The Rules of Magic

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman Book Summary

An instant New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick from beloved author Alice Hoffman—the spellbinding prequel to Practical Magic.

Find your magic.

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Yet, the children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the memorable aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

Alice Hoffman delivers “fairy-tale promise with real-life struggle” (The New York Times Book Review) in a story how the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is “irresistible…the kind of book you race through, then pause at the last forty pages, savoring your final moments with the characters” (USA TODAY, 4/4 stars).

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The Rules of Magic (Alice Hoffman) Book Reviews

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- Excellent but a little slow4 star

Such rich character development! Solid pacing most of the book but some parts, in the early years, went painfully slow.

- Irresistible5 star

My favorite books are the ones that pull me in and envelop me in the lives of its characters so I’m thoroughly vested in their fates. I have read other books by this author, including Practical Magic. This effort is her best by far. It’s whimsical at times but has its share of bittersweet, and sometimes gut-wrenching, twists. I really didn’t want it to end.

- I laughed, I cried.5 star

I couldn’t put this book down. One of my favorites.

- Very imaginative4 star

Loved the characters and their individual quirks and charms.

- Marvelous5 star

What a terrific book. Magical and pulls at your heartstrings the whole time.

- A Must Read5 star

This book will tear you to pieces. It will break your heart, leave you speechless, and leave you wanting more. Although I felt a great amount of pain, it is a book I will highly recommend. Not a lot of books will make you feel, not a lot of books will make you the power of sadness, magic, and love.

- Prequel to Practical Magic3 star

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman is a prequel to Practical Magic. The Owens family has a long magical heritage, but their family was cursed in 1620. Vincent, Franny and Jet Owens are the children of Susanna and James Owens. Susanna denies her magical heritage and has many rules in place for her children. One day when Franny turns seventeen she receives an invitation from her Aunt Isabelle. They three siblings are invited to Massachusetts for the summer to learn about their heritage and their gifts. Vincent, Franny and Jet set out to escape the family curse to find happiness and love. Is there a chance for them to find the love and keep it? Find out what happens Vincent, Franny and Jet before Sally and Gillian enter their lives in Practical Magic. The Rules of Magic can be enjoyed without having read or watched Practical Magic. I found The Rules of Magic to be boring (sad, but true). It seemed like every single thing the author had read about witches (or thought of) was stuffed into this story. The best way to describe it is too “woo-woo” (best description for it). The teens in the story go out of their way to break every rule set forth by their parents and do the opposite of what they are supposed to do. The characters kept repeating the same mistakes over and over throughout the book (even as adults). I found the main characters (Jet, Franny, and Vincent) to be unlikeable. It seemed that the author was trying too hard with The Rules of Magic. I thought the pacing was inconsistent. It would go along at a nice pace (in the beginning) and then slow down to a crawl (it plodded along to the end). I found it a chore to read The Rules of Magic. There were a couple of bright spots, but they were few and far between.

- Liked it a lot5 star

I’ve already recommended the book to two people.

- A waste!3 star

I finished the book because I paid for it and because I was hoping, at some point it would have some Spirit! No reason to even write this novel, it never goes anywhere. AND you repeat and detail because there really is NO story....a stupid book and a terrible waste of my money!!

- Fair. Had hoped to get hooked.3 star

Despite + reviews, I just couldn’t get into it.

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- The Rules of Magic5 star


- Amazing5 star


- Amazing!5 star

One of the best I’ve ever read

- Simply wonderful5 star

No words for how wonderful it was to spend time with these characters. Alice Hoffman did an amazing job... I was moved to tears several times while on this adventure. Kudos.

- pulled me in start to finish5 star

The Rules of Magic is a family saga about the Owens. Siblings Franny, Jet and Vincent are the main focus, but many well-developed characters fill the story. It follows the siblings from childhood through old age. It also goes back to explain how the love curse started with their ancestors during the Salem witch trials. The reader journeys with Franny, Jet and Vincent as they study their history, learn their abilities and face hardships and tough decisions. The writing is beautiful and easily brought the emotions out. The plot is rich with historical events and in-depth multilayered characters. I feel like I actually know these people and love them. I'm a little sad that my time with them ended.

- Superbly Written & Fascinating!5 star

The Rules of Magic is a fascinating novel, superbly written and thoroughly satisfying. Alice Hoffman is a talented writer and an author who is fast becoming one of my favorites. The Owens family has lived on Magnolia Street in a small Massachusetts town since 1620. Most of the family had scattered, though, during the time of the witch hunts. Some went to Paris, others to New York, but Aunt Isabelle stayed in her home, on Magnolia Street. People shunned her and any family member who dared to visit her. Aunt Isabelle was known for her strange powers and potions. It was even rumored that she turned a person into a rabbit. But, these same people who hid from Aunt Isabelle during the day came around to her back porch at night. They sought her out for cures for physical and emotional ailments. They have even been known to ask for potions to manipulate other people. The Owens family believed that they had been cursed, ever since, Marie Owens was condemned to death in 1620 for loving the wrong man. The Owens family drew strength from one another, to survive a world, where they were not wanted. The family is made up of a unique group of characters, all quirky, independent, and wildly entertaining. Aunt Isabelle, Franny, Jet, and Vincent bring the reader deep into their hearts and lives and keep them there until the last page is read. The message that runs throughout this book is, to be who you are, regardless of what others think. Have the courage to live, love and be happy. This thought-provoking novel will linger with you long after you’ve finished it. It’s a book worth reading and rereading. Thank you, Simon and Schuster and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!

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5 star

@raushan24: @jayantjigyasu I repeat again #NarendraModi and #Laluprasad are twins and the advantage of #modi is that he has advanced ver…

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establishes some rules as to what magic is & also why semblance exists. -Notice how in the battle that against the…

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The last time I had a normal time with my partner was February 14th and I think about it all the time. We had a rea…

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We have the power to transform our minds, and thus transform our realities and our world. Do not play by [their]…

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@TiffNicole18 Most are open. They limit the amount of people in the stores. But with the lack of crowds, there’s ne…

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It allows for a lot of homebrew and alterations to the rules, so that if something isn't enjoyable you can just get…

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@hdbbstephen: I am looking for players in a 2-3 session game of @LowFantasyGamin (starts Thurs) to try out the feel of the rules & playt…

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@hdbbstephen: I am looking for players in a 2-3 session game of @LowFantasyGamin (starts Thurs) to try out the feel of the rules & playt…

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Blaseball rules not just because it's magic realism but also because it's baseball without all the worst elements o…

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@WideQuality6 @mustangsart All I'm saying is a homebrew item like this, is cool, but I think it has to be subject t…

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@ShinraAlpha: reminder that even if the use of they as a singular gender neutral pronoun *didn't* go back hundreds of years (it does) -…

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@KlMLINED I know right. The dream chapter magic deserves so much more. I feel it deserved an award for one of the b…

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@YaGalAlexis Also, on the subject of OMD he mentioned that because magic was involved it means that the rules are e…

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Toh spoilers . . . . . . . . I want to talk to you people, about how Luz magic breaks the rules. She used a card, a…

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@whybanflatearth: @JSmithpolitics1 The economy is where it’s at because of lockdowns and stupid rules at the state levels. All these dem…

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