The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

By Alice Hoffman

  • Release Date: 2017-10-10
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 91 Ratings
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From beloved author Alice Hoffman comes the spellbinding prequel to her bestseller, 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. 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. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.


  • Liked it a lot

    By Bbh8008
    I’ve already recommended the book to two people.
  • A waste!

    By Ann Leary
    I finished the book because I paid for it and because I was hoping, at some point it would have some Spirit! No reason to even write this novel, it never goes anywhere. AND you repeat and detail because there really is NO story....a stupid book and a terrible waste of my money!!
  • Fair. Had hoped to get hooked.

    By Crewp
    Despite + reviews, I just couldn’t get into it.
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    By emeraldtrunkshow
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  • The Rules of Magic

    By Forever Read
  • Amazing

    By Mike & Bret
  • Amazing!

    By Gator_mom
    One of the best I’ve ever read
  • Simply wonderful

    By Melee1118
    No words for how wonderful it was to spend time with these characters. Alice Hoffman did an amazing job... I was moved to tears several times while on this adventure. Kudos.
  • pulled me in start to finish

    By Toni FGMAMTC
    The Rules of Magic is a family saga about the Owens. Siblings Franny, Jet and Vincent are the main focus, but many well-developed characters fill the story. It follows the siblings from childhood through old age. It also goes back to explain how the love curse started with their ancestors during the Salem witch trials. The reader journeys with Franny, Jet and Vincent as they study their history, learn their abilities and face hardships and tough decisions. The writing is beautiful and easily brought the emotions out. The plot is rich with historical events and in-depth multilayered characters. I feel like I actually know these people and love them. I'm a little sad that my time with them ended.
  • Superbly Written & Fascinating!

    By pegg12
    The Rules of Magic is a fascinating novel, superbly written and thoroughly satisfying. Alice Hoffman is a talented writer and an author who is fast becoming one of my favorites. The Owens family has lived on Magnolia Street in a small Massachusetts town since 1620. Most of the family had scattered, though, during the time of the witch hunts. Some went to Paris, others to New York, but Aunt Isabelle stayed in her home, on Magnolia Street. People shunned her and any family member who dared to visit her. Aunt Isabelle was known for her strange powers and potions. It was even rumored that she turned a person into a rabbit. But, these same people who hid from Aunt Isabelle during the day came around to her back porch at night. They sought her out for cures for physical and emotional ailments. They have even been known to ask for potions to manipulate other people. The Owens family believed that they had been cursed, ever since, Marie Owens was condemned to death in 1620 for loving the wrong man. The Owens family drew strength from one another, to survive a world, where they were not wanted. The family is made up of a unique group of characters, all quirky, independent, and wildly entertaining. Aunt Isabelle, Franny, Jet, and Vincent bring the reader deep into their hearts and lives and keep them there until the last page is read. The message that runs throughout this book is, to be who you are, regardless of what others think. Have the courage to live, love and be happy. This thought-provoking novel will linger with you long after you’ve finished it. It’s a book worth reading and rereading. Thank you, Simon and Schuster and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!