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Practical Magic

Practical Magic

Written by Alice Hoffman

Narrated by Cherry Jones


Practical Magic

Written by Alice Hoffman

Narrated by Cherry Jones

ratings:
4/5 (396 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Jul 1, 1995
ISBN:
9780743545655
Format:
Audiobook

Description

The bestselling author of Second Nature, Illumination Night and Turtle Moon now offers her most fascinating and tantalizingly accomplished novel yet -- a winning tale that amply confirms Alice Hoffman's reputation not only as a genius of the vivid scene and unforgettable character but as one of America's most captivating storytellers.

When the beautiful and precocious sisters Sally and Gillian Owens are orphaned at a young age, they are taken to a small Massachusetts town to be raised by their eccentric aunts, who happen to dwell in the darkest, eeriest house in town. As they become more aware of their aunts' mysterious and sometimes frightening powers -- and as their own powers begin to surface -- the sisters grow determined to escape their strange upbringing by blending into "normal" society.

But both find that they cannot elude their magic-filled past. And when trouble strikes -- in the form of a menacing backyard ghost -- the sisters must not only reunite three generations of Owens women but embrace their magic as a gift -- and their key to a future of love and passion. Funny, haunting, and shamelessly romantic, Practical Magic is bewitching entertainment -- Alice Hoffman at her spectacular best.
Released:
Jul 1, 1995
ISBN:
9780743545655
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Alice Hoffman is the bestselling author of twenty-one acclaimed novels, including The River King, The Ice Queen, The Third Angel, Here on Earth and Practical Magic (made into a film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman). She currently lives in Boston and New York.


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What people think about Practical Magic

4.0
396 ratings / 92 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Team Five (High Fives) Reader #1

    Tag: Paranormal Romance & Family Relationships

    Practical Magic
    , Alice Hoffman (244 pages)

    &#9733 &#9733 &39733 &#9733 &#9733 ?

    First I'd like to say, I still can not get over how different the book is from the movie, but, I Still LOVE the Movie as well....

    Sally & Gillian are sisters, OWENS Sisters.... Owens women do not usually have so much luck in love, and know the heartbreak of loss, however, Owens women are strong, single minded and have very much "luck" in other aspects of their lives. Sally & Gillian are as different as day & night: Sally is older, practical and orderly. Gillian is wild, disorderly, and very impractical.

    At an early age, Sally & Gillian are left orphans (their mother & father were on a 2nd honeymoon and were so enthralled in each other, that they never noticed their room catching fire). Sally & Gillian call their only know relatives: "The Aunts".... Older women who live together in a large rambling house, built by Maria Owens (an alleged witch).... The Aunts know a thing or two about love & loss, so although the entire neighborhood is scared to death of them, it does not stop the local women (in need) visiting them at twilight for "magick" to help their ailing relationships.

    Sally is living with the Aunts, happily married w/ two young daughters... when the Watch Beetle of Death shows up in her husband's favorite chair..... Her mourning affects the entire household & Gillian comes to her rescue..... Sally moves and begins a new life.

    Gillian has runaway from the Aunts years ago and is now in a horrendous affair with a totally abusive man, Jimmy, whom she keeps under a modicum of control with small doses of Belladonna..... But somehow while in route out of town (he has killed college students by selling them jimson weed as a recreational drug), Jimmy keels over & dies!

    With nowhere else to turn, Gillian shows up at Sally's doorstep with the now dead Jimmy....... Sally & Jillian plant Jimmy in the garden under the Lilacs......

    Secondary to the story is the relationship of Sally's daughters: Kylie & Antonia, and their relationship w/ Gillian.....

    As the story goes on: Jimmy's ghost becomes a very active force and needs to be dealt with (in the movie he was more active). Love is all around for Sally, Gillian, Kylie & Antonia, they learn to deal with the love of family, their relationships with each other, and with the men of their dreams.

