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Magic Lessons

(Practical Magic #0.1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  28,702 ratings  ·  3,703 reviews
In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s a
Hardcover, 396 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Simon Schuster
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Calina The order of publishing - Practical Magic, Rules of Magic and Magic Lessons - also reflect a consistent improvement in terms of style and story. So if…moreThe order of publishing - Practical Magic, Rules of Magic and Magic Lessons - also reflect a consistent improvement in terms of style and story. So if you go with the logical order of the story you won't like Practical Magic that much. Also, there's a difference between the book and movie, the movie being better in my opinion. (less)
Suzie Practical Magic is about the nieces, Sally and Gillian. Rules of Magic is the back story of the aunts so it is a prequel.

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Average rating 4.20  · 
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Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For the love of Owens Family and desperately seeking of my true witchy heritance: this prologue is FAN-TAC-TIC! It’s darker, more intense, more terrifying, grueling, petrifying and extremely emotional. It awakes entire feelings inside of you: hatred, passion, love, regret, horror, shame, guilt, apathy, disgust, sadness. You got exhausted after those emotional gut punches.

We’re moving to the 1600s to the beginning of the story to meet with Helen: mother of Maria to learn more about Owens bloodli
Magic pours from the pen of the phenomenally gifted Alice Hoffman in this 17th century set historical fiction located in England, Dutch Curacao, Salem in Massachusetts, and New York City, to follow the life of Maria Owens. As an abandoned babe in the snow, Maria acquires Cadin, the black crow and familiar before being rescued and taken in by the kindest of witches, Hannah Owens. Maria is raised and trained in the school of green magic, blending the soul of the witch with that of the soul of the ...more
Angela M
Pure magic in every way !

To anyone who doesn’t want to read this because they don’t believe in magic or witchcraft, you will be missing out because this is about so much more. To those of you who loved the Owens family from Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic, I think you might love this one, too. I can’t say that I believe in magic or witchcraft, but I believe in the magic that Hoffman so eloquently speaks of in a letter to her readers at the beginning of the book - the magic of stories. The
Melissa ~ Bantering Books
Mar 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.

4.5 stars

The Practical Magic series is my literary comfort food.

I find Alice Hoffman’s tales of the mystical Owens women to be soothing. Healing. They soften my worries and ease my aches. It’s as if my entire being – mind, body, and spirit – is rejuvenated by her stories of these strong and brave, witchy women.

In Magic Lessons, Hoffman takes us back to the root of it all. She tells the story of Maria Owens, the family matriarch who,
Susanne  Strong
5 Magical Stars.

“Always Love Someone Who Loves You Back”

Maria Owens is a woman whose legend has been well known to those of us who loved “Practical Magic” and “The Rules of Magic.” In Alice Hoffman’s new novel “Magic Lessons,” - we finally learn of her story.

The matriarch of the Owens family, Maria is familiar with the “Unnamed Arts.” Her life’s path will take her from England, all the way to Salem, Massachusetts in the time of the Salem Witch Trials in the 1600’s.

Maria is a friend, a teache
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none." - William Shakespeare

Alice Hoffman read from her Grimoire and brewed up something special when she wrote this book. If this doesn't make one want to drop everything and read Practical Magic or any of her other books again, I don't know what will. Full of beautiful and insightful passages, Magic Lessons is a delight from beginning to end.

This is a book about magic, about family, about love, about injustice and about history. Full of Hoffman's magica
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

This history of the Owens family got off to a slow start for me. I found the first third to be dark and dreary and I struggled a bit, but it is also reflective of the history of this time.

It’s 1664 and an infant is left at Hannah Owens doorstep with nothing but a blanket stitched with blue thread. Hannah takes the child, Maria, to raise as her own daughter. Hannah has a gift and knows many cures and potions which she has discovered through use of the natural world around her.
Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ❤️
The origin of the curse from Practical Magic!

Maria Owens is the matriarch of the Owens family in America. She was abandoned by her mother, raised for her first ten years by a kindly woman named Hannah Owens who practiced the “Unnamed Arts”. Maria learns more magic wherever she goes. The most important thing she was taught by Hannah was to “Always love someone that will love you back”.

I really liked this book, but you know how sometimes you can be reading a book and it is 500 pages and it seems t
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I’m not a fan of stories of magic or witchcraft, but I’ve always enjoyed Alice Hoffman. This book is a prequel to the Practical Magic series, as it covers Maria Owens, the original witch in the Owens bloodline.
It took me longer to get invested with this story. Beginning when Maria is abandoned as a baby and raised by a witch, it moves to her years as an indentured servant in Dutch Curaçao and finally to Salem, Mass and New York City. The writing is beautiful and lush. Hoffman totally paints eac
Every Saga has a Beginning

Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep Rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can. These are some of the Owens rules of magic, a family that I fell in love with from the time I read the first installment of their family history in Practical Magic. A family of bloodline witches that has passed their magic from mother to daughter all the way to present day, the Owens
One of the books I was most looking forward to reading this year and I'm sorry I didn't like this more. I'm a big Alice Hoffman fan and have loved the books of hers that I have read. I read the others in the Practical Magic series and The Rules of Magic is my favorite. But this one, I just found a bit boring. Buddy read with Dana as we are both Hoffman fans.

