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Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
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Practical Magic (1995)

by Alice Hoffman

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3,7041022,069 (3.76)152
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» See also 152 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
This isn't anything like the movie! It has the same characters, but their personalities, narrative, and situations are completely different. I found it neither cohesive nor compelling. ( )
  thewitchescupboard | Dec 31, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this. I love Alice Hoffman's writing style- so lyrical and magical. ( )
  EliseLaForge | Nov 20, 2018 |
I loved this book! It reminded me of Joanne Harris and Sarah Addison Allen . Beautiful, magical and full of surprises. This is the kind of book that I can see being made into a movie

It was the first book that I have read by Alice Hoffman, and I am an instant fan! Cannot wait to grab another of her books! ( )
  Emmie217 | Jun 27, 2018 |
I had not watched the movie when it came out but I had heard a little about this book and knew I wanted to read it. This was the hardest I had ever worked to find and read a book as it was not available at my library or any of the library online services and my usual methods of purchase did not have it in stock. I finally found an affordable copy on Book Depository and waited a few weeks for it to arrive.
Thankfully it ended up being worth the effort! This was a fun read and easy to sink into. It wasn't quite as dark as I expected but it was full of magical realism, family ties, love and pain. Recommended ( )
  ChelleBearss | May 23, 2018 |
Magical realism novel that follows the lives of sisters Sally and Gillian Owens. Full of beautiful prose and a gentle but tightly woven plot that pulls the reader along (I devoured the book in two days). The magic element is fantastical and yet somehow treated as an everyday and in no way unusual thing in the lives of these women. With lovely explorations of what it means to be family, the power that love holds over people, and the importance of accepting yourself, this is a highly enjoyable novel. Recommended for fans of magical realism and family dramas. ( )
  MickyFine | Feb 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
If there is an author north of the border who has managed to successfully translate the language of magic realism into the American idiom, it is Alice Hoffman.
 
Indeed, the title of Ms. Hoffman's latest novel, "Practical Magic," says it all: if you are going to believe in magic, it had better have palpable and easily comprehensible results.
 
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Epigraph
For every evil under the sun, There is a remedy, or there is none. If there be one, seek till you find it; If there be none, never mind it.  MOTHER GOOSE
Dedication
To Libby Hodges, To Carol DeKnight

First words
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in town.
Quotations
Math plus desire equals who you are.
Grief is all around; it's just invisible to most people.
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Book description
A tale of two sisters, Gillian and Sally Owens, brought up by their two elderly guardian aunts in a world of spells and exotica. As the magical charm of their childhood wears away, they escape from this mystical mayhem - one by running away, the other by marrying. Many years go by before strange circumstances thrust them together again, and once more they are in a place that blends the mundane and mysterious, the familiar and fantastic, the normal and the numinous. Three generations of Owens women are brought together in an experience of unexpected insight and revelation, teaching all of them that such perceptions are rare and wonderful and - to be sure - practical.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425190374, Paperback)

For most adults, fairy tales are among the childish things we've put away. Alice Hoffman, however, feels differently. Practical Magic starts out as a tale of Gillian and Sally Owens, two orphaned girls whose aunts are witches--of a mild sort. For the past two centuries, Owens women have been blamed for all that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town, ever since their ancestor arrived, rich, independent, and soon accused of theft: "And then one day, a farmer winged a crow in his cornfield, a creature who'd been stealing from him shamelessly for months. When Maria Owens appeared the very next morning with her arm in a sling and her white hand wound up in a white bandage, people felt certain they knew the reason why." The aunts are daily ostracized by the same upstanding citizens who sneak to their house at night for magical love cures. To the sisters they are for the most part benevolently absent, though their bell, book, and candle routine makes life a torment for Gillian, beautiful and blonde and lazy, and Sally, who's all too responsible. But when one of the aunts' cures works too well, ending as a curse, the dangers of real love become all too clear. In Hoffman's world being bewitched, bothered, and bewildered is no mere metaphor--and neither is desire. The elbows of one enamored man pucker a linoleum counter, another walks around with singed cuffs. It's difficult to catch the author's power in brief quotes. She needs space and increment to build her exquisite variations of vision and reality, her matter-of-fact announcements of the preternatural. Practical Magic again and again makes one recall the thrill of hearing at bedtime, "Now will I a tale unfold..." --Kerry Fried

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:47 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women had been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town. And Gillian and Sally endured that fate as well; as children, the sisters were outsiders. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, but all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One would do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they shared brought them back, almost as if by magic ...… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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