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The rules of magic
2017
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A prequel to the best-selling Practical Magic traces the story of the children of Susanna Owens, who, in spite of their mother's fierce edicts against witchcraft, develop powerful abilities while struggling to escape the family curse that leads to tragedy if they fall in love. - (Baker & Taylor)

"The prequel to Alice Hoffman's PRACTICAL MAGIC, following the lives of Franny and Jet Owens (and their brother Vincent Owens) long before Sally and Gillian wound up on their doorstep"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Traces the story of Susanna Owens' children, who have powerful magical abilities, as they uncover secrets about a family curse while visiting their Aunt Isabelle and struggle to escape it before tragedy strikes. - (Baker & Taylor)

**INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER**

**REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK**

From beloved author Alice Hoffman comes the spellbinding prequel to her bestseller, 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. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens 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 revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself. - (Simon and Schuster)

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Booklist Reviews

The Owens family has always been different. Not in a quirky, adorable way, but in a powerfully mystical and mysterious way. A family with witchcraft flowing through their veins since the days of the Salem witch trials, the Owens have their own way of seeing the world around them. Hoffman's prequel to her best-selling novel Practical Magic (1995) is set on the cusp of the turbulent and liberating 1960s, when three very unique children are forced to come to terms with the very unique gifts they've inherited. Sent to stay with their Aunt Isabelle in a tiny Massachusetts town for the summer, three Owens descendants uncover the spellbinding truth about their heritage. Stubborn Franny, beautiful Jet, and charming Vincent set off on their own paths, determined to undo the curse that's plagued the Owens for generations. Readers who grew up with Lemony Snicket's Baudelaire children, or those who enjoyed the magical intrigue of Lev Grossman's Magicians trilogy, will adore this enchanting, engrossing, and exhilarating novel. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

Set in New York just before the Sixties started to swing, this new novel gives backstory to Hoffman's beloved Practical Magic, published in 1995. Love is always a problem for the Owens women, cursed since 1620, and Susanna Owens warns her three children to avoid moonlight, red shoes, and especially romance. But the children have different ideas. With an eight-city tour.

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Library Journal Reviews

Hoffman weaves a spell around the three Owens children—Franny, Jet, and Vincent—as she provides the backstory to her best-selling Practical Magic. The family of witches has been cursed since the 17th century, and as the Owens siblings come of age during 1960s, their second sight, magic potions, and other supernatural abilities are not enough to keep them from the danger of falling in love and seeing their beloved die. How each deals with the consequences and learns to fight the curse by loving more, not less, is the key to freedom from the spell and an instruction to readers. Hoffman deftly weaves in dramatic events from the era, including the Vietnam War and protests against it, without sacrificing the fairy-tale feeling of her story. VERDICT Admirers of Practical Magic and readers who enjoy a little magic mixed in with their love stories and prefer to be kept at something of a remove from the grittiness of life's tragedies will relish this book. [See Prepub Alert, 5/3/17.]—Sharon Mensing, Emerald Mountain School, Steamboat Springs, CO

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Hoffman delights in this prequel to Practical Magic, as three siblings discover both the power and curse of their magic. Susanna Owens fled her home in Massachusetts and settled in New York, where she marries and, with her husband, raises their three children, Franny, Jet, and Vincent. Susanna has done her best to keep them away from the powers of magic by forbidding such things as wearing black and using Ouija boards. But the children can't deny their special abilities to perform such feats as communicating with animals and reading others' thoughts. As they continue to grow older in the rapidly changing world of the late 1950s, the children's curiosity about their heritage is rewarded when they are invited to visit their Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts. There, the children hone their magical skills and discover that an ancestor had cursed them so that disaster would befall anyone who fell in love with them. The three siblings struggle with the curse, sometimes pushing away their beloveds and at other times succumbing to the allure of love only to see it end tragically. Hoffman's novel is a coming-of-age tale replete with magic and historical references to the early witch trials. The spellbinding story, focusing on the strength of family bonds through joy and sorrow, will appeal to a broad range of readers. Fans of Practical Magic will be bewitched. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM Partners. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

School Library Journal Reviews

The gray-eyed Owens children have always been strange, and not just because they like black clothing and are oddly buoyant. Frances, the oldest, can communicate with birds; shy and beautiful middle sibling Bridget (nicknamed Jet for her black hair) can read minds; and the youngest, Vincent, is so winsome and irresistible that his obstetric nurse attempted to kidnap him. Growing up in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s, the children never fit in, until they visit Aunt Isabelle in Massachusetts and discover they are bloodline witches. Full of gifts and potential, the siblings are cursed with knowing too much about fate and the future. Though this coming-of-age tale is a prequel to Hoffman's Practical Magic, readers need not have read the earlier book—but they'll eagerly seek out the author's other work. The clever Owenses handle major crises such as the Vietnam War, first loves, and the death of family members, all while learning how to cope with their special abilities in a world that doesn't always value those who are different. Fans of magical realism and lyrical novels, such as Leslye Walton's The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and Moïra Fowley-Doyle's The Accident Season, will appreciate Hoffman's descriptive and succinct way with words. VERDICT Give to sophisticated teens who enjoy a bit of magic in their love stories.—Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

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