The Rules of Magic: A Novel by Alice HoffmanThe Rules of Magic: A Novel by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic: A Novel

byAlice Hoffman

Paperback | June 26, 2018

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An instant New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick from beloved author Alice Hoffman—the spellbinding prequel to Practical Magic.

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. Yet, the 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 memorable aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

Alice Hoffman delivers “fairy-tale promise with real-life struggle” (The New York Times Book Review) in a story how the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is “irresistible…the kind of book you race through, then pause at the last forty pages, savoring your final moments with the characters” (USA TODAY, 4/4 stars).
Alice Hoffman, an American novelist and screenwriter, was born in New York City on March 16, 1952. She earned a B.A. from Adelphi University in 1973 and an M.A. in creative writing from Stanford University in 1975 before publishing her first novel, Property Of, in 1977. Known for blending realism and fantasy in her fiction, she often c...
Title:The Rules of Magic: A NovelFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:400 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.8 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.25 × 0.8 inPublished:June 26, 2018Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501137484

ISBN - 13:9781501137488


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A whimsical tale... I read this book in 3 days. I absolutely fell in love with the characters and became attached to their individual stories and tragedies. However, it's a heartbreaking story, none of the characters can ever catch a break. Constant sorrow and grief within every page - a good tale for when your heart is broken as well. I wish the story had more magic within it, but I loved the use of natural remedies and home remedies as magical potions. This book truly paints a picture of every scene, I felt like I saw the characters dancing along every page right in front of me.
Date published: 2018-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A somptuous story about the Owenses Once in a while, when the moon is just right, a story manifests into our lives. More than a beautiful tale of The Owenses women, this is a lesson on love and life. Alice Hoffman did once again what she does best, offer readers a story then can get lost into, only to better find themselves though the pages.
Date published: 2018-07-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Little More Hope Please The magic realism combined with the historical setting of NYC in the '50s and '60s was appealing. What was difficult was the fact that this family never gets a break. It would have been nice to see at least one character win here ... just one.
Date published: 2018-07-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Did not meet my expectations I did enjoy the novel however I think that is only because I enjoy the magical world that Hoffman introduced us to in Practical Magic. It is a very slow book where not a whole lot happens. If you loved Practical Magic i would advise leaving this prequel be and just remember the world of Gilly and Sally.
Date published: 2018-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing magical, enchanting, mysterious, heartbreaking and heartwarming. #plumreviews
Date published: 2018-07-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Absolutely nothing happened This book felt like a complete waste of my time. I got to the end and realized virtually nothing had happened! The plot was so strange and boring and I just kept waiting for something to happen!! It has such a cool concept but just poorly executed
Date published: 2018-06-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hard to get into I enjoyed the last half of it but the beginning was kind of slow
Date published: 2018-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this novel! Rules of Magic is the Prequel to Practical Magic. In this novel you meet the characters that are in and alluded to Practical Magic. You learn about the history and the richness of the Owen family. It is a lovely novel. Reading Rules of Magic makes me want to go back and re-read Practical Magic.
Date published: 2018-04-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! I grew up with Practical Magic on regularily a my mother was a huge fan. She picked this up and recommended to me and I am so glad she did! I have been in a bit of a reading funk the last 12 months and this was the first book I was able to pick up and finish in over a year! Not to mention, finish in two sittings! I was a bit bored the first 50 pages while the characters developed however once they do and you begin to learn their personalities, its enthralling! I loved learning about the sisters prior to the movie, and I loved how true to the Era Hoffman remains. She clearly did her research! It was a great read and actually quite interesting to learn about such a time in history. Definitely recommend!
Date published: 2018-03-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Yawn I don't know if it's because I've only watched the movie Practical Magic but I wasn't hooked with this prequel. I found the whole narration to be boring, the dialogue was lacking and dry. I just couldn't get into it.
Date published: 2018-03-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Read I enjoyed practical magic so this was a good read to get into the backstory. Not sure if you'd enjoy as much if you're not familiar with the practical magic sisters
Date published: 2018-03-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great work I really loved this book and Alice's writing style.
Date published: 2018-02-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from And so it began... If you have seen Practical Magic and even if you haven't you will enjoy this book! Having seen the movie several times I enjoyed reading about the back story and what leads up to the story of Practical Magic. Fun characters and interesting story line!
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable, perhaps not spellbinding A lovely prequel to Practical Magic, readers may enjoy more thoroughly if they already are familiar with the original story.
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not impressed I picked up this book based on the popularity of it but I did not enjoy it, I ended up putting it down halfway through. I imaged a much more interesting way to read about modern day witches.
Date published: 2018-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Terrific!! This novel was a great prequel!! I really enjoyed it!!!!
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Was Ok This is the first Alice Hoffman book that I’ve read, and knowing that it involved magic and witches, and had themes of being true to your whole self — well, I was anxious to read it. That and the cover really is beautiful. However, I did not bond with this book. I liked the characters well enough and there was some magic, but something was missing for me. Aunt Isabelle was by far my favourite character. I loved her eccentricities and the idea that people approached her porch at night to receive her spells and remedies and would pay anything for them but would snub her on the street. Hoffman has clearly done her research and filled out her novel with information of the area, the history of witches and the social situation of the day. My favourite parts of the book have to do with the themes of accepting all parts of yourself, as illustrated by this quote from the novel: “This is what happens when you repudiate who you are. Once you do that, life works against you, and your fate is no longer your own.” I did find myself wanting to finish the book to find out what happened, but also found that most of the novel, especially as it went on, was describing situations and what went on. As a reader, I didn’t feel like a part of the action. It got to feeling like reading a history book.
