Tuesday, 10 October 2017

#BookReview The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (@ahoffmanwriter) @simonbooks

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Find your magic

For 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.


You may have read Practical Magic, or seen the movie. If you have either (or both), then you know that it's the story about two girls, Sally and Gillian that grows up with their aunts after their parents die. Oh, and they are witches. The Rules of Magic goes back in time, to the 60s and onward and tells the story about Franny, Jet, and Vincent Owens. Franny and Jet happen to be the aunts that Sally and Gillian are staying with. This is their story...

I read Practical Magic for the first time this summer. I've seen the movie several times, but they are really very different. But, I still liked both the movie and the book and I was eager to read this book to get to know the aunts more. The Rules of Magic is just like Practical Magic an engaging and engrossing book to read. I've come to adore Alice Hoffman's way of writing, her descriptions, the flow of her text and above all the wonderful characters she creates. And, still, this is only the second book I have ever read by, her. Guess I have to remedy that...

This book is a must-read for every fan of Practical Magic fans (both movie and book lovers), the story is marvelous and if you like me love coming of age stories will you love this book. I love reading books set in the 60s, the bohemian atmosphere, the political turmoil and not to mention the music from the time like Bob Dylan. And, it's in this time that the Owen siblings are growing up, where they learn that they are different and that there is a curse hanging over their heads.

I finished the book last night and the story is still with me, their childhood and their first step into adulthood. And, the losses they have to face. There came a moment towards the end of the book when I had to put the book away to compose myself so that I wouldn't cry. That's how taken I was with the story. I loved the first book, but to be honest this one is better. I was definitely more taken with Franny, Jet and Vincent experiences than Sally and Gillian's. Not that I didn't find Sally and Gillian's lives in any way boring or so. It's just that that this book, the sibling's endurance, well it got to me.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

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