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Magic lessons / The Prequel to Practical Magic
2021
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"In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

A prequel to the movie-inspiring novel unveils the origin story of Maria Owens, who after being discovered as an abandoned baby in rural 17th-century Salem is taught in the “Unnamed Arts” before cursing her own family in love. 200,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

In an unforgettable novel that traces a centuries-old curse to its source, beloved author Alice Hoffman unveils the story of Maria Owens, accused of witchcraft in Salem, and matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic.

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she&;s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the &;Unnamed Arts.&; Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it&;s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.

Magic Lessons is a celebration of life and love and a showcase of Alice Hoffman&;s masterful storytelling. - (Simon and Schuster)

Author Biography

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The World That We Knew, Practical Magic, The Rules of Magic, the Oprah&;s Book Club selection Here on Earth,The Red Garden, The Dovekeepers,The Museum of Extraordinary Things, The Marriage of Opposites, and Faithful. She lives near Boston.­ - (Simon and Schuster)

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Booklist Reviews

In 1600s England, Hannah Owens teaches the Nameless Art to a foundling child, Maria, a natural witch with power flowing through her bloodline. Basic tenets: Always love someone who will love you back. What you send out into the world, you will receive back threefold. When Maria meets John Hathorne and he subsequently leaves for his home of Salem, Massachusetts, she sets out after him, intent upon sharing a life. Things in Salem are not what she had envisioned, but Maria knows that "if you had the strength, you could change your fate." This prequel to Hoffman's Practical Magic (2017) reveals how the Owens women, who also appear in The Rules of Magic (1995), came to be cursed. In Hoffman's simple but luminous prose, all characters, even the villains, are not only vividly, but also compassionately, rendered. Descriptions of magic combine with herbology and folk remedy. Hoffman adeptly highlights that how one uses a talent, selflessly or selfishly, has a sweeping impact on many lives, meaning that one should always choose courage, and that love is the only answer.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hoffman's best-seller level fans, and all looking for wisely magical reads, will be seek this new tale about the powerful Owens women. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Hoffman's striking latest entry in her Practical Magic series (after The Rules of Magic) turns to 1664 rural England for the origin story of Maria Owens, matriarch of the series' clan of witches. Maria is discovered as an infant by Hannah Owens, a practitioner of the "Nameless Art" who raises Maria and teaches her natural remedies and witchcraft. As a girl, Maria has an innate sense of magic and emulates Hannah's desire to help the scores of women who secretly come to her for help—mostly for problems with their love lives. After Maria is reclaimed at age 10 by her birth mother, Rebecca, another Nameless Art practitioner, Maria comes to understand—like other heroines in Hoffman's "Magic" books—that love can be unexpectedly overpowering. Maria becomes ensnared in a complicated relationship and has a daughter out of wedlock. As Maria's story takes her from England to Massachusetts and New York, Hoffman offers an eye-opening account of how single women were treated in the 17th century, particularly when their knowledge or intelligence was deemed threatening. While the musings on "enchantments and remedies" grow repetitive, Maria's page-turning adventure is thoroughly enjoyable. Hoffman's redemptive story of a fiercely independent woman adds an engrossing, worthwhile chapter to the series. (Oct.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

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