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A lovely read. I loved this novel. For me the backstory of the lives of the two Aunts in Practical Magic was perfect. The understanding, the secrets, the true teenage woes, loss, love, self respect and self denial were believable. Historical facts are woven through delicately, and though no brash flourish of magic, the beauty of true magic is here. Love, lack, deception and transformation all take place. The speed of events was true to life and I find this more accepting as I like fiction to entertain, not mesmerize. I found it to be a delightful work of fiction and I am glad I happened to pick it up.
Date published: 2018-01-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh I'm a fan of this author and have read a few of her books including practical magic but this book did not really deliver. It was just ok. I kept on waiting for it to get better but alas no.
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from it's ok I got this one because I love Practical Magic. that's all
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from i WANTED to love it I'm still glad I read it but it's not her best work. It's slow at times and not as juicy as I would have liked. It has it's moments but misses the mark in a lot of places. Probably will make a better movie
Date published: 2017-12-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Nothing happens! I was really excited to read this book because I thought the content would be good, however, I was sorely disappointed as I read it and kept thinking 'Is anything happening?'. Although the word 'magic' is in the title and we are reading about three young witches discovering themselves, there was hardly any magic in the book. I just found myself bored.
Date published: 2017-12-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Did not love it I was looking forward to reading this after having read Alice Hoffman's "Faithful." I found it disappointing by comparison. It might perhaps be more appreciated by Young Adult audience. The characters were not that appealing, and the plot did not hold my interest. I was hoping for more. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not magical enough Decent writing combined with great character development does not make this an original story. It felt like Hoffman 'borrowed' storylines from her earlier novels to recreate The Rules Of Magic. It's unfortunate as I usually enjoy her novels as they take me to unique places where dreams become reality.
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love love this book just Amazing. I love the story between the 3 siblings; love, heartbreak, courage and acceptance. Absolute Magic
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Prequel to Practical Magic The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman is a prequel to Practical Magic. The Owens family has a long magical heritage, but their family was cursed in 1620. Vincent, Franny and Jet Owens are the children of Susanna and James Owens. Susanna denies her magical heritage and has many rules in place for her children. One day when Franny turns seventeen she receives an invitation from her Aunt Isabelle. They three siblings are invited to Massachusetts for the summer to learn about their heritage and their gifts. Vincent, Franny and Jet set out to escape the family curse to find happiness and love. Is there a chance for them to find the love and keep it? Find out what happens Vincent, Franny and Jet before Sally and Gillian enter their lives in Practical Magic. The Rules of Magic can be enjoyed without having read or watched Practical Magic. I found The Rules of Magic to be boring (sad, but true). It seemed like every single thing the author had read about witches (or thought of) was stuffed into this story. The best way to describe it is too “woo-woo” (best description for it). The teens in the story go out of their way to break every rule set forth by their parents and do the opposite of what they are supposed to do. The characters kept repeating the same mistakes over and over throughout the book (even as adults). I found the main characters (Jet, Franny, and Vincent) to be unlikeable. It seemed that the author was trying too hard with The Rules of Magic. I thought the pacing was inconsistent. It would go along at a nice pace (in the beginning) and then slow down to a crawl (it plodded along to the end). I found it a chore to read The Rules of Magic. There were a couple of bright spots, but they were few and far between.
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome great writing, highly recommend
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is phenomenal! The characters and storyline are great. I found this book to be very emotional; this is the kind of book that makes you want to fall in love, even if it'll end in heartbreak.
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Thought it was pretty good but not spectacular
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Very well written but cvould have been ore descriptive of each of the instances that were felt.
Date published: 2017-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good amazing story! can't put it down!
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning 5 stars. Amazing. This beautiful book is a prequel to ‘Practical Magic’, and the two tie together quite nicely. This time we’re following the lives of the aunts and their little brother Vincent as they navigate love, grief and everything in between. The world Hoffman has built is stunning and the characters are nuanced, flawed and very realistic. As soon as I had finished the book, I wanted to dive right back into it again. I think it’s definitely time to give ‘Practical Magic’ another spin as well.
Date published: 2017-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, offers readers the incredible opportunity to return to the beloved world of Practical Magic. This exciting sequel returns to the Owen's family history with greater detail, and through this new tale, we learn more about "The Aunts"; Franny and Jet. I really enjoyed Rules of Magic. For me, this world -with it's strong, independent, reality bending women - has been a source of comfort. The struggles that they face, despite their supernatural nature, are still rooted in reality. The Owen's women confront discrimination, grief, loss, and self doubt (to name a few), but always deal with these issues best when they embrace their natures, and accept their oddities. I think this is an invaluable and timeless lesson, that many women can relate to. Also, I loved getting to know the Aunts (and subsequently their Aunt Isabelle). In Practical Magic, they are portrayed as somewhat all knowing and infinitely wise. By reading The Rules of Magic, I was surprised to learn how they became that way. This evolution incorporates many references to the original novel that I found myself reminiscing about. I strongly recommend this read, this series, and this author. Alice Hoffman is incredibly adept at blending fantastical elements with realism, and I've always found something to love in her work. This series is an incredible example of strong, power female characters. Even more importantly their meaning is not rooted in romantic love, but in family bonds, and most often in sisterhood. If you haven't read the novel Practical Magic, but have seen the movie, you could (maybe) read the Rules of Magic and understand some (few) of the references to Sally and Gillian's story. However, I think this book is most enjoyable when read after Practical Magic. There are many references (the black soap, Regina, the cats etc) to Practical Magic that enhanced The Rules of Magic for me; if you've only seen the movie, these references are likely to be lost. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy for review.
Date published: 2017-09-14