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Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic (original 1996; edition 2003)

by Alice Hoffman

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2,893831,998 (3.78)99
Title:Practical Magic
Authors:Alice Hoffman
Info:Berkley Trade (2003), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 286 pages
Collections:Your library

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Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (1996)


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Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
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 |
Even though I've read this book a few times before, it's just as good as the first time.

Alice Hoffman has what I call a cinematic style of bringing fairy-tale-like narrations to contemporary story and setting, specifically New England. So it's no surprise when this book was turned into a movie not long after publication. As a matter of fact, the movie is better known than the book. There are people who still don't know that it's only an adaptation.

-    What I've always liked about this book is that it stays true to the traditions of fairy tales in that consequences are serious and often times permanent, ugly, and have a way of catching up to you. No action goes unpunished.
-    What I've come to like and understand about the characters in this book is that Hoffman writes female characters in her own particular way. Although these characters are grounded in their emotions and repeatedly influenced by mysterious magical entities, they seem most realistic, most relateable, when they are at their most vulnerable moments.
-    What I still don't like about the story is how Jimmy's ghost is dealt with so easily just by having the aunts come to Sally's house and whisking him away. I enjoy the haunting and darker elements of the story up until this point.

-    Both the book and movie are different enough for each to stand on its own.
-    What the movie has, and the book lacks, is a fun sunny New England atmosphere, whereas the tone and atmosphere in the book are dark, foreboding, though still New England.
-    Sally and Gillian, as portrayed in the movie, lack the depth, devotion, and connection that Sally and Gillian in the book have; however, the movie makes up for it by showing the sisters' stories as they unfold, instead of telling, which is what the book does in much of the narration.
-    Magic and the Aunts play bigger roles in Sally's and Gillian's lives here and adds a closeness and a familial layer to the story that isn't in the book.

This story translates very well to audio. It's as though it was written to be read aloud. ( )
1 vote 1stavenue | Sep 20, 2013 |
Great mix of realism and magic. I quickly became emeshed in the sister's lives. Would love to know more about the aunts. ( )
  AprilAasheim | Jul 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (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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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.
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.
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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 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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