Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Author: Alice Hoffman
Released: October 10th 2017
Warnings: Discussion of suicide; depressing events
I’ve been waiting for another book in the world of Practical Magic for years. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard about The Rules of Magic! It is worth noting/reminding yourself (I know I had to remind myself at least ten times) that the book and the movie for Practical Magic are pretty different. That being said, I feel like this novel tied in better with the movie (though maybe my memories of the book are fading). Also, warning: this book will make you crave watching the movie again.
Warnings first: One of the characters contemplates committing suicide at one point, and while she doesn’t go through with it (thank goodness), her plain is laid out for readers to see. Additionally this book is very heavy with emotions; the Owns curse hasn’t been broken (yet?) so there’s a lot of tragedy in their lives. So while it is a wonderful read, please keep these facts in mind.
This book brought me back to my childhood. Okay, I know that sounds odd, but I loved the book/movie growing up, so diving back into the world transported me back to that time. It was really quite wonderful.
This Owens family is slightly different than the other Owens members we’ve seen; which I feel like is saying something. Susanna Owens has fled from her past, and her family. She’s chosen a committed relationship, but one without love (because of the curse). Together they have three (yes, three) children; Franny (the oldest and the redhead most of us have come to expect), Jet (stunningly beautiful with hair as black as night), and the curveball I wasn’t expecting; Vincent (the youngest, he’s naturally alluring and borderline addictive).
I imagine each reader will find a specific sibling they identify with. Each one has their own distinct personality and their own path in life. They also have their own trials and struggles. I think it is through these struggles that we see just how human each of the characters is.
The Rules of Magic focuses mostly on these three children and what they go through as they make their way through the world. They all start off relatively young, but the novel follows them all the way to when they’re older (and we’ll find that scene oddly familiar, too).
The curse is still in full swing; all three children take their own steps to protect themselves (and the ones they love) from the curse. These attempts have varying levels of success, so be prepared to cry and points (I know I did). Despite how badly they may want to run from who and what they are, they can never deny their true selves, even if that means opening their hearts to the world and risking being hurt.
I absolutely loved the additional details that were revealed around the Owens family history. We already know about Maria Owens, the originator of the family curse. What we didn’t know was who she fell in love with, why and how he hurt her and what happened to her after she placed the curse. Many of these answers are finally granted to us; though I for one would have loved even more details (I’m very greedy like that).
I’m anxious to see if Alice Hoffman will write more novels in this world; I’ll admit it hadn’t occurred to me until I saw this book that she wasn’t done here. Perhaps now she is? But maybe not; one can hope!