Going back to the start of the Owen's women. Starting with Maria and how she was abandoned as a baby, taken in by a local woman. You follow
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Hannah came around from the apothecary garden as Maria was studying the pin that had been cast into the tall grass. In the girl's hands, the silver turned black in an instant, as if brushed with dark paint, though the rubies shone more brightly because of her touch. Hannah clutched the leeks she had gathered more tightly to her chest, and felt an ache inside her bones. The wide-brimmed straw hat she wore to protect her from the sun fell from her head, and she didn't bother to go after i ...more
*TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars rounded up to 4

I picked this to read because I've read good things from my Goodreads friends about the Alice Hoffman books "The Rules of Magic" and "Practical Magic". In fact, when these books appeared on kindle sales I purchased them for future reading based on their recommendations. When I realized that this was the prequel to those books, naturally it piqued my curiosity.

The story begins in late 1600s England in Essex County, transitions across the water to another Essex County in
Brenda ~Traveling Sister is frustrated with GR
5 magic stars and 5 I loved it stars !!!

The rule of magic "Never deny who you are!!"

Magic Lessons unveils the centuries-old curse that has followed the Owens family in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic. I started to read Practical Magic but didn't get a chance to finish it before it disappeared from Overdrive. It is on it's way to my mailbox now. What I did read, I thought it was more whimsical and magical then Magic Lessons. I read The Rules of Magic in our Traveling Sister Goodreads grou
5 Stars-in-My-Eyes

It is in the January of 1664 when Hannah Owens found an infant in a field, a foot of snow around her, the infant staring at a crows perched on her basket atop the junipers, the crow staring at this infant girl with pitch black hair and pale silvery-gray eyes, wrapped in a blanket with her name stitched along the border. And so Hannah brought the infant girl named Maria home to raise as her own, with the bird following, and Hannah singing.

The crow stayed on, and was named Caden.
Larry H
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Magic Lessons is a well-told, moving story of love, family, and witchcraft.

Alice Hoffman returns with the prequel to The Rules of Magic and Practical Magic , and the story of the Owens family. In this book, which starts in the mid-1600s, a baby girl, Maria, is found abandoned in a snowy field in rural England. She is taken in by Hannah Owens, a kind woman who once had been jailed for being a witch.

Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift, and teaches her “the Nameless Art.” But as Mari
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Maria who was left as an infant in a snowy field in rural England in the 1600’s.
She was found by Hannah Owens who raises her with love and realizes early on that she has the gift, as does Hannah herself.. she’s a witch. Hannah teaches her all she knows of healing, herbal remedies, etc.
Maria will travel to Curaçao as a young woman after being sold into servitude by her birth father.. there she falls in love with a man who is visiting there from Salem, Massachusetts. This
May 20, 2021 rated it liked it
I’m going to be honest in saying, I went into this with extremely high expectations. “The Rules of Magic” made my “COUNTDOWN: The Best Books I’ve Read In 2017” list and “Practical Magic” is well… 🤩 So, I had hope that this one would give me all the same feelings and it just kinda fell flat for me. 🥺 I felt like this was very predictable and just kinda dragged on a bit longer than necessary…. While I still love the magic and witches and the family, I guess I’m over exploring their stories any fur ...more
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
This was a fine continuation to the story of the Owens family and how they came about from dating back to the 1600s. It gave us a background on the ladies who started the dynasty of special witches whose special powers passed down from daughter to daughter. Although a bit slow at the onset, this story eventually propels the reader into the world in which the ladies we read about in the previous two books in the series, inherited their legacy.

Maria Owens was the start of the family dynasty, and w
DNF @10%. I loved Rules of Magic but this is a lot of telling, very little showing, with a lot of lists.
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4-5 rounded up.

This story is set in the latter part of the seventeenth century and is the tale of magical lessons for Maria Owens and her daughter Faith which takes us from Essex in England to Curaçao thence to Massachusetts, in particular Salem, to New York and back to Salem.

