The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman

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The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic #2

Published October 12, 2021 by Simon Schuster

400 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Master storyteller Alice Hoffman brings us the conclusion of the Practical Magic series in a spellbinding and enchanting final Owens novel brimming with lyric beauty and vivid characters.

The Owens family has been cursed in matters of love for over three-hundred years but all of that is about to change. The novel begins in a library, the best place for a story to be conjured, when beloved aunt Jet Owens hears the deathwatch beetle and knows she has only seven days to live. Jet is not the only one in danger—the curse is already at work.

A frantic attempt to save a young man’s life spurs three generations of the Owens women, and one long-lost brother, to use their unusual gifts to break the curse as they travel from Paris to London to the English countryside where their ancestor Maria Owens first practiced the Unnamed Art. The younger generation discovers secrets that have been hidden from them in matters of both magic and love by Sally, their fiercely protective mother. As Kylie Owens uncovers the truth about who she is and what her own dark powers are, her aunt Franny comes to understand that she is ready to sacrifice everything for her family, and Sally Owens realizes that she is willing to give up everything for love.

The Book of Magic is a breathtaking conclusion that celebrates mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, and anyone who has ever been in love.

Review: **Please note that this is the final book of a 4 book series so if you have not read the other books there may be spoilers ahead.**

When I heard that there was going to be one more book in the Practical Magic series I was INSANELY excited. I jumped at the chance to get an early copy of this book because I love the stories of the Owens women. The story picks up with Franny and Jet in their 80s, Gillian and Sally in their 40s, and Antonia and Kylie in their 20s. Jet hears the infamous deathwatch beetle and knows that it’s almost her time to go. She spends her remaining time with those she loves and after discovering something in the Owens Library, sets up Franny to find a way to break the family curse that their ancestor Maria set upon them centuries ago. But it’s not Franny who finds what Jet leaves behind for her. Let me tell you that when that happened, I knew that all sorts of things were about to happen and not all of them good. Kylie finally discovers the truth about who she is and who her family is after her mother, Sally, had spent all those years hiding it from her daughters.

If you have read and loved one of the previous books in this series, The Rules of Magic, then you will be very happy to find that a familiar face has returned to the story. Franny and Jet’s brother Vincent! Vincent is also the absentee grandfather to Gillian and Sally. Before they were born, Vincent had faked his own death to escape being drafted into the army during the Vietnam War. He fell in love with a man named William and the two of them absconded to France, leaving behind everything and everything they ever knew. When Kylie goes off in search of answers, Franny, Gillian, and Sally board a plane to France to see Vincent and enlist him to help them find her. Seeing them all together again was wonderful even if the circumstances weren’t the best. Add another plane ride and another character later and we have the incredibly interesting Professor Ian Wright in England.

I don’t want to say a whole lot more in regards to the plot because once you hit that point in the story, it’s hard to keep out the spoilers. But let me tell you that it was absolutely incredible. I loved being with these characters again in their story and the new characters that were introduced to the story, with the exception of Tom Lockland (you know what you did, Tom!). The writing is everything I’ve come to love from Alice Hoffman. Everything flows so easily and so descriptive that I have no trouble playing the story out as a movie in my head which is one of my favorite parts about reading. She has a way of making it feel as though the reader was right there in those moments. I fell in love with these characters more than I had loved them before. As sad as I am that this is the end of this series, I believe it was the perfect conclusion. I highly recommend reading this book. I can’t wait to re-read the entire series again in the near future from Maria’s tale in Magic Lessons, to the introduction of Franny, Vincent, and Jet in The Rules of Magic, with Gillian and Sally in Practical Magic, and finally this continuation of Franny, Jet, Vincent, Gillian, Sally, Antonia, and Kylie’s story in The Book of Magic.

5 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Magic Lessons (Practical Magic, #0.1)

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Published October 6th 2020 by Simon Schuster

416 Pages

Goodreads Summary: In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman’s masterful storytelling.

Review: From the moment I knew this book was coming out, I desperately wanted to read it. Practical Magic is one of my all-time favorite movies that I watch every year in October. I love magic and witches but even more than that, I love the stories of the Owens women. When Alice Hoffman wrote The Rules of Magic, I fell in love with that one just as much as I loved Practical Magic. And what could be better than traveling back in time to where it all began… Maria Owens.

It didn’t take me very long to completely love this book. Reading about Maria and how she grew up and what circumstances brought her to Massachusetts. Maria is such a great character and Alice Hoffman did a wonderful job writing her from the baby that Hannah Owens took in and raised as her own, all the way to the very end of the book as a woman who was strong and independent and helped those in need. I loved so many of the characters in this book, especially Maria and Samuel Dias though. From the moment they met, I desperately wanted them to end up together. Another thing that I loved about this book were the historical settings. They were all written so well that I could easily visualize myself walking beside Maria as she experienced everything in those places. One of my favorite things in this book were the additions to Maria’s Grimoire. I almost felt like grabbing a blank journal and writing everything down to make my own Grimoire.

This story and the writing were so magical and lyrical. This is definitely a book to be savored and not rush through. It was everything I hoped it would be and more.

5 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Publication: June 13, 1995 by Putnam Adult

Pages: 244

Goodreads Summary: When the beautiful and precocious sisters Sally and Gillian Owens are orphaned at a young age, they are taken to a small Massachusetts town to be raised by their eccentric aunts, who happen to dwell in the darkest, eeriest house in town. As they become more aware of their aunts’ mysterious and sometimes frightening powers — and as their own powers begin to surface — the sisters grow determined to escape their strange upbringing by blending into “normal” society.

But both find that they cannot elude their magic-filled past. And when trouble strikes — in the form of a menacing backyard ghost — the sisters must not only reunite three generations of Owens women but embrace their magic as a gift — and their key to a future of love and passion. Funny, haunting, and shamelessly romantic, Practical Magic is bewitching entertainment — Alice Hoffman at her spectacular best.

Review: Wow… I am shocked that I am about to say this but I SO prefer the movie over the book this time!  I love this movie so I was really excited to read the book.  Well, I was this close to not even finishing the book.  It was so long winded and just went on and on and on.  Even though it was only 244 pages long, I felt like it was much longer.  Everything was described in such long detail that it was just overboard.  I was not into this book at all.  So disappointed.  In the movie I loved Sally Owens and even Gillian but in the book, I just couldn’t feel anything but annoyance for either one of them.  Ugh.

2/5 stars

W W W Wednesday – February 18, 2015

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WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme now hosted by Taking on a World of Words!  Each week we answer three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished?
  • What is up next?

CURRENTLY READING

www18thcurrently

RECENTLY FINISHED

www18threcently

UP NEXT

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I haven’t had a lot of reading time this week.  My cousin is getting married in May and her wedding shower is in less than a month.  I’m working on a project for her present with my mom and aunts so I haven’t had a lot of down time at home.  I have my NetGalley ratio at 85% so I’m okay there but I like to read all of the ones I have before requesting new ones so I have two more after the one I’m currently reading.

Also, I watched the first episode of Outlander the other night free on Amazon Prime!  I really liked it and can’t wait to see more!  Made me want to jump back into the book series.

What have you been reading lately?