The title, alone, could describe Hoffman's enchanting way with words. Her descriptions and narration place you *right there* with the other characters in Massachusetts. I love the juxtaposition of the two sisters - both pursued different paths, yet are bound by a commonality of the mystical.
If you've seen the movie and liked it, do yourself a favor and read this. It's better than the movie, offers more depth, and if you ask me, a better ending, too.
Wow. This book is so far from the movie it is a bit difficult to see how they can even say it's the same story. There are a very few things that are the same, and beyond that is a different story. But, it is a wonderful story and I have enjoyed reading it very much. In my opinion, it is better than the movie, as most books are. The characters have more depth and a wider variety of emotions. The story covers a longer period of time. The story is even set in a different town and state than the movie. All in all, I highly recommend this book. And, if you like the movie, you will love the book!!
I found this book both entertaining and delightful. It is about two sisters Gillian and Sally who grow up in their aunts' house. The aunts seem to have magical or mythical powers and use herbs or potions to accomplish whatever tasks are presented to them. The book started out talking about the sisters as children and ended with them grown up, and Sally has children of her own. I really enjoyed this book. It presented enough mystery and romance to spice up the time spent reading the book. It was definitely a worthwhile experience.
I just love this book and always have. I've read it several times.
or most adults, fairy tales are among the childish things we've put away. Alice Hoffman, however, feels differently. Practical Magic starts out as a tale of Gillian and Sally Owens, two orphaned girls whose aunts are witches--of a mild sort. For the past two centuries, Owens women have been blamed for all that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town, ever since their ancestor arrived, rich, independent, and soon accused of theft: "And then one day, a farmer winged a crow in his cornfield, a creature who'd been stealing from him shamelessly for months. When Maria Owens appeared the very next morning with her arm in a sling and her white hand wound up in a white bandage, people felt certain they knew the reason why." The aunts are daily ostracized by the same upstanding citizens who sneak to their house at night for magical love cures. To the sisters they are for the most part benevolently absent, though their bell, book, and candle routine makes life a torment for Gillian, beautiful and blonde and lazy, and Sally, who's all too responsible. But when one of the aunts' cures works too well, ending as a curse, the dangers of real love become all too clear. In Hoffman's world being bewitched, bothered, and bewildered is no mere metaphor--and neither is desire. The elbows of one enamored man pucker a linoleum counter, another walks around with singed cuffs. It's difficult to catch the author's power in brief quotes. She needs space and increment to build her exquisite variations of vision and reality, her matter-of-fact announcements of the preternatural. Practical Magic again and again makes one recall the thrill of hearing at bedtime, "Now will I a tale unfold..." --Kerry Fried--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
This book maybe just isn't my style or something. I found it very difficult to finish. This is one time (and I don't think I have ever said this) that I have to say Hollywood did the better job. Just wasn't happy with this book. I wouldn't recommend it.
I am a big Alice Hoffman fan. This book did not disappoint. A twisted love story of two sisters who lose their parents at an early age an move in with their two aunts who are "witches". I breezed through it in only a few days. Loved it!
Having seen the movie first, I was pleasantly surprised by what really happened with the Owens women. So much was left out of the screen play about the three generations of extraordinary women learning how to be women at three different stages of their lives that it almost seems like a completely different world. I was pleasantly surprised by the romantic content as well; the room definitely heated up during a couple of chapters. I'm definitely keeping this one.
This book is laid out in parts, these parts should have had chapters.
My biggest beef with this book is that it doesn't have chapters. Hell, even some kind of breaks in between ideas would have worked. There's no breaks between where one section ends and another should begin. It all flows together like some confusing ocean. It was hard to follow and keep my thoughts together while reading because it jumps around in the parts without any kind of breaks, without any kind of chapters. This book should have been laid out better. It feels like an amateur wrote it.
This of course isn't to say that the story is awful. Though, yes, I preferred the movie, this novel was an alright read. As I began I felt excited to be reading it. I'd wanted to read this book for quite some time, and I was disappointed that I couldn't find the time to finish it in October when I started reading it. The story was quite good at the beginning, but I eventually started to lose interest. It didn't give me that wonderful feeling that the movie did. I loathed the idea that the book and movie had differences in how things played out. In fact, I'd hardly say they are the same at all. If you seen the movie first and enjoyed it, you might not like the book. If you enjoyed the book and haven't seen the movie, you might not like the movie.
