The Rules of Magic
An instant New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick from beloved author Alice Hoffman—the spellbinding prequel to Practical Magic.
Find your magic.
For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1680, 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. Yet, the 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 memorable aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.
Alice Hoffman delivers “fairy-tale promise with real-life struggle” (The New York Times Book Review) in a story how the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is “irresistible…the kind of book you race through, then pause at the last forty pages, savoring your final moments with the characters” (USA TODAY, 4/4 stars).
"Reading an Alice Hoffman book is like falling into a deep dream where senses are heightened and love reigns supreme. The Rules of Magic is no exception.”
—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things
“Hoffman delights in this prequel to Practical Magic as three siblings discover both the power and curse of their magic. Hoffman’s novel is a coming-of-age tale replete with magic and historical references to the early witch trials.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.”
—Publishers Weekly starred review, Read full review
“The Owens sisters are back—not in their previous guise as elderly aunties casting spells in Hoffman’s occult romance Practical Magic (1995), but as fledgling witches in the New York City captured in Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids… No one’s more confident or entertaining than Hoffman at putting across characters willing to tempt fate for true love.”
—Kirkus Review, Read full review
“I was enraptured by this fabulous book, which is filled with magic and charm.”
—Terri Smith, Library Reads, Read full review
“Hoffman’s writing is frank, tender, vivid, and elusive all at once. Full of sorrow and beauty and courage, The Rules of Magic is a delicious, satisfying read.”
—Heather Herbaugh, Mitzi’s Books, Rapid City, SD, Indie Next List, Read full review
“I got so swept up in this enchanting story and I can’t wait for you all to start reading it!”
—Reese Witherspoon, Read full review
“This is the kind of book you race through, then pause at the last 40 pages, savoring your final moments with the characters.”
—USA TODAY, Read full review