but not enough space given to it. Even so, coming to this with no prior experience of Practical Magic is a real treat because now I have that to look forward to. I am already yearning to discover what happened to this strange but compelling family, especially knowing all the history behind it. ARC via Netgalley
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  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a bit of candy that took longer to read than I expected, and in fact I think this would have been stronger about 100 pages shorter. Other than that, this is a story of three siblings with witchery in their blood (it can't be escaped!) and how it effects their lives. The most tragic part is that everyone they love dies. Cheery, right? But somehow this book is a comfort because of the way Alice Hoffman writes, and she has chosen the 1960s in New York as well as addressing social issues li This was a bit of candy that took longer to read than I expected, and in fact I think this would have been stronger about 100 pages shorter. Other than that, this is a story of three siblings with witchery in their blood (it can't be escaped!) and how it effects their lives. The most tragic part is that everyone they love dies. Cheery, right? But somehow this book is a comfort because of the way Alice Hoffman writes, and she has chosen the 1960s in New York as well as addressing social issues like gay rights, birth control, feminism, drugs, and so on. Technically this is a prequel to Practical Magic, written 20 years later, but you could probably read it without knowing that story as these characters are several generations earlier. I'm glad to see this comes out in October because it will be the perfect witchy read for Halloween!Thanks to the publisher for providing early access via Edelweiss!
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    Woo-woo here, woo-woo there. Here a witch, there a witch, everywhere a witch witch....Sadly, I couldn't finish this one. I never should have requested it, knowing that magical realism isn't my thing. Reading it has been torture, so I'm stopping right now, a quarter of the way through. Life is too short for me to spend hours reading something I hate. Reading fiction must be fun or intriguing--otherwise, what's the point?My fault. I let myself get seduced by reviews when I knew full well that witc Woo-woo here, woo-woo there. Here a witch, there a witch, everywhere a witch witch....Sadly, I couldn't finish this one. I never should have requested it, knowing that magical realism isn't my thing. Reading it has been torture, so I'm stopping right now, a quarter of the way through. Life is too short for me to spend hours reading something I hate. Reading fiction must be fun or intriguing--otherwise, what's the point?My fault. I let myself get seduced by reviews when I knew full well that witches would be a hard sell. Other reasons I talked myself into reading it:-I liked a couple of non-magic-y books by Hoffman, the most recent being Faithful.-Occasionally (hardly EVER), magical realism works for me.-Long long ago, I actually liked magical realism (I thought The House of the Spirits and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone were cool.)-I thought perhaps I had dissociative personality disorder, in which case a palm reader by the name of Debrina, who co-exists in my psyche, would love this book. Mostly it comes down to this: I hoped I would get attached to the characters despite the fact that they were witches. Or maybe I could forget that they were witches? Didn't happen. Frankly, I didn't give a flying eff. Every single page was woo-woo. Every single page. I believe all the gushers who say that this is a great book. I'm just the wrong audience. Remember, my 1 star means that I hated it, not that it's a bad book. I should have my head examined for trying. As Judge Judy sometimes says: Dismissed without prejudice. Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy.
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  • Dorie
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book through the publisher and NetGalley.One never knows what will be found between the covers of a book by Ms. Hoffman. I have read many books by this master storyteller and she never disappoints. Some aren’t always my favorites, “The Dovekeepers” was too dark for me, but the writing is always pitch perfect.This is a prequel to her famous “Practical Magic” which was made into a movie in 2003. I did not read that book but it’s not necessary to totally enjoy this book.We I received an ARC of this book through the publisher and NetGalley.One never knows what will be found between the covers of a book by Ms. Hoffman. I have read many books by this master storyteller and she never disappoints. Some aren’t always my favorites, “The Dovekeepers” was too dark for me, but the writing is always pitch perfect.This is a prequel to her famous “Practical Magic” which was made into a movie in 2003. I did not read that book but it’s not necessary to totally enjoy this book.We are introduced to the three teenage Owens siblings, Franny, Jet and Vincent whose mother, Susanna, has always given them some strange rules to follow, “No walking in the moonlight, no Ouija boards, no candles, no red shoes, no wearing black, no night-blooming flowers, no cats, no crows” and on and on. Many of the teenagers questions will be answered when they reach 17 and are sent to stay with their aunt Isabella for a summer. She tells them “what is meant to be is bound to happen”. We follow the siblings through an unexpected tragedy and as they grow into adults. Though they have been often warned not to fall in love, ultimately, they all do. It is said that tragedy will befall those that they truly love but love cannot be denied.This book is about magic but so much more. There are the themes of family, togetherness, testing our limitations and embracing who we are. The characters are richly developed and are still tugging at my heart many days after finishing the novel. I am looking forward to reading “Practical Magic” and what will happen to the set of siblings Gillian and Sally who at the close of the novel are sent to live with their now much older aunts Franny and Jet. As they begin to settle in their aunt states “the girls might as well learn early on, this is not a house like any other. No one would care how late they stayed up at night, or how many books they read on rainy afternoons, or if they jumped into Leech Lake from the highest cliff” but there were some things they needed to learn “always leave out seed for the birds when the first snow falls, wash your hair with rosemary, drink lavender tea when you cannot sleep and know that the only remedy for love is to love more”. How I loved that ending.I forgot to mention that for all of you animal lovers, as I am, you will enjoy the "familiars" that come to each witch, it might be a crow, cat, dog or some other animal but they are a wonder to read about and another thing I loved about this book. These animals are not pets but more like a personal protector and partner.This is a book I will recommend over and over to anyone who wants to escape for a while into a world of magic and beautiful writing.
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  • CL
    January 1, 1970
    I love Alice Hoffman stories and as always she does not disappoint. She tells a story with a heartfelt theme of family, loss and the ever enduring power of love as one tries to find themselves. Franny, Jet and Vincent have been told all of their lives they are cursed and not to fall in love. They come from a long line of witches and it does not end well if they fall in love due to the family curse but one cannot control who they love and as they try to find themselves in world they must discover I love Alice Hoffman stories and as always she does not disappoint. She tells a story with a heartfelt theme of family, loss and the ever enduring power of love as one tries to find themselves. Franny, Jet and Vincent have been told all of their lives they are cursed and not to fall in love. They come from a long line of witches and it does not end well if they fall in love due to the family curse but one cannot control who they love and as they try to find themselves in world they must discover on their own they always have each other. When their parents die unexpectedly their whole world changes and they soon realize everything must change. A great read and I would like to thank the Publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this ARC.
