Friday, September 3, 2021

The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman


Not going to lie. It hurt my heart a bit to finish this book. I, along with a whole lot of other readers, don't want to say goodbye to the Owens family. I was dragging my feet finishing this novel simply because I love this series so much. I guess you could call it a series, spread over 25 years. Alice Hoffman didn't expect to write more than the first novel, Practical Magic. That novel (I still have my original paperback) introduced me to Alice Hoffman and I've been a fan since. 

However, fans kept asking for more about the Owens family, so Alice wrote three more books. But now it's time to say goodbye. 

It took me a few chapters to remember the family tree, but heck my eyes were leaking not far into the story. Dang it! This novel centers around Fanny and Jet, and nieces Sally and Gillian. It also brings back brother Vincent, and two more Owens women, Kylie and Antonia, the two daughters of Sally. 

Reading Magic Lessons will set you up for this novel, in which the family curse plays a big role. In order to understand the Owens family today, it's important to understand where they came from, and the where and why of the family curse. What's the curse? No one must fall in love with an Owens. There is no happy ending; usually resulting in the early death of whomever loves an Owens. For generations the women (and men) of the Owens family have suffered under this curse, and now it is time to break the curse once and for all. Who breaks the curse, and how, are what keeps the plot moving forward. 

I fell quickly into this story, and just thought it was wonderful and brought the past and the present together perfectly. It gave me a chance to mourn characters and cheer on characters that will keep living on in my imagination. It gave me hope that love wins in the end, and to stay courageous even in the darkest of situations. It also is a good reminder of the damage people can do to one another when the heart is involved. In the Owens family, that damage didn't end with one generation, but kept on traveling down through each generation, creating more hurt and sorrow. 

I still want to try tipsy cake. I want a garden full of herbs with the potential to heal. Heck, I'd take floating on water any day. Anyone who has spent time with the Owens family through the years will find this a satisfying, albeit sad, ending to a wonderful story of magic, family, love, and devotion. 

This novel will be available October 5th in the U.S. in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

I would definitely read all of the books in the Practical Magic series before you read this one; otherwise you will be a bit confused. They are: Practical Magic, The Rules of Magic, and Magic Lessons. 

Thank you Alice for the gift of your novels! 

A HUGE Thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy of the novel. That seriously made my year !

Rating: 6/6 for a heartfelt conclusion to the Owens family story. Loved all of it and reluctantly finished--I just didn't want to say goodbye. 

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