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Ratings and Reviews (4 20 star ratings
4 reviews
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4.5 out of 5
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    Another Captivating Hoffman Book

    I’ve always loved walking into Alice Hoffman’s books; being the fly on the wall, witnessing the humanity and shocking reality of the world she so clearly defines. Every one of her books has been a memorable journey, and reaching the last page requires a few moments to ponder what I just lived thru. Rules of Magic maintains Hoffman’s ability to bring you into her story. This book turns the clock back a few years and details the childhoods of the Owens siblings, Franny, Jet, and Vincent. This is the prequel to Hoffman’s’ much-loved Practical Magic, issued in 1996. We live thru the children’s young developmental years and watch as they mature thru the angry, confusing and very painful teen years. The Owens curse states that any man who falls in love with an Owens woman will meet a terrible and untimely death. In their efforts to save the ones they love from this inevitable horror, the sisters try to control their emotions. They learn that, although they’re all quite proficient in controlling their magic, they have absolutely no control over their love for others. Vincent is a rebel. The description of him, his style, and his grace brings his character to life. You love him, then he does something so cruel and heartless, you feel anger towards him and wonder how his sisters survive living under the same roof with him. Franny and Jet have very different personalities, but their love and concern for one another carries them thru many cruel lessons as they age. The kids learn to live alone at a young age, and their perseverance is relentless. The stalwart character thru the years is their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts. There, they learn how to fine-tune the potions, the spells, and incantations. Aunt Isabelle is a strong and loving presence for the siblings. It isn’t required to read Practical Magic before you read Rules of Magic. The story will flow beautifully if you read this new book first, and then move on to the sequel. I strongly recommend Alive Hoffman to anyone who enjoys a serious, engrossing and detailed read; all of her characters come to life and you’ll enjoy the respite from your daily demands. (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for making it available.)
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    Good but lacking.

    The rules of magic is a very good read. I couldn't put it down , yet, I felt it was lacking. It felt hurried especially near the end. The story was somewhat predictable; edging on cheesy, however, I was drawn to all the characters and the imagery the author infuses into the story. The author makes me want a house like the Owens's.
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    The rules of magic

    Loved it captivating story with strong characters. Could not put it down
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    Wonderful

    I don’t give 5-star reviews often, but this one earned all 5 stars for me. I’d never read Practical Magic, but had seen and loved the movie and it’s been on my TBR list forever. When I had the opportunity to read this prequel, it just made sense to read it first, and I’m so happy I did. I loved reading about the girls who would become “The Aunts”, and about their equally interesting (and talented) brother. This book is evocative and fascinating and heartbreaking and, well, just lovely. As I read it, I knew I’d be diving into Practical Magic as soon as I was done - and that’s exactly what I did. There were a couple of interesting disconnects between their stories in the prequel and what was said about them in the second book. But that didn’t make me love this book any less. I highly recommend it. Copy provided by Netgalley and Simon & Schuster in exchange for an unbiased review.
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