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Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
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Practical Magic (original 1996; edition 2003)

by Alice Hoffman

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2,916851,975 (3.78)99
Member:Miranda_Paige
Title:Practical Magic
Authors:Alice Hoffman
Info:Berkley Trade (2003), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 286 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (1996)

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Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
I think I've read this book before, but didn't remember until midway through. Which kind of speaks for its memorability. I picked it up because I liked Garden Spells a lot and it heard this was similar. .... I think they are a little too similar.... It was a little strange.

I didn't like this one as much because the only thing this book cared about was love. There was no mention of girl friends or of being happy single or enjoying life just because. It only revolved around boys. Fairly shallow. Especially with all the amount of time and words dedicated towards describing how beautiful a character was and how so many boys lusted after them.

I don't think I liked any of the characters. The girls were all written well, written to be realistic and shown in different stages of their life where they learn and grow and change. But still. Meh. And I just felt sorry for Sally.
The boys were just abnormally-perfect-love-mates for the girls. All of them. Blah.
And really, were there any other characters besides the Owen girls and their respective love mates? Yeah. Well then.

I wanted a little more magic. Herbs and little stuff doesn't cut it when they have the potential to force a false love with a single dove heart.

And I don't really see how Jimmy had all that power to cause all that trouble. More like a forced story plot.

I was just not impressed. Which is just sad because I liked Garden Spells, which was oddly very similar.

Objective rating is probably three stars, but personal rating I'd have to give it two stars for lack of interest and shallowness.
Maybe recommended for people who like realistic magic and slice of life books. You probably have to be a girl to like this book too. Sorry boys. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
I think I've read this book before, but didn't remember until midway through. Which kind of speaks for its memorability. I picked it up because I liked Garden Spells a lot and it heard this was similar. .... I think they are a little too similar.... It was a little strange.

I didn't like this one as much because the only thing this book cared about was love. There was no mention of girl friends or of being happy single or enjoying life just because. It only revolved around boys. Fairly shallow. Especially with all the amount of time and words dedicated towards describing how beautiful a character was and how so many boys lusted after them.

I don't think I liked any of the characters. The girls were all written well, written to be realistic and shown in different stages of their life where they learn and grow and change. But still. Meh. And I just felt sorry for Sally.
The boys were just abnormally-perfect-love-mates for the girls. All of them. Blah.
And really, were there any other characters besides the Owen girls and their respective love mates? Yeah. Well then.

I wanted a little more magic. Herbs and little stuff doesn't cut it when they have the potential to force a false love with a single dove heart.

And I don't really see how Jimmy had all that power to cause all that trouble. More like a forced story plot.

I was just not impressed. Which is just sad because I liked Garden Spells, which was oddly very similar.

Objective rating is probably three stars, but personal rating I'd have to give it two stars for lack of interest and shallowness.
Maybe recommended for people who like realistic magic and slice of life books. You probably have to be a girl to like this book too. Sorry boys. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
finished this in less than 36 hours. enchanting! I'm hooked on Alice Hoffman now. ( )
  AAM_mommy | Jun 2, 2014 |
This book is absolutely nothing like the movie. I can honestly say that I preferred the movie. The characters are really completely different and in reality so is the storyline. Both of which were what I loved about the movie and what led me to read the book. ( )
  Emelymac | Jan 15, 2014 |
It seemed appropriate to be reading practical magic in October, it is about witches after all. This was a nice light and easy read, nothing too mind bending. However this will probably be one of the few times I will say this, I enjoyed the movie better. Don't get me wrong, I liked but the movie is one of my favorites and I guess I just had higher expectations.

For my full review see my blog: http://adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot.com/2013/10/practical-magic-by-alice-ho...
( )
  Serinde24 | Dec 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (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
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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Disambiguation notice
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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.
Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:04 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Sorcery is the legacy of Gillian and Sally Owens, a legacy they both try to escape until they realize their magic is a gift, not an affliction.

(summary from another edition)

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