Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

*Disclaimer: This review may contain spoilers. All thoughts and opinions are my own, my preferences may be different to yours. Please keep that in mind.


For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…

From Amazon


I have previously read Rule of Magic by Alice Hoffman and obviously, I have watched the ‘Practical Magic’ movie previously. But my book club decided to try and read the book for the month of October since it is the spooky season and I will admit I was pleasantly surprised at how different but similar it was.

All the same important characters were there. Sally and Gillian, the aunts. I loved being able to see them in their original form on the page. The Owens house and all the lovesick fools on their back porch. The settings and descriptions in this book are next level. Hoffman doesn’t hold back and you really get the feeling that you are there next to the sisters from both generations facing their problems. The old manor house to the lilacs in the backyard. Everything feels so real.

Even with the magical elements the problems they each face are so real and relatable. Issues with being outcasted and shunned. Wanting to fit in and belong. Falling in love, dealing with abusive situations. Those are real problems so many people face every day and Hoffman pulls no punches. Doesn’t try and make it not so reserved or anything like that. It is full frontal and honest.

And I think that should have been a bigger take away then witchcraft and beautiful women. There is so much more buried in between the pages in this story, which Hoffman is known for, and people seem to just gloss over it.

Overall, this story is beautiful, magical, and so much fun. I really enjoyed it and can’t recommend it enough. I know this review is shorter than normal and I am sorry about that. I am still trying to get back into the swing of things since my time off.

Final Thoughts:

I am giving Practical Magic a 4.5 out of 5 cups of tea. The only reason I am giving it .5 off is that the point-of-view would change and because there was no clear indication that it was changing I was constantly getting confused and would have to restart the page or paragraph just to try and figure who was talking. However, I loved this book. I love the story, the characters, the setting. Just all of it. I appreciate the fact that it is different enough from the movie that I felt like I was reading something completely new and didn’t really know what was going to happen next. Nothing was spoiled for me. I highly highly recommend you give this one a chance.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s book review! If you’ve read Practical Magic let me know what you thought. Or if you have any recommendations I am always open to hearing them! Thanks for reading!!