Marion Marchetto's Reviews > Practical Magic

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
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's review
Aug 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: alice-hoffman, magic
I own a copy , read count: 1

When two young girls, Sally and Gillian, are orphaned it is Sally (who is wise beyond her years) that calls her aunts (white witches) and says that she and her sister are coming to live with them. The girls spend their childhood as targets for taunts and pranks of the other townschildren simply because no one understands them and associates them with the Owens women who have been rumored to be witches. Indeed they are witches, of the benevolent kind. The girls get a view of hypocrasy when every evening the women of the town come to the back door of the aunts' house and beg and plead for a spell to bring them true love. But as Aunt Bridget cautions, "Be careful what you wish for". In an effort to save herself from heartbreak young Sally vows never to fall in love; Gillian, however, "can't wait to fall in love".

As they grow both girls can't wait to be free from the aunts. Gillian runs off with a young man and works her way through three husbands. Sally finds herself deeply in love with a local man. They marry and have two lovely daughters but alas, Sally's husband meets with an untimely death. She moves herself and her daughters back to the aunts house and suffers a year-long bout of depression. She vows yet again to take keep her daughters from harm and herself from love. To that end she moves her small family to Long Island, a place where she feels they can be normal.

One night Gillian arrives at the Long Island house with the body of her dead boyfriend in the car. In an effort to cover up the deed (an overdose of a potent natural drug), Sally helps Gillian bury the body in her yard. That's when strange and potentially evil things start to happen. It takes a visit by the aunts along with some strong magic to dispell the strange happenings and bring true love to both Gillian and Sally.

I enjoyed this book immensely. Tightly woven story, lyrical prose, a bit of humor, lots of magic, and charismatic characters. Like other reviewers I wanted to finish this book in one sitting. It is definitely a page-turner. Hoffman has a definite winner in this book.

Also recommended: The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

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