The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman


The Rules of Magic is the prequel to the Hoffman’s 1995 novel, Practical Magic. In this gripping story, we follow the lives of Franny, Jet, and Vincent Owens as they discover—and later embrace—their magical heritage. They are warned that they must never, ever, fall in love due to the family curse, but that’s something that proves easier said than done…

I absolutely LOVED this book. I was fully invested in this story—and its magical premise—very quickly. Equal time is spent telling each of the siblings’ stories. Each sibling’s story could easily have been the entire focus of a standalone book in this reader’s opinion… they were all incredibly compelling to read about, and there were times I wasn’t ready to transition to a different point of view because I wanted to see what happened next with the person I was reading about.

Franny, Jet, and Vincent all had their share of heartache to go through, but if I had to pick one as the most memorable, it would definitely be Jet. The way the curse affected her was especially tragic, and as I read about the aftermath, I wasn’t sure she would ever be able to recover from it.

If you enjoy reading magical realism, I highly suggest you give this book a try. And I hope you will love it as much as I did!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Simon & Schuster via Netgalley.

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Author: Alice Hoffman
Title: The Rules of Magic
Series: Practical Magic #0
Genre: Magical Realism
Publication Date: October 10, 2017 by Simon & Schuster
Rating: 5 stars

About the Book

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.

About the Author

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York.

Read the rest of Alice Hoffman’s author bio here.

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