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    This prequel to the novel Practical Magic is about three siblings, Franny, Jet (Bridget), and Vincent, who, when the novel begins, are three teenagers ostracized by their peers and the neighbors because they are witches. Worse to them, they battle under the constraints of a curse started hundreds of years earlier. What I found fun about this book are all the life adages shared, often by their Aunt Isabelle. Also, viewing history through the lens of a witch. For example, the drop in sales of a ce This prequel to the novel Practical Magic is about three siblings, Franny, Jet (Bridget), and Vincent, who, when the novel begins, are three teenagers ostracized by their peers and the neighbors because they are witches. Worse to them, they battle under the constraints of a curse started hundreds of years earlier. What I found fun about this book are all the life adages shared, often by their Aunt Isabelle. Also, viewing history through the lens of a witch. For example, the drop in sales of a certain herb once the birth control pill is legalized. The Stonewall Riots, the Viet Nam war, etc. I did not love the writing style, though. I felt like parts of it were being reported to me instead of feeling like I was seeing things from the various character’s point of view. Also, it took me a while to feel like the story was really starting. But who doesn’t want to believe in a little magic sometimes? This is available for sale on October 10.Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book. For more of my reviews, please visit: http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    I had a hard time deciding between and 3.5 and a 4 so I rounded up to a 4.The Rules Of Magic is a prequel to Practical Magic. I am most likely the rare reviewer who has not read practical magic (but I did see the movie). Since I have not read Practical Magic, The Rules of Magic worked very well as a stand alone novel for me.The Owens family are a long line of witches. Their origins date back to 1620 when a descendant was charged for being a witch when she fell in love with the wrong man. One fat I had a hard time deciding between and 3.5 and a 4 so I rounded up to a 4.The Rules Of Magic is a prequel to Practical Magic. I am most likely the rare reviewer who has not read practical magic (but I did see the movie). Since I have not read Practical Magic, The Rules of Magic worked very well as a stand alone novel for me.The Owens family are a long line of witches. Their origins date back to 1620 when a descendant was charged for being a witch when she fell in love with the wrong man. One fateful summer, Susanna Owens has decided to send her three children to live with their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts. An Aunt they have never met but are excited to go and visit. Susanna and her husband have strict rules for their precocious children in their home: no red shoes, no black clothing, no books on magic, no cats, no crows, etc. Their children are all very different yet have one thing in common: magic. From the day he was born, Vincent has been a charmer. A hospital nurse tried to kidnap him shortly after his birth, Fanny who is fair with dark red hair, and Jett, who is shy and can read people's thoughts.When they arrive at their Aunt Isabelle's home they learn that the rules no longer apply to them. They are permitted to be themselves. They wear what they want and do as they please. They learn some family secrets and to embrace their charms. At the same time they learn that there is a family curse. When they return to live with their parents, they each in their own way attempt to rid themselves of the curse only to learn that doing so is not that easy.They find love, they turn their back on love, they get into interesting situations. They also experience loss, sadness, death and heartbreak. They travel, they experience life but they also experience family ties, devotion, closeness, and a world of magic. Plus, the reader gets to learn a tiny amount about Maria Owens, the witch who long ago was charged with being a witch and more about the family curse.Hoffman creates quirky characters which are both complex and compelling. The magic of her book is in their relationships and their family ties. As I mentioned, I have not read Practical Magic but I intend to do so in the near future.I received a copy of this book from Simon & Schuster and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
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  • Sonja Arlow
    January 1, 1970
    3 starsThe story had a nostalgic feel to it, perhaps because I watched the movie version of Practical Magic just before starting this.If you have ever wondered about the eccentric aunts that brought up Sally and Gillian then you won’t be disappointed.The story follows Franny, Jet and their brother Vincent growing up under their parent’s scrutiny, especially their mother had rules abound. Never wear red shoes, don’t walk in the moonlight, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And 3 ½ starsThe story had a nostalgic feel to it, perhaps because I watched the movie version of Practical Magic just before starting this.If you have ever wondered about the eccentric aunts that brought up Sally and Gillian then you won’t be disappointed.The story follows Franny, Jet and their brother Vincent growing up under their parent’s scrutiny, especially their mother had rules abound. Never wear red shoes, don’t walk in the moonlight, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And never, ever, fall in love.The children of course did their best to break every single rule set out for them and learn the hard way that the famous Owens curse is not something to be played with.And then there is aunt Isabelle, who lives in a big house in Magnolia street, in a small town full of prejudice folk who do their best to ignore her existence. Unless it’s in the middle of the night, then the women can be seen sneaking up to the old porch to beg for help and a little magic.This was light and easy, full of the magic that Alice Hoffman weaves around her characters. For me, the story was driven by Francis and Vincent with Jet taking a bit of a back seat but overall I enjoyed the experience and think this would make a great holiday read.Projected Publish Date: 10 October 2017 (just in time for Halloween)
