Book Review: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Overall rating: 4/5
Readability rating: 5/5
Character rating: 4/5
Plot rating: 4/5
Cover rating: 4/5
Would I recommend: If you loved Practical Magic, magic in general, or strong female main characters I would definitely recommend this book.

Goodread Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction

Perfect for: People who love magic and the movie/book Practical Magic.

Book Synopsis: ” or 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 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. ” – Goodreads Synopsis

Spoiler-free review:

It held the same magic and world of wonder as the main book Practical Magic as well as the movie. It wasn’t necessary to read the other book and held up on its own. But it explained so much about the Aunts and the world that they created. It was magical and heartbreaking. You felt for every character. You worried about the curse. And in the end you walk away with some of the strengths of the Owen children.

Spoiler review:

Oh man. I loved this book. I loved this book more than Practical Magic. It was so full of life. The characters were so different from each other and you travel with them through childhood and adulthood–following the curse and the magic. The world of magic is subtle. It exists in the in-between.

I have always been a fan of stories about magic that weave the magic in carefully. The slow, subtle introduction of it in magical realism is poetic and almost makes you wonder if the magic was ever really there.

With or without the magic, each of the characters were powerful in their own rights. This was a story about finding yourself, believing in your own power, and not letting doubt stop you. They each took on their power differently, but from each of their stories I gained a little knowledge for myself.

Love and love hard. Don’t let the world stand in your way. Being quiet and kind does not make you weak.

The book was heartbreaking. I knew from the beginning things weren’t going to be perfect and knowing Practical Magic, I knew the curse wouldn’t be broken. But I kept going, full of hope. I cheered on their triumphs. I cried when people were lost. And I’ll keep their story with me always.

I will definitely read more from her. She has an easy, enveloping way of telling a story that I aspire to write to.

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