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 and The World That We Knew.
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
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Owens women have endured rumors of witchery in their small Massachusetts town for generations. And though sisters Sally and Gillian have done all they can to shake off their reputation, when push comes to shove they turn to their magical heritage to protect themselves. We love Alice Hoffman’s fascination with possibilities that transcend the ordinary. Her plucky, bright heroines share a bond that’s both tender and tense—completely relatable to anyone negotiating their own family relationships.
Her 11th novel is Hoffman's best since Illumination Night. Again a scrim of magic lies gently over her fictional world, in which lilacs bloom riotously in July, a lovesick boy's elbows sizzle on a diner countertop and a toad expectorates a silver ring. The real and the magical worlds are almost seamlessly mixed here, the humor is sharper than in previous books, the characters' eccentricities grow credibly out of their past experiences and the poignant lessons they learn reverberate against the reader's heartstrings, stroked by Hoffman's lyrical prose. The Owens women have been witches for several generations. Orphaned Sally and Gillian Owens, raised by their spinster aunts in a spooky old house, grow up observing desperate women buying love potions in the kitchen and vow never to commit their hearts to passion. Fate, of course, intervenes. Steady, conscientious Sally marries, has two daughters and is widowed early. Impulsive, seductive Gillian goes through three divorces before she arrives at Sally's house with a dead body in her car. Meanwhile, Sally's daughters, replicas of their mother and their aunt, experience their own sexual awakenings. The inevitability of love and the torment and bliss of men and women gripped by desire is Hoffman's theme here, and she plays those variations with a new emphasis on sex scenes--there's plenty of steamy detail and a pervasive use of the f-word. The dialogue is always on target, particularly the squabbling between siblings, and, as usual, weather plays a portentous role. Readers will relish this magical tale. BOMC main selection.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Better than the movie...
The movie bares little resemblance to the book. I loved the movie, but love the book that much more. The book has more to offer with more vivid characters and a stronger more compelling story.
A wonderful story of sisterhood, family, friendship and strife. I'll read it 100 more times!
The movie is better
Alice Hoffman has a unique writing style that you can feel in her books. It's not one that resonates with me. I've read this and the Story Sisters. Didn't love either. However, I have seen the movie for practical magic and I adore it. It is almost like they are two separate stories! There are so many differences in the plot execution, and the disconnected way the book is written doesn't draw me into the characters the way the movie does. I usually prefer the book to the movie. Not here.