The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Practical Magic #2
Published October 12, 2021 by Simon Schuster
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.
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.