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The Rules of Magic

by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman X
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2017, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2018, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag
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Power Reviewer
Betty Taylor

Love and Teen Witches
I have read several of Alice Hoffman’s books but this one was certainly different for me. I have not read “Practical Magic” so did not really know what to expect. While this book is a prequel to “Practical Magic”, it also stands alone. Ms. Hoffman is certainly versatile – the story of Masada in “The Dovekeepers” and now witches.
In the 1600’s when the witches were being persecuted in Boston they sought safety in Manhattan. It is now late 1960’s and Susanna Owens lives in New York City with her three children. Franny can converse with birds, Jet can read people’s thoughts, and Vincent charms everyone that he meets. He was so charming at his birth a nurse attempted to kidnap him from the hospital. So no wonder that everyone shuns the family – unless they want a potion or a salve.
Susanna tries to protect her children by applying rules - no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. But above all they are never to fall in love. For them, love is a curse. But teens are teens, witch or not. They are going to rebel and do exactly what they are told not to do.
Ms. Hoffman made the three siblings so real that I found myself caught up in their emotional struggles. They set out to discover who they are and their place in the world. And as hard as they try to avoid love, the teens could not deny the feelings of their human hearts. Thus they are forced to struggle with the consequences of their family curse, and perhaps the greatest lesson they learn is that in the Henry David Thoreau quote in the epigraph – “There is no remedy for love but to love more.”
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