heaven_ali (heaven_ali) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

#122 Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman (1996)

Received as part of a bookcrossing secret santa package - which I have naughtily read before Christmas.

From one of the most captivating storytellers in American fiction comes a tale of two sisters, Gillian and Sally Owens, brought up by their two elderly guardian aunts in a world of spells and exotica. As the magical charm of their childhood wears away, they escape from this mystical mayhem - one by running away, the other by marrying. Many years go by before strange circumstances thrust them together again, and once more they are in a place that blends the mundane and mysterious, the familiar and fantastic, the normal and the numinous. Three generations of Owens women are brought together in an experience of unexpected insight and revelation, teaching all of them that such perceptions are rare and wonderful and - to be sure - practical.

It's a long time since I have read an Alice Hoffman novel - and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Alice Hoffman writes with a seemingly light touch, yet there are some lovely insights and profound truths about life, love and family. Quirky characters properly explored, a touch of magical realism that is never over done or silly, all infused with a family drama and real humor. I loved the idea of the witchery old aunts in the old house on Magnolia Street, with the desperate women who come to them at twilight in need of their help and love potions. Alice Hoffman paints an evocative shadowy picture of a mysterious world. This makes for good cosy reading on cold winter evenings - and according to many reviews I have seen, it is far better than the film.

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