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review 2018-03-15 18:46
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman,Marin Ireland

I read Practical Magic a million years ago (1996 maybe) and remember almost nothing about it besides the fact that I pretty much loved and adored everything about it. I didn’t obsessively write reviews for everything I read back then so I may need to reread it someday to see if this still holds true. This is the prequel. You do not have to have read Practical Magic in order to love and adore The Rules of Magic. I listened on audio and did not take notes and simply enjoyed every word. 

Susanna moved out of Massachusetts as soon as she was able. She landed in NY and was diligent about making sure her kids had a normal life and stayed away from certain things like Oujia boards, cats, moonlit nights, red shoes and true love. Especially true love. Finding or seeking love would doom them, she promised. Of course the kids do the exact opposite. When Susanna’s oldest daughter receives a formal invitation to spend the summer at her childhood home with her two younger siblings she tells them they can go but strongly advises against it. She claims, very ominously, that they will never be the same if they leave and visit their aunt and learn all the family secrets she’s been keeping from them! 

Susanna handled this all wrong, if you ask me. Were I her, I would’ve told the kids that auntie was a mean old hag who would lock them in the basement for the summer and feed them rats. Of course they go. I mean, wouldn’t you? Franny, Jet and Vincent spend the summer released from all of the rules and restrictions their parents usually inflict upon them. They can eat whatever they want, go to bed whenever they want and as long as “they do no harm” they are free to be themselves. They revel in it and start snooping into their heritage and learning all about their inherited magical abilities. And, just as their Mamma forecasted, none of them will ever be the same.

See, they’ve inherited more than magic. A terrible curse will plague them throughout their lives. The curse of true love. Mamma wasn't lying.

This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking book about the three siblings as they grow from teens to adults and do their best to avoid love and the grief that accompanies love. In the process, they fill their lives with sorrow.

“I’m fated to lose everyone I ever love”

“Of course you are. That’s what it means to be alive.”

Reading this is like free falling into another world. It’s a truly magical experience and I highly recommend it. I hated leaving the characters when it was all over and that so rarely happens that I’m giving it all the stars. 

The audio narrated by Marin Ireland is the way to go if you enjoy audio. She’s excellent and a pleasure to listen to.


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text 2018-02-21 01:20
Reading progress update: I've read 130 out of 366 pages.
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

1. There goes the "do no harm" rule of magic. Right out the window.


2. Haylin is one of those guys that hates his family's money, only wears cheap, old clothes and says when he inherits their fortune he's going to rid of it. I hate people like that. He's a 17 year old snot living in Manhattan. He doesn't have a job. He doesn't know hard work. He's going to Harvard so clearlt it's okay to take the family money when education, food and shelter is involved but fuck everyone else. Stop being a pretentious snob. Go live in the Bronx where in this time period you were more likely to get shot or burned alive just minding your own business, living in a slumlord shithole. Then you can bitch about rich idiots.

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text 2018-02-20 01:47
Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 366 pages.
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman




Not sure what the plot is or where this is going. But I'm down for this so far.

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review 2018-02-10 03:27
Prequel to Practical Magic
The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

Rules of Magic, Alice Hoffman
The readers must ask themselves a question…do they believe in magic or witchcraft? Do they think either is good or evil? Their beliefs will be challenged as they read the novel. Are the characters worthy of their respect or disdain?
The Owens family is very different. How different is the question? How will their differences affect their lives as well as the lives of others in the future? Do they have special powers that they cannot hide? How will they use them once discovered; how will they accept them is the $64,000 question? They are whispered about in their community and people stay away from them because of their rumored history. They are haunted by a curse that prevents them from experiencing real love without experiencing disastrous consequences as a result.
Frances is the serious, red-headed, scientific thinker of the family. She attempts to explain all of the unique abilities they have in a logical fashion. She is the eldest and therefore assumed to be the wisest. Birds are attracted to her like flies and she seems able to communicate with them. Although she loves someone, they vow to remain close but not to declare their love for fear of destroying it. She has a crow as a familiar. That crow, Lewis, is also devoted to Haylin, the boy with whom she has a relationship.
Jet is the gayer, more whimsical interpreter of life. She can read minds. She wants to defy the love curse and falls madly in love with a forbidden suitor, Levi Willard, a suitor who is somehow related to her ancestor Maria Owens. Jet is beautiful with lustrous black hair, and although she seems the more cautious, she is really possessed of a defiant courage. She has a black cat as a familiar. Wren, was given to Jet, by her Aunt Isabelle, after her parents were killed.
Maria Owens was a witch in the 1600’s who became involved with Judge John Hathorne. He was a married family man who impregnated her. Judge Hathorne accused Maria of being a witch, then went witch hunting, causing the deaths of many innocent women. Maria imposed the curse forbidding love for the Owens family into posterity to protect them.
Vincent is described as addictive. People are drawn to him. He is known as the wizard. He delves into the black arts and does magic tricks. When during a visit to his aunt, he is faced with the vision of his future, he grows distressed. Vincent drinks too much, leads a wild life and breaks rules. He is an entertainer. He plays his guitar, writes music and sings. He too falls deeply in love. He leads an alternate lifestyle as a homosexual. His familiar is a dog named Harry.
When a tragic accident takes the lives of their parents, Frances takes over as caregiver. Vincent continues his reckless life but Frances and Jet make potions and soaps to survive. They move from Manhattan to Massachusetts into the house left to them by Aunt Isabelle.
When the Owens girls learn the reason for the curse against their family, they are determined to outwit it. It began because of an illicit relationship between a clergyman and their ancestor. How they determine to live their lives and outsmart the curse is really the basis of the story, but it also points out that being different is not always a negative and all people should be embraced equally. The link between Jet’s great love, Levi Willard, and their ancestor, Maria Owens, is the key to the removal of their curse. Aunt Isabelle is the catalyst that helps them travel the right path in life. Cousin April and her daughter Regina bring love and family back into the lives of Jet and Frances reconnecting all of them to each other.

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text 2018-02-06 03:09
THE RULES OF MAGIC by Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

Alice Hoffman

Hardcover, 369 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Simon Schuster

ISBN: 1501137476 (ISBN13: 9781501137471)


  I've always liked Alice Hoffman as a writer. She is definitely a strong story teller, and she brought "Practical Magic's" back story to life with a good plot, and some great characters. I loved Aunt Isabelle. Part of the story is set in the 60's, and Hoffman works that into the storyline well.
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