The pace of this novel is initially slow but it does build up and you become totally immersed in the storytelling. This is a dark, intense story of betrayal and false love, of true love abandoned but re-found and the blac
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

Really enjoyed this novel even though I am not a fan of Magic realism books but I am a fan of historical fiction. I love Alice Hoffman’s writing and her beautifully drawn characters and could not resist downloading this one after reading friends reviews. I believe this is a prequel to Practical Magic so I have at least the advantage of starting this series at the beginning

Set in the 17th Century we follow the story of Maria Owens who has been abandoned as a baby and brought up by a w
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it, what a fantastic book to end the year with! 💫

Written as a prequel to Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman tells the story of Hannah, Maria and Faith Owens and their family’s journey from England to Curacao to America in the 1600’s. Each having the gift, they move through the years struggling to stay safe from persecution while helping those in need.

Along with an engaging lyrical prose, Hoffman adds in wonderful historical facts that made me pause and do some google searches to check whethe
May 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pirates, 5000-2021
A clever idea on Hoffman's part to write this prequel to her popular witchy books about the Owens. In Magic Lessons we learn about Maria Owens, found as a baby in the snow in 17th century England and the ancestor of the people we read about in The Rules of Magic and Practical Magic

As usual Hoffman writes beautifully and this book is worth reading just for the prose. In fact the story is good too, moving from England to Curacao to Salem and New York. Of course as soon as you hear the words witch
Leslie Ray
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the prequel to Practical Magic and quite a mystical book in its own right. It flowed exquisitely and was like reading a fairy tale. There is, intertwined in the story, natural remedies for ailments and sicknesses, all part of each witches' Grimoire (personal witches'/healer's guide).
The story begins with Hannah, who finds a baby named Maria, followed by the arrival of Maria's familiar, a crow to be called Cadin, who follows Maria throughout. There are beautiful passages from beginning t
Deborah Harkness
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a prequel to Hoffman’s classic witchy tale, Practical Magic, but even if you haven’t read that book or seen the movie, this stands alone beautifully. Set in the 17th century, it delves into the tale of Maria Owens and her daughter, Faith, as they embark on a journey from England to Curaçao to Salem and New York. Hoffman is a great storyteller with a real gift for capturing both homely details and the complicated workings of the human heart. Within its pages you will find a love story (an ...more
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Sara Sligar

I’m a sucker for magic. I’ll happily spend hours discussing the movements of the zodiac, and I never met a tarot deck I didn’t want to own. I also love brilliant genre fiction and complicated female characters—so basically, Alice Hoffman’s new novel, Magic Lessons, had me at hello.

If Magic Lessons were a potion, its recipe might look something like this: Start with equal parts family saga, feminist creed, and love story. Combine them in the cauldron of 17th-century Ame
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
[3.5] Alice Hoffman could write historical fiction about magic on auto-pilot - and for a while that's what this novel felt like. The first hundred or so pages set the scene - lots of lists and detail - and felt sluggish. Fortunately, the momentum picked up, Hoffman cast her spell, and I became very engrossed in the story of Maria Owen. ...more
When Hannah Owens found the crow beside the abandoned babe back in the 1600s and saw the name “Maria” delicately sewn on her blanket with blue thread, she took her back to her cabin to raise her. When Hannah died, Maria inherited her Grimoire, the book of magic filled with instructions and spells, and headed for Curacao. Maria’s meeting of John Hathorne – after vowing never to fall in love – saw that vow fail her, and when John abandoned her and Maria discovered she was pregnant, she lived quiet ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
The perfect book to read this fall--with parts set in Salem, Massachusetts, during the infamous witch trials of the 1690s. This prequel to the Practical Magic series takes us back to the life of the matriarch of the family, Maria Owens, and the origins of the family curse: 'To any man who ever loves an Owens, let this curse befall you, let your fate lead to disaster, let you be broken in body and soul, and may it be that you never recover.'

An interesting look at that part of our country's histor
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Time in Curacao 1 9 Mar 23, 2021 02:37PM  
The Former-Bookwo...: Part Three - Divination 3 6 Jan 31, 2021 01:22PM  
The Former-Bookwo...: Part Two - Talisman 4 3 Jan 26, 2021 10:08AM  
Book of The Month: *Spoiler Discussion* Magic Lessons 2 45 Jan 21, 2021 10:24AM  
The Former-Bookwo...: Part One - Transformations 8 5 Jan 12, 2021 03:05PM  

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Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The World That We Knew, The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. Her most recent novel is Magic Lessons. She lives near Boston.

Other books in the series

Practical Magic (4 books)
  • The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2)
  • Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1)
  • The Book of Magic (Practical Magic, #2)

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“This is how you begin in this world. These are the lessons to be learned. Drink chamomile tea to calm the spirit. Feed a cold and starve a fever. Read as many books as you can. Always choose courage. Never watch another woman burn. Know that love is the only answer.” 37 likes
“Read as many books as you can. Always choose courage,” 12 likes
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