Mystical - no mystery. Charming - not enchanting. The characters are not too deep. The story is just a leisure read. It's hit or miss for me with author's books.
This is the prequel to Practical Magic and it is charming but does not pack the punch of the original.
This book is a prequel to Practical Magic. Since the 1600s, the Owens family has been feared and mistrusted. In Massachusetts, one of the ancestors was charged with loving the wrong man. In the 1950s, Susanna Owens, a descendant, moves to New York to raise her three children away from the Owens' reputation and away from the curse forbidding them from falling in love. It becomes obvious that Franny, Jet and Vincent cannot deny their heritage. From the beginning, the children exhibit signs of eccentricity and witchcraft. And as they grow older, they try everything to prevent falling in love. But it is not meant to be. The novel deals with each sibling avoiding love as much as possible until their heart leads them to do the opposite. The Rules of Magic is surreal and yet so real in many ways. It is a fairy tale for adults and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. Well written and captivating
This story of the Owens family of witches is far less enjoyable than the delicious, witty, funny first book. In this one magic is no fun but a dreadful curse and most of the characters die from this. It’s a tragic, sad and grim tale. Well written and tightly composed, two steady skills of Alice Hoffman but still somewhat disappointing after the success of Practical Magic.
This was the first AH story I've read. Glad it was. After seeing the overrated, mediocre Practical Magic movie, I held off until now. Very good writing and clear life/love messages. I appreciate the female writier's refreshing perspective where conflict is not settled by physical violence. Thank you Charles de Lint for recommending this.
I thoroughly enjoyed this prequel! Recommended if you liked Practical Magic!
I am a Hoffman fan but this one felt overdone and did not enchant me.
Alice Hoffman delights fans, and returns to the mystical universe of the Owens family 22 years after Practical Magic became a runaway bestseller. The prequel focuses on Susanna Owen’s three children—each unique, gifted and haunted by a familial curse that began in 1620. Centuries later, the Owen’s children journey from their home in New York City to visit their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts. There they unearth family secrets, and discover there is something mysterious about them. They seek to escape the curse, and come to realize they must find the inner strength to put their powers to use. The combination of magic, fairy-tale threads and romance is a bewitching concoction. The focus on magical realism will please long-time readers. Her latest offering is not to be missed, and will enthrall a new generation.
I’ve never read Practical Magic, but I’ve seen the movie roughly a million times, so I knew I had to pick this up. As is always the case with me and Alice Hoffman books, it took me a while to get into it. I’m not a fan of her writing style; I find it very “tell” and not “show”, and she breezes through the story without giving us time to digest anything. About half way into The Rules of Magic the story really picks up, and then I didn’t want it to end! The world of 44 Greenwich is perfectly cozy and magical, just like the aunts’ house in Practical Magic (which we revisit in this one). The love stories are also engrossing. I don’t like “insta-love”, but it actually works here in a sort of fairytale way. It wasn’t an amazing book but it was a good October read.
The Rules of Magic is excellent and the perfect follow up to Practical Magic! Once more Alice Hoffman writes a spell bounding book.
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