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  • Ginger
    January 1, 1970
    The publisher sent me an invitation to read the book via Netgally in exchange for an honest review.*drops everything to read this*
  • Wendi Lee
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars*This is the prequel to Practical Magic, a novel about great-aunts Jet and Franny, and their youngest brother, Vincent. I love Practical Magic. I love the book, and I love the movie, where the aunts are played by Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest. I was delighted to find out that this book was coming out, because I wanted to know everything about eccentric, brave Jet and Franny. I was even more delighted when I was approved for an ARC through Netgalley. Here, we see how the siblings c *3.5 stars*This is the prequel to Practical Magic, a novel about great-aunts Jet and Franny, and their youngest brother, Vincent. I love Practical Magic. I love the book, and I love the movie, where the aunts are played by Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest. I was delighted to find out that this book was coming out, because I wanted to know everything about eccentric, brave Jet and Franny. I was even more delighted when I was approved for an ARC through Netgalley. Here, we see how the siblings came to grow into their magic, and how burdened their lives were under the family curse. Their parents try to keep magic out of their lives, but one summer they're summoned to Aunt Isabelle's house (and the family homestead), and from there their lives truly begin. This novel encompasses a lot: three robust main characters, a span of fifty-ish years, and a dramatic backdrop of the 1960's, culminating with the Vietnam War. And then there's love. So much love, and so many fears relating to love. A lot of the events that occur to the Owens are depressing, to be absolutely frank. I'm all for depressing (I know that sounds weird, but I like novels that make me cry), but here the depressing scenes weighed me down just a bit too much. I wanted more of the magic.*Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for an ARC*
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  • Antoinette
    January 1, 1970
    First of all I would like to thank the publisher, Simon and Schuster, for asking me to read this book and to NetGalley for providing an e copy.I love Alice Hoffman books- she is such a diverse writer. This book is a prequel to Practical Magic, which I have not read, but definitely plan to do so.This is a totally delightful story about 3 siblings who have magical powers, but the bad news is they are also cursed. The Owens siblings were engaging characters-I loved all three of them. Their awakenin First of all I would like to thank the publisher, Simon and Schuster, for asking me to read this book and to NetGalley for providing an e copy.I love Alice Hoffman books- she is such a diverse writer. This book is a prequel to Practical Magic, which I have not read, but definitely plan to do so.This is a totally delightful story about 3 siblings who have magical powers, but the bad news is they are also cursed. The Owens siblings were engaging characters-I loved all three of them. Their awakening to their potential; their fear of love thanks to the curse placed on all descendants and their ultimate discovery of love was a joy to reading .The author incorporates some lines of poetry from Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite poets. One I especially loved: " Unable are the Loved to die, for love is Immortality". This is a book that left me tearful and happy equally. Alice Hoffman knows how to tell a story!
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  • Lynne
    January 1, 1970
    A beautiful book about love, loss, family, and growing up with unique attributes. Lush descriptions of scenery in NYC, Paris, Boston are enjoyed while reading this story filled with emotions and symbolism. Thank you Alice Hoffman for another gorgeous story!