    I Absolutely LOVE This Book! For me it was interesting and it held my interest. I enjoyed the story & the themes of Love, Magic as an everyday occurence, and Family Relationships (especially about day & night sisters)!
  • (4/5)
    I had not watched the movie when it came out but I had heard a little about this book and knew I wanted to read it. This was the hardest I had ever worked to find and read a book as it was not available at my library or any of the library online services and my usual methods of purchase did not have it in stock. I finally found an affordable copy on Book Depository and waited a few weeks for it to arrive.Thankfully it ended up being worth the effort! This was a fun read and easy to sink into. It wasn't quite as dark as I expected but it was full of magical realism, family ties, love and pain. Recommended
  • (4/5)
    Magical realism novel that follows the lives of sisters Sally and Gillian Owens. Full of beautiful prose and a gentle but tightly woven plot that pulls the reader along (I devoured the book in two days). The magic element is fantastical and yet somehow treated as an everyday and in no way unusual thing in the lives of these women. With lovely explorations of what it means to be family, the power that love holds over people, and the importance of accepting yourself, this is a highly enjoyable novel. Recommended for fans of magical realism and family dramas.
  • (4/5)
    While this story follows far fewer of the Owens women, there were times it was a more complex timeline of writing than the prequel by Hoffman. The largest issue I had was that of the lack of time delineation, and in this book, there is less of the new relationship energy and mourning that can create that chaos in a mind. It was a harder sell for me, personally.There were times when I felt that the reader and the writer were in completely different scenes because of some of the jumps in focus.The book felt scattered and discombobulated... but I was again drawn to the themes and concepts within the story.
  • (3/5)
    Borders Mgr recommendation--I liked the magic aspect of this book a great deal. Was I offended by some of the harshness used? No, but I found it a bit unnecessary and that it did not offer any "depth" to the boook.
  • (5/5)
    Wonderful and so much better than the movie.
  • (3/5)
    I love the film. The film is the perfect fairytale of strong women, true love and magic, and the scene where the circle join hands to save Gillian always gets to me. I never really thought about the book until I discovered that Alice Hoffman has recently written a prequel/sequel - and I honestly wish that was still the case. Stand alone, the book is fine, if a bit disjointed and lacking in unity, of both plot and characters. But, and I don't often say this, so I'll say it loud: THE FILM IS BETTER. Like way, way better. The film is centred around the aunts' house, which only Gillian leaves and finally returns to, so there is a feeling of home and history at the heart of the story. There is also a definite emphasis on magic, with the aunts and Sally, although she fights her inheritance, practicing both the white and black sides of the craft. I also like the detail of the aunts interfering in Sally's love life - the first time around. When she finds her true love a second time, the magic is purely Sally's. All missing from the book. Sally leaves home with her much older daughters and moves to New York, so both the house and the aunts are removed from much of the story. The pacing is also very weak, and the final scene is an anticlimax compared to the film.The book is trying to be 'gritty' and realistic, I think, despite the fairytale language, discussing sex and self-loathing and splintered families over love and magic and sisterhood. Sally is a depressed single mother of teenagers, Gillian is still Gillian, and none of the women can be happy until they meet 'the one'. Sally doesn't meet the perfect man of her conjuring but a lovesick fool conducting a half-assed investigation. Gillian is rewarded with a biology teacher instead of being 'possessed' by her dead lover's spirit. Even Antonia and Kylie go weak-kneed for the nearest boys. The happy ever after effect of the film is lost by the implied message that women just need a man in their lives to be happy.The bones of the story are there, but the flesh is weak. Stick to the film.
  • (4/5)
    Sisters Sally and Gillian Owens were raised by the aunts, witches who specialized in helping people with love problems. They suffered bullies in their small Massachusetts town and as they grew up, they grew apart: Gillian had relationship troubles and multiple marriages, Sally married and had two daughters but suffered grief after her husband died suddenly. Now, Gillian returns with a secret that just might change their lives forever.Alice Hoffman certainly knows how to write a book with an otherworldly atmosphere of magical realism. It permeates this story so much that it's more about the setting and the words than the characters. There's very little dialogue for the first 100 or so pages, and as a result I had a really hard time getting into it. But if you enjoy the atmosphere and the elements of magic, it's a solid read and I'd certainly recommend it to people who appreciate a wordsmith.
  • (4/5)
    I loved this book, as I have loved every Alice Hoffman book I have read so far. A little magic/supernatural but not too much. The story was more about relationships than magic.
  • (3/5)
