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Practical Magic Hardcover – June 13, 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 5,631 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Her 11th novel is Hoffman's best since Illumination Night. Again a scrim of magic lies gently over her fictional world, in which lilacs bloom riotously in July, a lovesick boy's elbows sizzle on a diner countertop and a toad expectorates a silver ring. The real and the magical worlds are almost seamlessly mixed here, the humor is sharper than in previous books, the characters' eccentricities grow credibly out of their past experiences and the poignant lessons they learn reverberate against the reader's heartstrings, stroked by Hoffman's lyrical prose. The Owens women have been witches for several generations. Orphaned Sally and Gillian Owens, raised by their spinster aunts in a spooky old house, grow up observing desperate women buying love potions in the kitchen and vow never to commit their hearts to passion. Fate, of course, intervenes. Steady, conscientious Sally marries, has two daughters and is widowed early. Impulsive, seductive Gillian goes through three divorces before she arrives at Sally's house with a dead body in her car. Meanwhile, Sally's daughters, replicas of their mother and their aunt, experience their own sexual awakenings. The inevitability of love and the torment and bliss of men and women gripped by desire is Hoffman's theme here, and she plays those variations with a new emphasis on sex scenes?there's plenty of steamy detail and a pervasive use of the f-word. The dialogue is always on target, particularly the squabbling between siblings, and, as usual, weather plays a portentous role. Readers will relish this magical tale. BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA?Practical Magic is vintage Hoffman. It is the story of how three generations of New England women deal with the irresistible force of love. Sisters Sally and Gillian are as different as night and day; Antonia and Kylie are Sally's teenage daughters. All are caught in passion's snare in spite of their vigilance against it or disbelief in its power. Hovering in the background are the girls' great-aunties, Frances and Jet, who are really barely disguised witches. Using their heritage of practical magic?that is, magic that will get you out of trouble?each of the younger women deals with whatever love delivers, good and bad. YAs will be charmed by Hoffman's warm, mesmerizing narrative. The book is reminiscent in places of Gwendolyn Brooks's tiny jewel of a poem, "Sadie and Maud," and even more of Sue Miller's poignant novel, For Love (HarperCollins, 1993). But even as Hoffman agrees with Brooks and Miller that "grief is everywhere," she administers that sweet antidote, a happy ending. Her women are possessed by love, and transformed.?Marya Fitzgerald, R.E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Putnam Adult; First Printing edition (June 13, 1995)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 244 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0399140557
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0399140556
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.2 x 0.99 x 9.3 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,631 ratings

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Alice Hoffman is the author of thirty works of fiction, including Practical Magic, The Red Garden, The Dovekeepers and, most recently,The Museum of Extraordinary Things. She lives in Boston. Visit her website: www.alicehoffman.com

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
5,631 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

kellybean
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but don't expect the same as the movie
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 29, 2017
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24 people found this helpful
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hero_of_canton
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and seasonal read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2019
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2 people found this helpful
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Anne
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual appraoch to contemporary magic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 9, 2015
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12 people found this helpful
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flamfacts
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical(?) Magic.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2013
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Valentina Sarno
3.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 28, 2009
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