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    I will admit, I have not read Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic, and I am not a fan of books or television series about witches. Except for Bewitched, which I loved, but I was eleven years old then. Consequently, I did not know what to expect when the publisher offered me The Rules of Magic. I had read Hoffman's historical novel The Marriage of Opposites imagining the marriage of the artist Camille Pissarro's parents. Based on the last mentioned book alone, I have collected quite a few Hoffman boo I will admit, I have not read Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic, and I am not a fan of books or television series about witches. Except for Bewitched, which I loved, but I was eleven years old then. Consequently, I did not know what to expect when the publisher offered me The Rules of Magic. I had read Hoffman's historical novel The Marriage of Opposites imagining the marriage of the artist Camille Pissarro's parents. Based on the last mentioned book alone, I have collected quite a few Hoffman books now languishing on my TBR shelves!What happened was unexpected, for I was instantly in love with Hoffman's language and The Rules of Magic characters. Although the novel is about three teenagers struggling with the powers and limitations of having magical abilities, it is really about universal themes: the power of love, and how we must love regardless of the costs, and that we must embrace who we are. Franny, Jet, and Vincent are complex characters burdened with the knowledge that they are cursed to bring destruction to the men they love. As they grew up, their parents tried to protect them from self-knowledge, but they recognized they were not like other children. "It's for your own good," her mother told Franny. "What makes you think that's what I want?" Franny counters."What is meant to be is bound to happen," and in 1960 the children's lives change when they visit their Aunt Isabella, a contact that "inflame[s] characteristics" which were "currently dormant." And over the summer each child learns their genealogy, their abilities, and about the curse and joy of love.The book was a joy to read, lovely and moving. I felt a deep connection to the characters.The Rules of Magic is a prequel to Practical Magic, telling the backstory of Frances and Jet who accept their brother's granddaughter into their home. I found I did not need to know the previous book to understand and enjoy this one; it stands on its own, and without any tedious linkage to the other book.I received a free ebook from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher (and the author) for the chance to read *The Rules of Magic* by Alice Hoffman. I have read a ton of Hoffman in the past, and I'm about 50/50 on whether I love or DNF them. I enjoyed the Practical Magic movie (hello, Sandra Bullock!) and thought Rules would be a good read. For the most part, the book is an enjoyable experience, with plenty of laughter and tears for both the characters and the reader. Franny is the character I most enjoyed, as we spent most of Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher (and the author) for the chance to read *The Rules of Magic* by Alice Hoffman. I have read a ton of Hoffman in the past, and I'm about 50/50 on whether I love or DNF them. I enjoyed the Practical Magic movie (hello, Sandra Bullock!) and thought Rules would be a good read. For the most part, the book is an enjoyable experience, with plenty of laughter and tears for both the characters and the reader. Franny is the character I most enjoyed, as we spent most of the book in her head and heart. All of the characters ended up being likeable, even the 'bad guys' (in a manner of speaking). In some ways, I thought Hoffman could have spent a lot more time with character introduction. Perhaps, she was meaning this book to be a happy ending/fairy tale/fantasy, and if so, she succeeded. I think she could have made some of the characters darker and richer and increased the suspense for the readers. Regardless, I definitely believe *The Rules of Magic* will be a bestseller for Hoffman with a wide audience with plenty of love for the Owens family. I think it would be fantastic to make a movie of it for the *Practical Magic* fans.
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    It’s been a long while since I was last as enraptured by a book as I was with The Rules of Magic. I don’t know if it’s because I really love Alice Hoffman or if I was just ready for a good magical realism or if this was just the book I needed to kick me out of the awful reading slump I’ve been in for months. In any case, I devoured The Rules of Magic like I was freaking Oliver Twist. Please, Ms. Hoffman, may I have some more? Set mostly in the 1960s, this novel is full to the cauldron’s brim wit It’s been a long while since I was last as enraptured by a book as I was with The Rules of Magic. I don’t know if it’s because I really love Alice Hoffman or if I was just ready for a good magical realism or if this was just the book I needed to kick me out of the awful reading slump I’ve been in for months. In any case, I devoured The Rules of Magic like I was freaking Oliver Twist. Please, Ms. Hoffman, may I have some more? Set mostly in the 1960s, this novel is full to the cauldron’s brim with magic and atmosphere. I loved that it wasn’t always possible to tell if the mystical, near-psychedelic quality to the storytelling was part of the magical realism or part of the ‘60s era culture, or a combination of the two. In any case, it blended perfectly and created a tale like none other.I’m a sucker for back stories