The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

Find your magicFor 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 r...

Title:The Rules of Magic
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Edition Language:English

The Rules of Magic Reviews

  • Diane S ☔

    It has been many, many years since I read

    , or seen the movie. I do remember loving it, loving the sisters and the magic. So here the Owen sisters return, as young witches, parents still alive, and with the added twist of their younger brother Victor. Of course they soon notice how different they are, exploring their talents in various ways until a horrible tragedy threatens to derail everything.

    Loved it, this book was just what I needed after reading

    It has been many, many years since I read

    , or seen the movie. I do remember loving it, loving the sisters and the magic. So here the Owen sisters return, as young witches, parents still alive, and with the added twist of their younger brother Victor. Of course they soon notice how different they are, exploring their talents in various ways until a horrible tragedy threatens to derail everything.

    Loved it, this book was just what I needed after reading

    , something lighter, magical. Though there is plenty of sorrow here too, mixed with some delightful magic, quirky pets, and some new faces, some with magic, some without. Ultimately, if I had to pick a theme, besides magic for this book, it would be love. This book is full of love in all its permutations, messiness, wonder and heartbreak.

    Whether writing historicals, or contemporary, Hoffman has never failed to delight me with her characters, her word choices, and the ways she assembles her plots. There is some history in this one too as it takes place in the sixties, and the Vietnam war will play a big part for some of the characters

    Wonderful story about the power of love,what it forgives and how hard it is to forget, was actually teary eyed at the end. Have to wonder where this author will go next, she is so incredibly versatile.

    ARC from Edelweiss and Simon and Schuster.

    Release date: October 10th.

  • Angela M

    If you don't read this book because you don't believe in witches or in magic, you would truly be missing out on a wonderful story that is about so much more. If you don't read this book because you haven't read Practical Magic, the book to which this is a prequel, you'd be missing out . I haven't read Practical Magic (although I intend to now), but yet I loved so much about this book . It is not just a story of spells and potions and special powers. It is a story of family, of love, a story that

    If you don't read this book because you don't believe in witches or in magic, you would truly be missing out on a wonderful story that is about so much more. If you don't read this book because you haven't read Practical Magic, the book to which this is a prequel, you'd be missing out . I haven't read Practical Magic (although I intend to now), but yet I loved so much about this book . It is not just a story of spells and potions and special powers. It is a story of family, of love, a story that reflects so much about the times in the 1960's. There IS real magic in this story, though. It was the spell that Alice Hoffman's writing cast over me that made me accept who these characters are in spite of not really believing in witches. Not just accepting them but caring about them and hoping that they will make it through their tragedies, their fate and wishing for them to be happy.

    I couldn't help but be drawn into this story of these three siblings, Franny, Jet and Vincent Owens who are told the rules they must live by in order to avoid the family curse, which goes back to 1620's in Massachusetts when their ancestor, Maria Owens is "charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. " The most important rule - do not fall in love . Well, of course they do and this becomes a story of the heart. I loved everything about it - the writing, the characters, the places. As I said I have not read Practical Magic, but I will definitely read it because I don't want to let go of this family. Alice Hoffman is a treasure, such a versatile and prolific author, writing of past and present, such very different stories in so many novels. This is just the fourth novel of hers that I have read and I feel lucky to have so many others yet to read.

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Simon & Schuster through Edelweiss and NetGalley.

  • Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!

    - Lyrics by John Sebastian

    . –

    is a prequel to Alice Hoffman’s

    , which I have not read, so I can’t compare the two, but this was just magical, and I still feel a bit under its spell, wishing for more.

    Cursed. For the Owens family, love has been something to avoid, a curse harkening back to 1620, when loving the wrong man sealed the fate of an entire family.

    More than three hundred years later, over six hundred solstices later, the Owens family is still avoided, eyed suspiciously by all who live there, where some members of the family still lived in Massachusetts.

    When she was younger, Susannah had left it all behind, gone to Paris and returned to live in New York City, where she sits on this morning June, 1960 opening an invitation for her eldest daughter, Franny, to visit her Aunt Isabelle. A tradition, once they’ve turned seventeen. Their father objects, but tradition wins, on the condition that her younger siblings, sister Jet, and brother Vincent, accompany Franny. Their lives are about to change, even as the country is poised on the cusp of a change most are unprepared for.

    They’ve known from the start that they are different from others, but their mother had kept them from exploring their abilities by establishing rules. Rules only go so far, especially for these exceptional children about to be immersed in a magical setting, filled with flourishing gardens and magical herbs and familiars. Still, there is one rule they all know, whatever you do, do not fall in love. Love is perilous.

    Family is everything, and the theme of family is at the heart of this novel about a family and the weight and heartache of secrets and loss, and the power of love to overcome, the inescapable feeling that they will never fit in, no matter how hard they try.

    The Stonewall Riots, Vietnam, The Summer of Love, the inaugural Monterey Pop Festival … these are in the past, but the events of that era infuse this story, grounding you solidly in a time that is felt and seen, if only through the eyes of the past.

