By: Alice Hoffman
Published Year: 2017
Publisher: Simone & Schuster
I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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 received an email asking for me to review this book and I honestly wasn’t too sure about it. The only other novel I have read by Hoffman (Faithful) I didn’t enjoy, and I’ve never seen the movie Practical Magic. However, the summary intrigued me, so I decided to give it a shot. Honestly, I would not have picked this up based on the cover. It wasn’t something that drew me in.
What I thought
As I mentioned above, I have never watched (nor read) Practical Magic, so I didn’t really have any background or expectations.
Rules of Magic is a prequel to Practical Magic and focuses on the lives of the aunts who are older in Practical Magic. Franny, Jet, and Vincent are siblings who live in New York. Their family bloodline is based in magic and witches, but their parents don’t acknowledge this and discourage ay type of magical behavior. At the age of 17, Franny is invited to spend the summer at their Aunt Isabelle’s house in Massachusetts. Her siblings go with and they start to learn more about their family history.
This story was very interesting and I appreciated a lot of the historical aspects. It had a similar feeling to Discovery of Witches to me and I enjoyed that. It was interesting to see how Franny, Jet, and Vincent grew. Their journeys of self-discovery were what really helped this story move along.
My only complaint about the story was that it was a little slow to start and kind of difficult to get into. There were parts where I wasn’t quite sure where the story was going, so that was a bit tricky. However, it did pick up once they got to their Aunt Isabelle’s and they started to dabble into magic a bit more.
If you aren’t into magic and witches, I would still encourage you to check out this book. It has a lot of aspects that are just growing pains for young adults. Franny, Jet, and Vincent deal with tragedies as well as their own identities and that is so relatable, even if their magic powers through some extra complication into the mix.
I also feel like this book does a great job as a prequel, even though I haven’t read the original book. I could imagine reading Practical Magic and having two characters you didn’t know much about but who were fascinating and wanting to know as much as you could. I’m sure that this book accomplishes that perfectly and that any fans of Practical Magic will enjoy this book.