anyway. Aunt Jet and Aunt Frances are among my favorite characters in modern literature. So I was delighted to see them get their own entire novel. Their stories are tragic and beautiful, and both entirely unique to themselves. Frances is the elder of the two, tall and coltish with blood red hair. She’s prickly and difficult and likes science and has exactly zero time for superstition or family curses. And yet she thinks nothing of the fact that she can call wild birds to her hand just by lifting it up. Bridget, called Jet for her long black hair, is sweet tempered and loves people, though I can’t for the life of me understand why because she has the Sight. They also have a brother, Vincent, the only boy ever born to an Owens woman. He is so charismatic that his delivery room nurse tried to steal him as her own. All the children are talented, as befits Owens children. The sisters are beautiful, but Jet is so gorgeous that boys do dangerous things to try to get her attention. When a flirtation with twin brothers results in their death, Franny, Jet, and Vincent decide the family curse is real and vow not to fall in love. The ways in which they manage to finagle their way around that are truly inventive, sometimes amusing, often heartbreaking. The cast of characters throughout this gorgeous novel is complex and well rounded. The Owens have a long list of cousins and aunts who make appearances, most notably April Owens, the granny of Sally and Gillian of Practical Magic fame, and Aunt Isabelle. She filled the role in this book that Frances and Jet would later fill for Sally and Gillian: wise woman, mentor, role model, friend. She was the best. The book was sprinkled with Hoffman’s typical vivid language and, appropriately, rules of magic. For example, uncross your knives if there is a quarrel at the table; do walk in the moonlight; wear red shoes; wear black; go barefoot; plant night-blooming flowers; read novels about magic. To mourn properly, you must drape all the furniture in white sheets, war a black silk band on your right arm, turn the mirrors toward the wall, sprinkle salt on the windowsills, leave sprigs or rosemary outside the doors, wear white to the funeral, go barefoot to it out of respect. Make a protection amulet with black cloth sewn with red thread and containing clove and blackthorn, or lavender. Wear a blue string coated with lavender oil, also for protection. I was inordinately tickled that I do a lot of these things by nature. Wearing black, going barefoot, wearing red shoes if I MUST wear shoes at all… are there people who don’t automatically do these things? There are also references to various teas that I want to try blending, just because they sound tasty:Fever Tea: cinnamon, bayberry, ginger, thyme, marjoramFrustration Tea: chamomile, hyssop, raspberry leaf, rosemaryClairvoyant Tea: mugwort, thyme, yarrow, rosemaryTravel Well Tea: orange peel, black tea, mint, rosemaryOne recipe I really wish was included, like an actual recipe, and which I have wished for since I first read about it in Practical Magic, is the black soap all the Owens women use to wash their faces. I know it’s just soap and not magic - maybe - but I still want to try making some for myself. The only thing I can find that might possibly be similar is African Black Soap, but that still doesn’t seem quite right. Can anyone help us out? Bueller? Bueller? Ms. Hoffman?Hoffman’s magical realism is as nuanced and ubiquitous as ever in The Rules of Magic. Birds coming to Franny’s call, Jet reading minds, plants flowering overnight and out of season, all abound. The real beauty of the book, though, comes from learning more about beloved characters, and watching them learn who they are. Through them, we discover that true magic comes from embracing our genuine nature and learning to love ourselves despite, or because, of it.
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  • Marchpane
    January 1, 1970
    If you are a fan of Practical Magic, then let this new chapter in the Owens family story be a Halloween treat to yourself. Safe to say, if you love one, you will probably love the other - the charm and sparkle and whimsy you expect is all there, along with the meandering, dreamy prose style.Of the two books, The Rules of Magic is witchier, and more brooding, the plot focusing mainly on ill-fated love affairs and deaths (with a little bit of draft-dodging thrown in, it is the '60s after all). I f If you are a fan of Practical Magic, then let this new chapter in the Owens family story be a Halloween treat to yourself. Safe to say, if you love one, you will probably love the other - the charm and sparkle and whimsy you expect is all there, along with the meandering, dreamy prose style.Of the two books, The Rules of Magic is witchier, and more brooding, the plot focusing mainly on ill-fated love affairs and deaths (with a little bit of draft-dodging thrown in, it is the '60s after all). I found myself wishing these characters would occasionally do something else besides mooning about, given the story spans their entire lives. But this is a tale of love and loss, and capricious fate, and just as bittersweet as it should be.