    The characters are wonderful, charmingly quirky, sometimes peculiar, but never boring. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, occasionally humorous, and filled with the magic of love, in all its many forms. This reads as though it were conjured by magic, the words flowing freely, an enchanted labor of love.

    Recommended

    Pub Date: 10 Oct 2017

    Many thanks for the ARC provided by Simon & Schuster

  • Susanne Strong

    They are provided no explanation. None. They obey.. though they don't know why

    They are provided no explanation. None. They obey.. though they don't know why - until they are summoned to visit their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts. Then they discover the truth. They are witches. And everything falls into place. Jet and Vincent take to it immediately and they study and practice. Franny tries ignores what she knows to be true until one day, she too has no choice but to embrace her true self. She is a witch, through and through. And her siblings need her.

    From their Aunt, and from books that they have been warned to stay away from, they learn spells; they learn the secrets of making soaps and how to make potions; and from each other they find strength. They find love; though it terrifies them - for they have been told of the curse on the Owens family. It is beautiful, exciting, haunting and terrifying. Yet Franny, Jet and Vincent are destined for it.

    Alice Hoffman does something amazing here, but then, doesn't she always? Her characters are beloved and endearing, yet tortured. The story grabs you from the get go, and not just because it's a Prequel to Hoffman's "Practical Magic" (which you don't need to have read in order to read this) and she just creates this

    that sinks into your soul and soothes you completely. Yes. She does that.

    Thank you to NetGalley, Simon Schuster and Alice Hoffman for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I am externally grateful that I was given the opportunity to read and review this incredible book.

    Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 8.13.17.

    *Will be Published on Amazon on 10.10.17.

  • Liz

    Three siblings grow up knowing they are different than others. Their mother tries to keep their heritage hidden from them. But “what is meant to be is bound to happen, whether or not you approve.” In June, 1960, an invitation arrives and the teenagers take off to stay with their great aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts.

    Every book of Alice Hoffman’s is different. The only thing in common is the wonderful writing. This book is described as a prequel to Practical Magic, which I haven't read. And it's

    Three siblings grow up knowing they are different than others. Their mother tries to keep their heritage hidden from them. But “what is meant to be is bound to happen, whether or not you approve.” In June, 1960, an invitation arrives and the teenagers take off to stay with their great aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts.

    Every book of Alice Hoffman’s is different. The only thing in common is the wonderful writing. This book is described as a prequel to Practical Magic, which I haven't read. And it's not necessary to have done so. It easily stands on its own. Usually I'm not one for magic and potions and everything else witchy. But here I bought into it, hook, line and sinker. Each one has a gift; the ability to read minds, clairvoyance, kinship with animals. The one thing they are forbidden is love and it's the one thing they are all seeking. In fact, the entire book is about love. Love found and love lost and what we will do for those we love. It's a bittersweet book.

    My thanks to netgalley and Simon & Schuster for this truly magical book.

  • Elyse

    It's FANTASTIC!!!!!

    "The Rules of Magic", is such a wonderful world to visit.

    Most people avoided the Owens family believing any entanglement with them would taint not only their present but their future as well.

    It was said that some family members could place a single horse hair into a pan of water and turn it into a snake.

    Yikes... that might scare me away from them too! Ha!

    But -- oh how I loved this family who came from a long line of witches as far back as the year 1620 when Maria Owens wa

    It's FANTASTIC!!!!!

    "The Rules of Magic", is such a wonderful world to visit.

    Most people avoided the Owens family believing any entanglement with them would taint not only their present but their future as well.

    It was said that some family members could place a single horse hair into a pan of water and turn it into a snake.

    Yikes... that might scare me away from them too! Ha!

    But -- oh how I loved this family who came from a long line of witches as far back as the year 1620 when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for falling in love .... with the wrong man.

    The siblings- Franny, Jet, and Vincent are colorful fascinating distinct characters each with special powers - gifts- personality- temperament and charm. Aunt Isabelle is a standout, too. They made me laugh. They made me cry.

    From Manhattan to Massachusetts to California--the storytelling is irresistible - filled with magic and imagery -many scents throughout: wildflowers, herbs, eucalyptus, peppermint, trees, patchouli, chocolate, bittersweet scent of almonds, curries, coffee, even bacon.... etc. etc.

    Flowers were everywhere at "The Summer of Love" gathering in San Francisco.

    You'll even visit the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967..... The grateful dead, Janis Joplin, the who, Jimi Hendrix, and Otis Redding: Music Love Peace

    Page after page.... are delightful surprises... gorgeous prose!!!

    I devoured this book....taking away wisdom-which brought me back to the 'magic' of our everyday lives. ----- but... I miss these folks, their stories and their rules, already!

    Thank You Netgalley, Simon & Schuster, and Alice Hoffman

  • PorshaJo

    Rating 4.5 (Release date 10-10-17)

    Magical! Enough said, end review. Seriously, I loved this book. I got an email one day asking if I was wanted to read this new book by Alice Hoffman. I didn't even think, I just replied YES!