    I'm a fan of the 1998 movie, which certainly colored my experience of the book. On its own, the book is interesting. The point of view shifts fluidly between characters; the quantity of sex and fantasies and thoughts about sex surprised me a bit, likely because the movie didn't really touch on that. It's painful getting into Gillian's head, seeing her lack of self-worth up close, but it feels realistic. The aunts have a much smaller role, since the majority of the book doesn't take place at their home, and Jimmy's much less a menace. Sally's daughters are older, too, and lack the closeness they have in the movie.I feel like overall there was even less plot in the book than there is in the movie- it meanders, touching on bits and pieces but never really establishes a significant issue to overcome by the end. It was a quick read and swept me along as I read, but it felt unsatisfyingly unfinished.
  • (3/5)
    Having never known that the movie was based on a book I could hardly break my "no movie till the book has been read" oath following the Lord of the Rings tragedy. But here I think I hardly have worried, because I have found that rare thing, a story that is better on the screen than the page (in my opinion). The spirit of the characters is all the same, except for Sally's two daughters; in the book, the younger sisters, we follow up to their teens and are much more fleshed out literally and figuratively. Most of the book centers on the interpersonal relationships of the two sets of sisters and their love lives. There's so much introspection and emotional characterization that I didn't feel like I was reading a good story so much as a parable in the form of a therapy session. Getting rid of Jimmy Angelou takes no more than 3 pages at most at the very end of the book. I don't even think "magic" or "witch" is used more than twice each. There is a "magic" of a sort in the book, but its a more inherent kind, rather than using potions or spells, but the women have no real control over the way they affect their surroundings, their mere presence sets off all kinds of havoc. The movie was more gripping and less touching, but at least it doesn't leave you exhausted and haggard afterwards. The main difference is big and its this: the movie tells you that sisterhood conquers all attackers. The book tells you that your worst enemies are yourself and your "sister" and no one else can protect or sabotage you better than they.
  • (5/5)
    I must confess that this is one my favorite movies to pop in on Halloween and in the Fall; this book conjured up all of those cozy feelings as well. Obviously, the movie took a lot of creative liberty and there are a lot of differences and focuses in the book.
  • (2/5)
    This could not have been more disappointing. It's so rare that a movie is favored over a book but here is one of those occasions. It's as if someone read the book, loved the idea of a set of sisters per generation and wrote a completely different story that turned into a movie.
  • (5/5)
    I've been a fan of the movie since I was a girl, and had some silly fear that the book would be nothing like it. They're different, but I'm happy to say that both are equally good despite the differences!
  • (3/5)
    I didn't realize this was abridged!! D: I'm not sure if I didn't enjoy the book because there were parts missing, or because the pace was just a bit slow (even abridged!).
  • (5/5)
    I love this book truly, its beautiful. I love the movie?
  • (2/5)
    this book was in departed need of an editor. I was waiting for the heart of the book to start...but it never did. very disconnected. disappointing since the Rules of Magic was much better and i was expecting better.
  • (5/5)
    Loved it! Listened to it within a day. I wish it would have been longer!
  • (4/5)
    Fun! A little different from the film. Short, breezy, good narration and sound.
  • (2/5)
    I’m sure this is a lovely story but this abridged version is choppy and unpleasant. I will definitely read the story as Alice Hoffman wrote it.
  • (4/5)
    Extremely disappointing. Not just because the movie was better, which it was, but because the prequels were so much better. The narrator was much better as well. Don't waste your time. Stick to the first two in the timeline.
  • (3/5)
    I was expecting more from this book. It seemed to drag on and didn’t get interesting until the last chapter. So disappointed.
  • (3/5)
    Super cute book, but the abridged version doesn’t make as much sense as the original
  • (5/5)
    magical bliss. loved. women, family, sisterhood, love and magic. what more can you need?
  • (2/5)
    Disappointed. The audiobook skips entire paragraphs, so after a few pages I stopped listening to the audio and just read it myself.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely LOVE Hoffman’s writing. This was such a great read. I loved the characters, I loved the generational story. Really wonderful.
  • (4/5)
    I love the movie, so i was glad to find out the audiobook of such a magical story. Love the Owens family.
  • (5/5)
    Great book! I don't understand why they had to add music in the intro and at the ending, covering the initial and final words of the book. Terrible choice, it takes you out of it.
  • (4/5)
    Great mix of realism and magic. I quickly became emeshed in the sister's lives. Would love to know more about the aunts.
  • (4/5)
    A quick and fun read. What would you do for the ones you love? This tale of two sisters, and the lengths they go to be there for each other was very enjoyable.