Published by Simon & Schuster on October 10th 2017
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I had a hard time deciding between and 3.5 and a 4 so I rounded up to a 4.
The Rules Of Magic is a prequel to Practical Magic. I am most likely the rare reviewer who has not read practical magic (but I did see the movie). Since I have not read Practical Magic, The Rules of Magic worked very well as a stand alone novel for me.
The Owens family are a long line of witches. Their origins date back to 1620 when a descendant was charged for being a witch when she fell in love with the wrong man. One fateful summer, Susanna Owens has decided to send her three children to live with their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts. An Aunt they have never met but are excited to go and visit. Susanna and her husband have strict rules for their precocious children in their home: no red shoes, no black clothing, no books on magic, no cats, no crows, etc. Their children are all very different yet have one thing in common: magic. From the day he was born, Vincent has been a charmer. A hospital nurse tried to kidnap him shortly after his birth, Fanny who is fair with dark red hair, and Jett, who is shy and can read people’s thoughts.
When they arrive at their Aunt Isabelle’s home they learn that the rules no longer apply to them. They are permitted to be themselves. They wear what they want and do as they please. They learn some family secrets and to embrace their charms. At the same time they learn that there is a family curse. When they return to live with their parents, they each in their own way attempt to rid themselves of the curse only to learn that doing so is not that easy.
They find love, they turn their back on love, they get into interesting situations. They also experience loss, sadness, death and heartbreak. They travel, they experience life but they also experience family ties, devotion, closeness, and a world of magic. Plus, the reader gets to learn more about Maria Owens, the witch who long ago was charged with being a witch and more about the family curse.
Hoffman creates quirky characters which are both complex and compelling. The magic of her book is in their relationships and their family ties.
As I mentioned, I have not read Practical Magic but I intend to do so in the near future.
I received a copy of this book from Simon & Schuster and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.