Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

• R E V I E W •

This novel is not easy for me to review since I’ve seen the movie first. In truth, I didn’t even know it was a book until I seen it on the shelf in the library a few years back. I wished I would of check it out then. At the same time, I’m not sure that having done that, I would have read The Rules of Magic because while this story is great, there are years (22 years) of storytelling experience between Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still well-written, but there is a difference. Overall, it’s still another great story of the bonds of sisterhood, the tragedy, and triumph of love. Another great adventure by Alice Hoffman.

In this novel, you get all the great magical prose as you do in The Rules of Magic. The storyline is similar, but with drastically different life experiences, content, and events. I loved that as it added to the whole Owens women are all destined for an enchanting life vibe.

I’m sure some want to know how it compares to the movie. You can’t compare the two. They are peas and carrots. I can’t say I like one better than the other because this novel is very different from the movie. With the novel, there is more depth about Sally and Gillian’s life from childhood to adulthood. Even better, there is more narrative for Antonia and Kylie as they grow into their teens.

I love the movie and I always will, but I love the book differently. Either way, I adore this family of sincere and driven women and the final page brought on the same dread as the last page of The Rules of Magic. I simply didn’t want it to end.

book • details

T I T L E:  Practical Magic

A U T H O R: Alice Hoffman

P U B L I S H • D A T E : June 13, 1995

P U B L I S H E R: Putnam Adult; 1st edition

I S B N: 9780425190371



The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Rules of Magic.

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…

“Splendid…Practical Magic is one of [Hoffman’s] best novels, showing on every page her gift for touching ordinary life as if with a wand, to reveal how extraordinary life really is.”—Newsweek 

“[A] delicious fantasy of witchcraft and love in a world where gardens smell of lemon verbena and happy endings are possible.”—Cosmopolitan


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