I’m possibly one of the only people in the world who has not read (nor watched in years) Practical Magic, the book which started a craze. Alice Hoffman comes to the blog today with the prequel, narrated by Marin Ireland
The Rules of Magic
All good witch-family stories start with a curse and unjustified, and perhaps hysterical, charges of sorcery – such is the case of the curse on the Owens family, stretching back to the early seventeenth century. But, even in the more present day of the 1960’s where the three siblings, Franny, Jet and Vincent have only part of the story, many ill-gained conclusions and plenty of restrictions as their mother tries to keep them safe.
Of course, the three are headstrong (would you expect anything else) and even daring to defy the rules so carefully put in place: rules they don’t always understand as they don’t really know the history. Not until Aunt Isabelle. Isabelle lives in Massachusetts where everything began for the Owens, and she’s of the belief that the children should know their history, their magic and how to use, not fear, it.
As one would expect, the differences of the three and their abilities, as well as a rather insular approach to outsiders makes them objects of speculation and gossip – made even more apparent at Isabelle’s house where the stories and legends of the ‘curse’ on the Owens is a favored topic of discussion. Each of the characters becomes a fully formed person in this story: showing fears, desires and even struggles as they come into their own powers and knowledge of the family. Hoffman builds a story that feels as if it does reach back hundreds of years, tendrils and tentacles of the past reaching forward to connect the family, the magic and even the struggles as they felt (and sometimes were) outcasts in their own home.
Narration for this story is provided by Marin Ireland, and her smooth, almost effortless presentation of both dialogue and atmospheric moments allowed the story to move forward, allowing listeners time to visualize moments and absorb the subtle nuances in emotions, details and background information that added to my understanding and belief of the curse, the magic and even the potential for these three to move forward and make lives that were mostly happy. A wonderful mix of historic moments, acceptance and growth, all put together in a way that engages and captivates, whether or not you are familiar with the book or film to which this is background.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Series: Practical Magic #2
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Dark-theme, Magic, Paranormal
Narrator: Marin Ireland
Published by: Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon and Schuster
Published on: 10 October, 2017
Source: Simon and Schuster Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 58 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Find your magic.
For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.
Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.
From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.
The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.
A copy of this title was provided via Simon and Schuster Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.