Gina's Reviews > Practical Magic

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
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's review
Nov 12, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: own, paranormal-supernatural, romance, romantic-suspense

There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain…

When their parents died, Sally stepped up to bat, calming the sitter down long enough to have her riffle through her mother’s address book and called the aunts. If the aunts didn’t step up to the plate, Sally and Gillian would become wards of the state.

The aunts took them in. While growing up, Sally and Gillian are teased and tormented while growing up, asll all Owens daughters are. Gillian, the youngest, rude and selfish, runs away at 18. Sally, ever so smart, calm and responsible, has done nothing but take care of them all, cleaning, laundry, healthy meals. She meets a man, falls in love and has two beautiful girls, Antonia and Kylie.

When her husband dies, remained in bed for year before she finally awakens and begins fresh. She’s tired of the life she lives while in the aunts’ house; Kylie, the youngest, is much like Sally, while Antonia is growing up just as spoiled, rude and selfish as her aunt Gillian. Desperate for a change, she buys a house on Long Island and moves the girls away.

And just when the monotony of life feels comfortable to Sally, Gillian shows up at her door in the middle of the night, her mean and abusive boyfriend, Jimmy, stone cold dead in the passenger seat of his car. In the heat of the moment, it’s decided they’d bury Jimmy in the back yard.

And that’s when their lives completely change…

While I thought the story was good, I had a hard time with it. Yes, the characters were interesting, watching them grow, and change from who they were to someone better, learning about themselves as they go along. When Hoffman wanted her character to be rude, the character was; happy, sad, determined… You could feel everything with the characters.

But I had such a difficult time reading this one. There were no chapters, only four parts - which made it a long story with no breathing room. It was getting to the point where my attention was wandering and I wanted to skim the pages, which I barely refrained from doing. There was no separation between scenes from the past, present, and future; it’s reading memories as each of the characters are in focus, or what’s to come later. And no differentiation between characters, either. And for me, that’s a huge fault, and it took away from the book. I hate to say it, but if I’d read the book first, I may have never had the urge to watch the movie. And I own the movie on VHS and DVD.

However, I thought the feelings and lessons learned were beautiful. How each learned to love, forgive, forget, changing themselves into a better person, is the best part of the story. I’m rating this one 3.5 stars - I say read it and come to your own conclusions.
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Reading Progress

November 12, 2008 – Shelved
November 13, 2008 –
page 78
Started Reading
November 15, 2008 – Finished Reading
November 17, 2008 –
page 336
November 17, 2008 – Shelved as: own
November 17, 2008 – Shelved as: paranormal-supernatural
November 17, 2008 – Shelved as: romance
November 17, 2008 – Shelved as: romantic-suspense

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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CJ - It's only a Paper Moon I really enjoyed this book and yes, it is completely different from the movie. I actually did see the movie first and was a little disappointed (as is always the case when you read a book that a movie was made from) but I liked that the characters were a little less superficial that how the movie portrayed them. The book was darker than the movie and yet at times vague.

I did love the movie though (one of my favorites) but I choose to identify the movie as 'adapted' from as opposed to 'based' on.

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