The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic #1)
Author: Alice Hoffman
Rules of Magic:
Do as you will, but harm no one.
What you give will be returned to you threefold.
Fall in love whenever you can.
For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. –Goodreads
On the edge of the sixties, Owens siblings, Vincent, Franny, and Jet are invited to Massachusetts to spend a summer with their odd and mysterious Aunt Isabelle, in that one town, in that one house on Magnolia street. Together, and on their own, they discover the many secrets surrounding the Owens family, and the magic. The town has always blamed the family for everything that has gone wrong, but that doesn’t deter them. If anything, it makes them embrace it all even more.
While the Owens siblings embrace their history, they also push it away, trying to refute this family curse. Love snags each of them, putting them on paths that will fulfill their happiness, lead to pain, and send them each on unexpected journeys—the sisters growing to become the aunts so well-known in Practical magic and Vincent leaving behind one life to start a fresh one.
This book was utterly gorgeous. If you’ve read and/or seen the movie, Practical Magic then you know this addition to it is going to be phenomenal. And it was. It really was. The storytelling was lush and filled with and heartwarming and heart-shattering beauty. I was swept away into one of the most incredible tales. It even begins with ‘Once upon a time’. Just the way Hoffman writes whisks me away in a daydream-like wind. I was breathless and holding my aching heart from beginning to end.
The start of the book was a little slow, but picked up really quickly. Each page, I was learning something new about the siblings and their family. This history was ever growing as they grew. This is definitely one of the greatest family lines of witches ever.
“Love as much as possible.”
The siblings were so independent of each other, yet they were close, protecting one another. Jet was falling in love hopelessly and letting it sweep her away. Franny was resisting it and risking a cold heart forever. And Vincent trying to find himself before he could find love. The way they each approached love is something we all can relate, in a way. Personally, I was tearing up with Franny because I could scarily relate to her the most. I don’t ever give my heart way, much like her, always fearing I am the one who will ruin my love and break him. I also believe in respect and trust first before jumping too far in. So, like Franny, I never let anybody get to close. I don’t want to ruin them and I also don’t want to be in pain. Painful, yes. Scary, you better believe it. The Owens were incredible in conquering their curse and living their lives to the fullest. It’s inspiring and my emotions were hitting a peak.
Love and magic intertwine and nearly seem like a single entity in this book and maybe they are the same in real life too. They certainly seem unbelievable, but create a feeling of wonder. As much as I believe in magic, and I totally do, I believe in love. But, like the Owens, it’s tricky and difficult to have. Do it anyway.
My senses were tingling from all of the imagery. It was vivid and powerful. I could smell the Owens’s garden and envision the walks they went on, feel how hard their hearts beat when they were experiencing that little curse called love, as well as feel the fear that shadowed those heavy thuds. Each surprise was subtle and not overdone for shock value. It made the story even more realistic. Much like with me and everyone, these surprises whether of pain or loss show us what we’re made of and what we’re willing to do.
Transitions were abrupt as were scene switches, but blended into each other. I really enjoyed how each parts of life were segments into parts, showing how the Owens moved forward. It didn’t feel glitchy with the cut of each scene, but reminded me of how movies and TV transition. It was perfectly placed and moved the book forward through its span of a lifetime perfectly, right up to the entrance of Sally and Gillian.
Finally getting to read this and Practical Magic, I am even more in love with this story. It’s powerful and all-consuming for me. I love magic and even more when it can be expressed with such elegance, enchantment, and (again) inspiring. This is going up on my favorites shelf and I will keep it in my heart to remind myself to be more open. IT’s with my heart that I’m terrified to take leaps. In the world today, I feel like it can be a little understandable.
Also, having read both books, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see a show made of their story. A full-fledged, in depth, show. Starz, HBO, Netflix, I’m calling you out!
“What’s meant to be is bound to happen, whether or not you approve.” (p. 17)
“If you plan on calling yourself a scientist you should be aware that odds don’t matter. The natural world defies statistics.” (Franny to April, p. 89)
“In life we don’t always get what we choose. I gave her what she needed.” (Isabelle to Franny, p. 126)
“Don’t waste time when there’s someone you love.” (Vincent to Haylin, p. 243)
“I just do the best I can to face what life brings. That’s the secret, you know. That’s the way you change your fate.” (Isabelle, p. 258)
“It was said that fate could not be altered, except by one thing and that was war.” (p. 266)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Go Your Own Way by Lissie.
Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.