Reviewed by: Jennifer Chretien, Reference Staff
Rating: 4.75 stars
If love is a blessing for most people, it is a curse for the Owens family ever since Maria Owens was betrayed by her lover in the 1600’s. Susanna Owens wants to spare her three children: Franny, Vincent, and Bridget from their heritage by keeping them away from the family home in Massachusetts. She also has strict rules for them: no walking in the moonlight, no books about magic, no candles, no crows, and never fall in love. You can’t escape your destiny though, and one by one her children all fall victim in this prequel to Practical Magic.
This novel tells the story of these three siblings and how they discover their legacy with the help of family members they haven’t been allowed to associate with before. It’s an achingly beautiful story of family, love, overcoming fears, self-discovery, fate, and embracing your past. Readers of Practical Magic will be well aware of the pitfall of being an Owens but it is not necessary to have read it in order to enjoy The Rules of Magic. This is a quiet novel with Hoffman’s signature elements of magical realism, as well as quirky sympathetic characters. A perfect book for October if you want something with a dash of magic and aren’t into anything dark.