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  • Christine Roberts
    January 1, 1970
    In this prequel novel, we follow the earlier lives of the Owens family, learning about Jet, Fanny, and Vincent's childhood, young adulthood, and adult lives. We follow their loves, losses, and the development of their gifts. I found this book very good, even though I had never read the novel it is meant to preface, Practical Magic. The relationships between the siblings are built and destroyed, then rebuilt again and again. We learn about the Owens family curse, and all the weight it carries. Th In this prequel novel, we follow the earlier lives of the Owens family, learning about Jet, Fanny, and Vincent's childhood, young adulthood, and adult lives. We follow their loves, losses, and the development of their gifts. I found this book very good, even though I had never read the novel it is meant to preface, Practical Magic. The relationships between the siblings are built and destroyed, then rebuilt again and again. We learn about the Owens family curse, and all the weight it carries. Thanks to NetGalley, Alice Hoffman, and Simon and Schuster for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lynn Pratt
    January 1, 1970
    Loved, loved, loved this! It was so wonderful to go back to the house on Magnolia Street and learn the story of the aunts. I don't want to give away any of the story - but it definitely pulled me in and I didn't want to put it down!
  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    I have read several of Alice Hoffman’s books but this one was certainly different for me. I have not read “Practical Magic” so did not really know what to expect. While this book is a prequel to “Practical Magic”, it also stands alone. Ms. Hoffman is certainly versatile – the story of Masada in “The Dovekeepers” and now witches.In the 1600’s when the witches were being persecuted in Boston they sought safety in Manhattan. It is now late 1960’s and Susanna Owens lives in New York City with her th I have read several of Alice Hoffman’s books but this one was certainly different for me. I have not read “Practical Magic” so did not really know what to expect. While this book is a prequel to “Practical Magic”, it also stands alone. Ms. Hoffman is certainly versatile – the story of Masada in “The Dovekeepers” and now witches.In the 1600’s when the witches were being persecuted in Boston they sought safety in Manhattan. It is now late 1960’s and Susanna Owens lives in New York City with her three children. Franny can converse with birds, Jet can read people’s thoughts, and Vincent charms everyone that he meets. He was so charming at his birth a nurse attempted to kidnap him from the hospital. So no wonder that everyone shuns the family – unless they want a potion or a salve.Susanna tries to protect her children by applying rules - no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. But above all they are never to fall in love. For them, love is a curse. But teens are teens, witch or not. They are going to rebel and do exactly what they are told not to do. Ms. Hoffman made the three siblings so real that I found myself caught up in their emotional struggles. They set out to discover who they are and their place in the world. And as hard as they try to avoid love, the teens could not deny the feelings of their human hearts. Thus they are forced to struggle with the consequences of their family curse, and perhaps the greatest lesson they learn is that in the Henry David Thoreau quote in the epigraph – “There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    The Rules of Magic is the prequel to my beloved Practical Magic – one of my very favorite books and movies. I’ve read the book once, but have seen the movie countless times. I’ve always wondered about the aunts – Jet and Franny – and this novel is like a dream come true because we finally get to learn about their lives.Jet and Franny live with their brother Vincent and their parents in New York City. There are so many rules at home – no red shoes, no night blooming plants – that the trio just do The Rules of Magic is the prequel to my beloved Practical Magic – one of my very favorite books and movies. I’ve read the book once, but have seen the movie countless times. I’ve always wondered about the aunts – Jet and Franny – and this novel is like a dream come true because we finally get to learn about their lives.Jet and Franny live with their brother Vincent and their parents in New York City. There are so many rules at home – no red shoes, no night blooming plants – that the trio just don’t understand. As they grow older, they start to realize that they are able to do things that other’s can’t, like turn out the streetlights or make objects move. When Franny gets an invitation from Aunt Isabelle at the family estate in Massachusetts, her parents send her brother and sister as protection. While there, all of the siblings explore love, life, and magic.But remember that the deathwatch beetle always comes to call for the Owens family and the lives of their loves are cut short. But Aunt Isabelle says that it’s possible to beat the curse, so the Owens children are determined to do find a way.The story follows the Owens sisters until Sally and Gilly move in with them after their own parents die and the Practical Magic story begins. This is exactly what I needed to read this summer. It’s full of witchy goodness: herbs, spells, gardens, and romance. Fans of Practical Magic have something to look for when this book is released in October, which will be the best time of year to cuddle up with it! Now is the time to pre-order!!
