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Hardcover Practical Magic Book

ISBN: 0399140557

ISBN13: 9780399140556

Practical Magic

(Book #1 in the Practical Magic Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

*Best Available: (missing dust jacket)

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Book Overview

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women had been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town. And Gillian and Sally 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...

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

Not the movie, just as good if not better!

One of my favorite books ever. Could not put it down. Do not expect a shot for shot write up of the movie but I love both the book and the movie so much in equal respects. :D

Loved it!

So much better than the movie!

Completely different from the movie - beautifully written

The movie version of this story is one of the most fun, exhilerating movies - a favorite in this household. This book bears very little relation to the movie. The only similarities are that the main characters exist as they do in the movie, but they don't live with the aunts and magic is not quite the focus as it was in the movie.Now, that said ...This is one of the best books I've had the opportunity to read. Written in the beautiful prose Alice Hoffman is so well known for, it follows the life of Gillian and Sally as they go on their diverse paths. Sally is the stable widow with two girls in tow. She leaves the aunts in New England, leaving her sad life behind, and moves to a Long Island suburb with her two girls where tries to live a normal life. Meanwhile, Gillian is a bad girl who is in and out of relationships and in and out of trouble. She finds the awful, abusive Jimmy and eventually kills him accidentally while enroute to visit her sister. Unsure of what to do, she brings him to her sister's house dead in the passenger seat of the car - she thinks stable Sally would know what to do to keep her out of jail. Sally meets the situation with borderline hysteria at first, then the two decide to bury him in Sally's backyard. Gillian moves in with Sally and her girls and tries to forget the body in the back yard. Sally's boring, stable life changes dramatically while Gillian's naughty life changes to a more stable one. Meanwhile they are haunted by the evil spirit of Jimmy, threatening to destroy the tenuous stability they try to build.This book is not written in standard chapters - instead it is written in four large sections. Fortunately there are enough scene breaks in each section that you can put it down and read it in separate sittings. The thing is, once you're drawn into the story, you won't want to put it down. You'll want to read this one in a day, in one sitting if you can read fast enough. It is so beautifully written with an edge of suspense and just a tiny touch of magic. It will become a treasure on your bookshelf and one you'll only loan to your most reliable friends. Excellent!

Fall in love whenever you can . . .

That is an admonishment at the end of this wonderful book by Alice Hoffman. I'll preface my mini-review here with the following statement: Had anyone told me a year ago that I would read --in one day-- a romance about lives and loves of successive generations of women blessed or cursed with witchy powers, I would have laughed at them. A few years back, I tried to watch the movie "Practical Magic" and found myself thoroughly bored by what I considered a talky "chick flick." Since then, I've become a fan of Sandra Bullock and recently saw the film again, and found myself liking it for the most part. I particularly loved the sad, wistful character played by Bullock, that of Sally Owens.So I checked the book out from the library, not knowing what to expect, and like a man in the story who becomes enchanted by a letter Sally writes that comes into his possession, "Practical Magic" hooked me. Hoffman writes with such easy, beautiful prose and the characters really spring to life and find a place in your heart and imagination.I won't regurgitate the plot here. But I will say that Hoffman writes so well about perhaps the most exquisite and maybe the rarest kind of love, the type that hits both a man and a woman like a thunderbolt, overpowering and sweeping them both away. Hoffman's descriptions of this happening to Sally and her sister and the two men that they are destined to be with packs a tremendous and very satisfying emotional punch for any romantic, which I guess I am. Oh, how I found myself envying the lucky men who won the hearts of Sally and Gillian! To feel love as strong as that and be loved as fiercely in return must be the best thing in the world.So read the book and like Sally Owens would say, fall in love whenever you can.

There's a little witch in everyone

Being the odd one out in a community is not a new problem but when you've got a family history like the Owens' it's the most likely outcome. For Sally and Gillian the family secret- the power of the super-natural/ witchcraft has lead to a lonely life, but they overcome all problems. The story of Practical Magic follows the lives of two sisters on their paths of life but always in the background their aunts keep a watchful eye. The story follows their love for eachother and for the men in their lives but in the back of the story is the idea of a family cursed throughout the generations. I would give this book top marks; it is the type of book that you could read over and over again and never tire of it. "Keep rosemary by your garden gate; Plant lavender for luck; And fall in love whenever you can."

Wonderfully enchanting, captivating story.

My first taste of Alice Hoffman was Here on Earth. While the prose was beautiful, I was disappointed in the characters and plot. However, deep in my gut, I had a feeling there was more to Alice Hoffman than what she was displaying in that book. I couldn't write her off with all of the books she had written, and I felt there was more to her than I was shown. So, I did a little research and took some of her books out of the library. The second book I read was, Practical Magic, and I'm glad to see my instincts were right.This bewitching, captivating novel is full of spellbounding characters, which is the main thing that was missing from Here on Earth.Sally and Gillian are sisters who, because of the passing of their parents, end up getting raised by their two aunts, who are witches. Because of this, the sisters are ostrasized a bit from their peers, and long to be free from the house and the Aunts on Magnolia Street.Raven-haired Sally is the older of the two sisters. She's practical, hard-working, good, responsible, and afraid to love. Golden-haired Gillian is wild, lazy, coniving, airy, and also afraid to love.Gillian is the first to escape, by running off with a boy. She moves from town to town, from guy to guy, with three failing marriages behind her, before she shows up on her sister's doorstep with the dead body of her recent boyfriend, Jimmy, in the car. Sally, who continued to stay with the Aunts, fell in love and got married to a wonderful man named Michael, finding a happy life of her own. She had a man she loved, and two daughters, Antonia and Kylie. Her world came crumbling down on her when Michael got killed by a drunk driver. She went into a deep depression, and when she finally snapped out of it, she packed up her two daughters and moved out into the Aunts' house and into one of her own.There, she tried to provide a normal life for her daughters, wanting them to go to school without being called a witch. She was trying her best to build her life again when her sister appeared at her doorstep.The book then focuses on Sally's two daughters, the red-headed, spunky, spoiled Antonia, and the more sensative, introverted Kylie, who seemed to develop powers to "see" things on her own.To add depth to the story, Gillian and Sally are both challenged to love again when Ben comes into Gillian's life, and, towards the end of the story, Gary comes into Sally's.The Aunts, who were always background characters, finally have dialogue towards the end of the story when their "help" is needed. Not only do the Aunts have something to say, but they have names: Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet. We also have the pleasure of getting to know them a little bit, too.This is a book that's absolutely rich in characterization. There's three generations of Owens women in this book, and each one of them has a depth and personality all her own. The men that come into these womens' lives only add more depth and richness
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