Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Image result for practical magic book cover

Title: Practical Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Series: Practical Magic #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect), 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic litMagicRomance, Witches
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Scribner
Year: 1995
5th sentence, 74th page: The rings around the moon are now so bright Sally’s convinced everyone in the neighbourhood will be awake before long.

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As children, sisters Gillian and Sally were forever outsiders in their small New England town, teased, taunted and shunned for the sense of magic that seemed to hang in the air around them. All Gillian and Sally ever wanted was to get away.

Years later, tragedy brings the sisters back together. They’ll find that no matter what else may happen, they’ll always have each other.

An enchanting tale of love, forgiveness and family, Practical Magic is one of Alice Hoffman’s best loved novels and the basis of the classic movie.


I literally bought this because I saw the book in a bookstore a few days after I’d watched the movie (I was on a Sandra Bullock binge-watch). Prior to seeing it, I actually had no idea that Practical Magic was even based on a book. This seems to be happening a lot to me at the moment to be fair…

Although I loved this book, I need to start this review with the fact that the book is really nothing like the movie. I was expecting a feel-good, sisterly tale that focused on the strong bond between the two. And this story does do that. But it’s also focusing on the flawed way that we as humans, sisters and family interact with each other. As someone who has a sister, I can tell you, this novel felt far more realistic and non-sugar-coated than the movie. Both are amazing, but this had a completely different flavour and tone than what I was expecting.

Other than the obvious connection between the three generations of sisters and a great, contemporary look at family ties, I really loved this style of writing. As I previously mentioned, it was nothing like I expected. And it really wasn’t anything like what I’ve experienced before. There was something completely unique about the style of writing that drew me in. A sense of darkness and doom that managed to sit within the pages, but not overbear them. Probably mostly due to the excellent use of foreshadowing that Hoffman employs. In most stories you can kind of guess something is going to go wrong (that’s generally the catalyst for the storyline, and who wants to read a story where everything goes right?). Yet, the slight sense of foreshadowing and the wording used in this makes everything all the more sinister and intense. Something that I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed.

 <- Nightbird ReviewThe Probable Future Review ->
Image source: Simon & Schuster

5 thoughts on “Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

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