Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{October 16, 2019}   {Review} The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic #1)

From Goodreads: Find your magic.

For 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 when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

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.


This novel was my book club’s pick for October, and it’s quite fitting, given that Halloween is in just a few weeks. From the beginning, I found myself extremely interested in the three main characters: Franny, Jet, and Vincent. The novel begins when they’re just teens, aware that they aren’t like other people, but unable to exactly pinpoint why they’re different… until Aunt Isabelle calls for them. Meeting the teens, learning about their parents’ rules, and seeing what they choose to do with their lives and abilities made for a fun read, though Hoffman definitely speeds through this prequel to her famed Practical Magic. On many an occasion, I found myself wishing the novel would slow down. One moment, they’re teens, then in their twenties, forties, and then old old old (no idea of the age). The family curse was intriguing, and though an overall sad tale, it does have uplifting themes of family and love, which peppered the novel enough to keep it a relatively light read. It definitely held my attention, though rushed, and though I haven’t read (nor seen) Practical Magic, I bet this novel would tickle those who have, as they get to know the aunts and the mysterious uncle when they were young. Four stars.

I borrowed a copy of this novel from my library.

Did you know that you can try a FREE TRIAL of Audible for 30 days? Try it today!

Kindle | Audible | Paperback | Hardcover




et cetera
%d bloggers like this: