Practical Magic remains one of my favorite Alice Hoffman novels. Rules of Magic is a prequel that tells the story of the Owens family, focusing especially on siblings Franny, Jet, and Vincent. They are children of the '60s, both cursed and blessed by their witch bloodline. This is Hoffman at her magical best and Rules is now a new favorite. Recommended By Kathi K., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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 '60s, 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. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.
"No one's more confident or entertaining than Hoffman at putting across characters willing to tempt fate for true love. Real events like the Vietnam draft and Stonewall uprising enter the characters' family history as well as a stunning plot twist — delivering everything fans of a much-loved book could hope for in a prequel." Kirkus Reviews
"Reading an Alice Hoffman book is like falling into a deep dream where senses are heightened and love reigns supreme. The Rules of Magic is no exception — as I tumbled into the story of three siblings desperate for and cursed by love, I never wanted to awaken." Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things
"Hoffman delights in this prequel to Practical Magic as three siblings discover both the power and curse of their magic. Hoffman’s novel is a coming-of-age tale replete with magic and historical reference to the early witch trials. The spellbinding story, focusing on the strength of family bonds through joy and sorrow, will appeal to a broad range of readers. Fans of Practical Magic will be bewitched." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Reading [The Rules of Magic] was like being caught in a current, floating along with a river's twists and turns, glimpsing familiarity and difference in varied measure before tumbling into something like the sea. I kept reading, not because I wanted to reach the end, but because I wanted to dwell in the honey-light of Hoffman's words. I wanted to hold these characters' hands...Hoffman's prose is as tender, dreamy, and sweet as ever, laced with the sting of vinegar and broken glass." NPR Books
About the Author
Alice Hoffman is the author of more than 30 works of fiction, including The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. She lives near Boston.
Alice Hoffman on PowellsBooks.Blog
The Rules of Magic
takes place in Greenwich Village, at the height of the folk music scene of the '60s, with a side trip to the Monterey Pop Festival held in California in 1967. In Monterey, my character Vincent Owens performs his cult underground song, "I Walk at Night." Music is everywhere, mixing the real with the fantastic...