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The Rules of Magic

The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

By:  Alice Hoffman

ISBN:  9781501137471

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 10/10/2017 

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars


Alice Hoffman returns following the popular (1995) occult Practical Magic and the Owens family (movie starring Nichole Kidman and Sandra Bullock) with a little history. Rewind to the 1960s and enjoy THE RULES OF MAGIC. A nostalgic coming-of-age love letter. Learning to embrace one’s true self. 

Rich in history, NYC, witches, curses, magic, and humor. Catch up with Franny and Jet. and meet little brother Vincent and cousin, April.

“There is no remedy for love but to love more.” — Henry David Thoreau 

Susanna Owens had fled Massachusetts, escaped to Paris and married and settled in New York City. She did not want her children to know of their heritage. However, it was clear from the start they were not ordinary children. She had to set down some hard rules. However, this was not an easy task. 

Frances, (Franny) the eldest with pale skin and blood-red hair had the ability to commune with birds. Sulky and suspicious. 

Bridget (Jet), a reader with jet black hair, shy and beautiful. Kind-hearted, sensitive, fashionable and similar to her mother. 

Vincent was the youngest brother, a gifted musician and charismatic, charming, slim, handsome, and often misbehaved.


Their dad was a psychiatrist and the sisters were outsiders at school. They wanted to escape their mother’s rules to be themselves. Every year a box of lavender-scented black soap arrives from Massachusetts. Soon they discovered their mom was keeping secrets. Was she a Russian spy?

Their mom was chic and only wanted them to have a normal life. However, when they see a letter from bohemian Aunt Isabelle, the get the idea of spending the summer with her in Massachusetts. They could escape for the summer. No rules!

Once they arrive, they soon learn they can do anything. They are quirky as well as their aunt Isabelle (with all her potions), allowing them to do whatever they please. They could not imagine why they hadn’t spent every summer on Magnolia Street. She could care less about bad behavior, diet, sleeping habits, or rules.

The curse. 

However, they soon missed the culture of New York. Isabelle had them that anything whole could be broken and anything broken could be put back together. The curse could be broken.

The sisters ignore their mother’s warnings, and on to Greenwich Village, setting up an apothecary, while their brother, breaks hearts along the way. 

They made a vow never to fall in love. Isabelle gave them the advice to not hide from who they are. If they do they will be unhappy.

Their family had always been blamed for everything. However, as the children slowly begin to understand their family secrets and try to escape the family curse, they may learn something.

A captivating blend of magical realism and nostalgia— return to the magical world of the Owens. From witches, spells, curses, and potions. Family, friendship, humor, and the power of love with plenty of magic and love sprinkled on top. A perfect Halloween read. Growing up in the 60’s enjoyed revisiting the past. 

A special thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 


Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/05/04/The-Rules-of-Magic