Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman ~ Review

Title: The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic #1)
Author: Alice Hoffman
Genre: Adult, Paranormal
Length: 369 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Source: Purchased
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Find your magic

For 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 red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start, Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City, each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

I loved the movie Practical Magic. If you haven't seen this gem starring Sandra Bullock, then you need to go do it right now. The Rules of Magic takes you to the generations before the movie where we can see how the curse began, almost ended, and set the stage for the current members of the Owens family. 

The focus of the story is on Franny, Jet, and Vincent. A generation raised to hide from their magical heritage - after all, if you ignore it, then it must not exist. But the children can't resist giving in to the magic inside them. Traveling to their Aunt's house, they begin to learn about their family history - it's quite fascinating, and I really enjoyed the looks back in time.

As the children grow older, then struggle to avoid falling in the love and triggering the family curse. Here is where we see the ultimate struggle. How can someone not love? The siblings struggle as they grow up and do that very thing - fall in love. But the curse is triggered, and things quickly go downhill.

But this isn't just a story about a curse and the death of love. Jet was my favorite of the three, and her reactions to the events of life really stood out to me. She was the flicker of hope and possible salvation that carries the story into the movie. Don't look at this as just a prequel. It a beautiful story on its own that is so very much worth reading.

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