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  • Jeffrey Chassen
    January 1, 1970
    Can't even begin to describe how much I loved this book - the perfect prequel, and a new insight to two characters I have always cherished. What a beautiful world, both magical and grounded at once.
  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    I was dithering between 4.5 and 5 stars for this, but looking at some of the books I've given 5 stars to, this is very much worthy. The film version of Practical Magic is very special to me. Like Sally and Gillian, I grew up with one sister - one of us dark haired, one of us light. One of us sensible, the other a dreamer. Both of us in love with love and magic. Sadly, unlike the girls, we never discovered powers (not for the want of trying, that late 90s witchcraft phase was no joke, I think we I was dithering between 4.5 and 5 stars for this, but looking at some of the books I've given 5 stars to, this is very much worthy. The film version of Practical Magic is very special to me. Like Sally and Gillian, I grew up with one sister - one of us dark haired, one of us light. One of us sensible, the other a dreamer. Both of us in love with love and magic. Sadly, unlike the girls, we never discovered powers (not for the want of trying, that late 90s witchcraft phase was no joke, I think we even tried to bind someone once). It was only a few years later that I realised the film was based on a book, and so it served as my introduction to Alice Hoffman. I liked the book, but for me it lacked the sparkle that the film had. It lacked, if you want to be cheesy, the magic. This is the long awaited prequel to Practical Magic - and the magic is back. With a bang. This is just dreamy. It's a gorgeous book. It's everything I wanted from Practical Magic and then some. The Owens women are cursed. Any man who falls in love with an Owens woman is doomed. They have their own strategies for dealing with this - some choose to keep lovers at arms length, others choose to enjoy it while it lasts. This book is about Frances, Jet, and their brother Vincent. Fans of the first book will know that Frances and Jet are Sally and Gillian's Aunts, but here they're teenagers, wild and full of promise. This book follows them through their loves and losses, along with their beautiful brother Vincent and how the curse affects him. I read it in one sitting - I couldn't let it go. It was like a warm, magical hug. I absolutely adored it. I was very, very grateful to receive an ARC via Netgalley, but I would have bought it anyway. Thank you so much to the publisher for allowing me to read it early.
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  • Leslie
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. I really wrestled between three or four stars. Part of me thinks I'm not being fair to the book by rating it lower and I'll explain. I'd consider myself a fan of magical realism books. I adore most anything written by Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen. Those are the two I automatically think of. But I've been in the mood for mystery, suspense and horror more than usual lately and so I feel like maybe it wasn't the right time to read this book. I still liked it quite a bit but I fe 3.5 stars. I really wrestled between three or four stars. Part of me thinks I'm not being fair to the book by rating it lower and I'll explain. I'd consider myself a fan of magical realism books. I adore most anything written by Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen. Those are the two I automatically think of. But I've been in the mood for mystery, suspense and horror more than usual lately and so I feel like maybe it wasn't the right time to read this book. I still liked it quite a bit but I feel like if I read it at another time, I may have rated it higher. All of that being said, I think I also have some valid reasons why I chose the rating that I did. So make of all of this what you will. Still read this if you like Hoffman and books in the magical realism genre. For those unfamiliar, this is a prequel to one of Hoffman's most popular books, "Practical Magic." I enjoyed that book and was always curious about the aunts. What was their back story? Now we finally know. I don't think it's necessary to read, "Practical Magic," first. This works well as a stand alone. So jump in and get to know the aunts of Sally and Gillian. Frances, Jet and their brother Vincent. My quibbles are that it was very slow at times and I felt like Hoffman really beat some points into the ground which resulted in some repetition that I didn't care for. Some parts felt awkward to me. Overall it was delightful following the siblings on their journey. Hoffman remains a master in weaving tales of Magic and creating characters to root for. Thank you Netgalley for the book.
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