    The Rules of Magic is the 'prequel' to Hoffman's huge selling book and movie, Practical Magic. Even though this is a prequel, I will say this.....You DO NOT have to read Practical Magic before reading this one. In Practical Magic, the main characters had two aunts that took c

    Rating 4.5 (Release date 10-10-17)

    Magical! Enough said, end review. Seriously, I loved this book. I got an email one day asking if I was wanted to read this new book by Alice Hoffman. I didn't even think, I just replied YES!

    The Rules of Magic is the 'prequel' to Hoffman's huge selling book and movie, Practical Magic. Even though this is a prequel, I will say this.....You DO NOT have to read Practical Magic before reading this one. In Practical Magic, the main characters had two aunts that took care of them for a bit. They were really not in the book that much. Fleeting in and out a few times. In the Rules of Magic, you learn about the lives of those aunts, starting when they were children.

    The Rules of Magic is the story of Franny, Jet, and their brother Vincent. They know they are different from others, but not sure why. They know their mother rules them and keeps things from them, but they are not sure why. She urges no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic, again, they are not told why. What they do know, is that they can never fall in love. Oh there are so many quirky, interesting characters in this one. I loved hearing about their aunt and so many others. I also loved hearing about NYC (always a favorite for me) and the books they read (The Magus, Maria Owens diary, The Scarlet Letter, and more). You learn how they began to grow and grow into their magical abilities, starting with a summer visit to their aunt they knew nothing about. I loved the addition into the story the man John Hawthorne. John Hawthorne is a real person, known for his early and vocal role as one of the leading judges in the Salem witch trials. John and his loathing for witches and magic is weaved beautifully into this story.

    If you love magical realism, this is the perfect read for you. If you like to hear about witches and spells, this is for you. And if you love reading Alice Hoffman, then you must simply pick this one up. I do have to say, this is my favorite book of hers that I have read to date (though I do have more of hers to read). I like how she seems to have a common theme across her books, the color red, characters with red hair, birds (mainly black birds/crows), and of course, love.

    Finally, I did get an advance copy of this via NetGalley. Thanks to NetGally, Simon & Schuster, and Alice Hoffman for this early release. This does not influence my review in any way. I just really enjoyed this one and now must get the print version for a future re-read.

  • Larry H
  • Debbie

    Sadly, I couldn't finish this one. I never should have requested it, knowing that magical realism isn't my thing. Reading it has been torture, so I'm stopping right now, a quarter of the way through. Life is too short for me to spend hours reading something I hate. Reading fiction must be fun or intriguing--otherwise, what's the point?

    My fault. I let myself get seduced by reviews when I knew full well that witc

    Sadly, I couldn't finish this one. I never should have requested it, knowing that magical realism isn't my thing. Reading it has been torture, so I'm stopping right now, a quarter of the way through. Life is too short for me to spend hours reading something I hate. Reading fiction must be fun or intriguing--otherwise, what's the point?

    My fault. I let myself get seduced by reviews when I knew full well that witches would be a hard sell.

    Other reasons I talked myself into reading it:

    -I liked a couple of non-magic-y books by Hoffman, the most recent being

    .

    -Occasionally (hardly EVER), magical realism works for me.

    -Long long ago, I actually liked magical realism. (I thought

    was cool.)

    -I thought perhaps I had dissociative personality disorder, in which case a palm reader by the name of Debrina, who co-exists in my psyche, would love this book.

    Mostly it comes down to this: I hoped I would get attached to the characters despite the fact that they were witches. Or maybe I could forget that they were witches? Didn't happen. Frankly, I didn't give a flying eff. Every single page was woo-woo. Every single page.

    I believe all the gushers who say that this is a great book. I'm just the wrong audience. Remember, my 1 star means that I hated it, not that it's a bad book. I should have my head examined for trying.

    As Judge Judy sometimes says: Dismissed without prejudice.

    Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy.

  • Jen

    It seems to be a hit and miss with me and Hoffman. I loved

    and

    but not so much with

    . This one didn't grab me from under the table at the start. I think it's the magic thing- it's difficult for me to suspend belief, BUT, once I finally let go of that conception, the story was at last able to enter into a more fascinating and interesting realm for me.

    Because let's face it, Hoffman's skill is in her descriptive writing - successfully trans

    It seems to be a hit and miss with me and Hoffman. I loved

    and

    but not so much with

    . This one didn't grab me from under the table at the start. I think it's the magic thing- it's difficult for me to suspend belief, BUT, once I finally let go of that conception, the story was at last able to enter into a more fascinating and interesting realm for me.

    Because let's face it, Hoffman's skill is in her descriptive writing - successfully transporting the reader into a place far from the one they are inhabiting.

    3 siblings - Jet, Franny and Vincent have been endowed with magical powers. However, unless they can keep them in line, and hence the rules, lives will be harmed and the tradition of never being able to fall in love, will continue.

    This wasn't just about magic, however. It was more about the choices we make - those that are riskier and requiring courage and those decided with caution. It's about extraordinary family relationships and about love.

    I didn't think this one was for me but I'm glad I stuck with it because it did magically deliver.


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