by Alice Hoffman
Release Date: October 10th, 2017
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.
***I Received an ARC through Netgalley for an Honest Review***
I gave this book 5 stars. This was a book of first love, true love, heartbreak, and magic. It was one of the greatest books I read this year. The story felt so timeless and fluid I was so completely distracted that I would forget that I was actually reading a book.
This book isn’t harsh or action packed, it isn’t about witches who fight off evil or do evil things. The best way I can describe this book is that it’s enchanting and gentle, if at times a bit emotional, it isn’t a rollercoaster.
This book was so beautiful and heartbreaking. My heart completely broke for these characters. These three protagonists are completely different but they work so well together.
It made me very anxious because I knew for a fact that only two of the characters actually make it out of this story alive seeing as they are important characters in Practical Magic. I felt a sense of foreboding, knowing that everyone but these two characters would probably end up dying. That stressed me out pretty badly.
There were several aspects of this story that normally I would hate, but I didn’t actually mind in this book. For one, there was some instalove. It didn’t feel like instalove because of the magic, and the beautiful way that the author played it out. It felt like those characters were meant to be together and time didn’t exist to them in those moments where they were together. I fell in love with their love.
It was also most of a tell not showing story, as the first book was also like that. I liked it though, the author is telling us a tale of those characters and is drawing on their emotions and experiences. I feel like I’m sitting in front of a fire while someone is telling me a fairytale.
I think the author did an amazing job balancing the story lines of all the characters. I felt I got a lot about all three siblings.
It was also nice to see that the characters were actually effected by different things that were happening around that time period from riots to the Vietnam war. It wasn’t just phased out as I often see in books set around that time period.
One of the greatest aspects of this book was the magic system, this is what I expect of stereotypical witches. Superstition and weird things that can’t be explained. Herbal remedies and psychic abilities. No offense to my favorite, Harry Potter, but this is probably my favorite magic system.
Overall, I need more of these characters. I want to know more about what happens to them because a lot of those questions aren't even answered in Practical Magic. This book is really good and I would highly suggest reading it. Although, it is not a fast-paced book and is more character driven, so if you prefer things fast paced and plot driven, this probably isn't the best choice for you.