All in all, I was a little disappointed in this read. Though I don't consider it time wasted.
This is a good book, Its not like the movie, except for maybe a few lines and parts of the plot. But otherwise completely different, yet still good.
For those who haven't seen the movie, Its about 2 sisters who are witches, but nothing alike, yet still close. They grow up living with their Aunts in a town where everyone doesn't like them, or fears them.
Great book, very interesting. A story of two girls, Gillian and Sally. When their parents die, they are sent to live with two aunts. These aunts are witches and the girls grow up having their family blamed for anything that goes wrong in the house. They grow up and leave the aunts but all are brought together in the end. Good summer reading!
I enjoyed this story of two pairs of sisters whose lives were touched by magic. I especially liked how both Gillian and Sally and Kylie and Antonia learned to take risks, trust their feelings and appreciate each other over time.
A good read. Alice Hoffman has a lyrical quality to her writing and there were a lot of quotes that were noteworthy. The book seemed to end abruptly, however, with all the ends tied, but not the pleasant meandering that the rest of the book took. Suddenly, everything was finished and they all lived happily ever after. Also, it was not very similar to the movie at all. But still a good read.
When I read this book years ago, I was already very familiar with the film it was based on. While I absolutely adore the movie, I couldn't get into the novel like I wanted to. I admit that I kept reading chapter after chapter in the hopes that it would explore the witchcraft aspect of the sisters more and that it would really pull me in, but I was disappointed by the end of it.
As a stand-alone novel, it was decently written, but I kept comparing it to the film. Thus, it fell flat for me.
As rare as it may be, for me, this was one of the first books Ive read where the movie was better than the book. The story was completely different, and Im sure avid fans of the novel would call me a blasphemer for even suggesting it, but I really did like the movie much better. The book sort of took too long and encompassed too many years. Also, the characters werent as strong as they were in the movie, neither one of the Owens sisters were.
This is one of the very few books that have been turned into movies where I actually liked the movie better. The way magic is woven into the lives of the women almost makes it TOO commonplace. A good read nonetheless.
It's a keeper.
Beautifully written. I was always a fan of the movie, but this was so much more. For fans: The movie kept true to the spirit of this great read. It took me a bit to follow the transitions between characters. Hoffman has a dialog transgression that can easily be missed, but so well thought out when it plays together you feel as though you have become a part of this Owens family. I loved the old wives tales woven into this. The descripitions Hoffman gives of everything involved really brings you ingaged as a reader. I loved the love stories that unfolded for every character. I loved the complete emphasis on the importance of family. This book really is Practical Magic.
It was a very intriguing book but it jumped around too much and left me confused on some things. A very vulgar book for my taste and sometimes too harsh for my liking. But it did give me a more in depth look into the Owens family than the movie offered.
I got this book because I enjoyed the film sooo much. Rarely do I say this, but I thought the movie was better. However, this was still a good read and I was happy to learn more about these beautiful characters.
This is a fun, light fantasy that explores the ideas of love, life, and family with a hint of magic thrown in to spice up the proceedings. Telling the story of two young women born into a long line of witches, and their special sisterly relationship that grows through their various trials and tribulations - both natural and supernatural -, this book is easy to read and is very engaging and ethereal in its writing. The world in which the story is set is exactly like our own, but magic is treated in a drastically understated manner, which makes the references to the supernatural that much more immersive and believable. A true delight to read, the perfect book to read on the porch swing with a cup of steamy tea!
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 to escape. One would do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they shared, even into adulthood, brought them back -- almost as if by magic.
The book was exceptionally different from the movie and usually when I watch a movie then read the book I love the book so much more but sadly this was not the case.
If I read a book and then watch a movie I am almost always disappointed, in this case it was the opposite... had I read the book first I may not have watched the movie.
For more than 200 yrs, the Owens women had been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town. and Gillian and sally endured that fate well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, tanted, 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 they wanted was to escape. ne would do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they shared, even into adulthood, brought them back as if by magic...
I have read several of Alice Hoffman's books and have enjoyed all of them... except this one. Normally I find that a book is better than the movie, but in this case, I have to disagree. The movie revolved around the very strong friendship between the two sisters but the book painted a very different picture. The lack of magic used in the book was disappointing, as well.