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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
Beautiful, just beautiful I, too, watched the movie first. Normally once I have watched a movie, I won't read the book on a dare, it is always a disappointment, until now. There is a real relationship between book and movie but this book can stand alone. The relationships between the characters alone made me not want to put this book down ever. Alice Hoffman does an incredible job with this story , which ends up being less about witchy magic and more about the magic that exists in all of us. I will have to read more of Hoffman because if the rest of her book are this good, I don't want to miss out.
Good but Not Great Practical Magic is a difficult book to forget.It has numerous ups and downs,which also makes it difficult to review.It is definitely unusual,with a very unique style of writing that gives it a hazy,dreamy atmosphere that's carefully woven into the plot.This usually works,but gets stale at the end,making the book's theme overly repetitive and sappy.The conclusion is the only problem I had with the book.It's too well thought-out to be ruined by such a predictable mess.I would recommend the book to people who are looking for an interesting read.If you are especially interested in magic or romance,it's bound to have an effect.Fall in love whenever you can How the words of this book will stick with me all my life. Alice Hoffman has used such descriptive language and imagry that you just cant put it down. Looking for a book to get caught up in, you have found it.